Research Summary

Greg Allen, MD/PhD is a physician-scientist specializing in designing and translating next-generation immune cell therapies for solid tumors. He cares for patients with lung cancer at the Hellen Diller Cancer Center and runs a research laboratory at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

The Allen Lab is focused on developing and applying advanced synthetic biology tools to dissect the fundamental design principles of the immune system. We use synthetic receptors, cytokines, and secondary messengers to generate novel alternatively engineered tumor-immune eco-systems, which we then interrogate with high-dimensional tools. From this ground-up systems biology perspective we are attempting to rationally design engineered cells to tackle the most challenging diseases we face in the clinic.

Research Funding

  • April 1, 2021 - March 31, 2026 - Developing novel CAR T cell designs using combinatorial antigen detection , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: K08CA259610


Fellowship, 06/2018 - Oncology, UCSF
Residency, 06/2015 - Medicine, Johns Hopkins Hospital
MD/PHD, 06/2013 - Biochemistry, Medicine, Stanford Medical School
BS, 06/2004 - Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Honors & Awards

  • K08 Scholar, NIH - NCI, 2021
  • Fellow, Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund, 2017-2020
  • Geoffrey D. Parfitt Award for Excellence in Research, Carnegie Mellon, 2004
  • Alumni Award, Carnegie Mellon, 2001

Selected Publications

  1. Zhang J, Tsukui T, Wu X, Brito A, Trumble JM, Caraballo JC, Allen GM, Zavala-Solorio J, Zhang C, Paw J, Lim WA, Geng J, Kutskova Y, Freund A, Kolumam G, Sheppard D, Cohen RL. An immune-based tool platform for in vivo cell clearance. Life Sci Alliance. 2023 08; 6(8).  View on PubMed
  2. Allen GM, Frankel NW, Reddy NR, Bhargava HK, Yoshida MA, Stark SR, Purl M, Lee J, Yee JL, Yu W, Li AW, Garcia KC, El-Samad H, Roybal KT, Spitzer MH, Lim WA. Synthetic cytokine circuits that drive T cells into immune-excluded tumors. Science. 2022 12 16; 378(6625):eaba1624.  View on PubMed
  3. Allen GM, Lim WA. Rethinking cancer targeting strategies in the era of smart cell therapeutics. Nat Rev Cancer. 2022 12; 22(12):693-702.  View on PubMed
  4. Wong ML, Shi Y, Smith AK, Miaskowski C, Boscardin WJ, Cohen HJ, Lam V, Mazor M, Metzger L, Presley CJ, Williams GR, Loh KP, Ursem CJ, Friedlander TW, Blakely CM, Gubens MA, Allen G, Shumay D, Walter LC. Changes in older adults' life space during lung cancer treatment: A mixed methods cohort study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 01; 70(1):136-149.  View on PubMed
  5. Williams JZ, Allen GM, Shah D, Sterin IS, Kim KH, Garcia VP, Shavey GE, Yu W, Puig-Saus C, Tsoi J, Ribas A, Roybal KT, Lim WA. Precise T cell recognition programs designed by transcriptionally linking multiple receptors. Science. 2020 11 27; 370(6520):1099-1104.  View on PubMed
  6. Allen GM, Lee KC, Barnhart EL, Tsuchida MA, Wilson CA, Gutierrez E, Groisman A, Theriot JA, Mogilner A. Cell Mechanics at the Rear Act to Steer the Direction of Cell Migration. Cell Syst. 2020 09 23; 11(3):286-299.e4.  View on PubMed
  7. Dannenfelser R, Allen GM, VanderSluis B, Koegel AK, Levinson S, Stark SR, Yao V, Tadych A, Troyanskaya OG, Lim WA. Discriminatory Power of Combinatorial Antigen Recognition in Cancer T Cell Therapies. Cell Syst. 2020 09 23; 11(3):215-228.e5.  View on PubMed
  8. Barnhart E, Lee KC, Allen GM, Theriot JA, Mogilner A. Balance between cell-substrate adhesion and myosin contraction determines the frequency of motility initiation in fish keratocytes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Apr 21; 112(16):5045-50.  View on PubMed
  9. Allen GM, Mogilner A, Theriot JA. Electrophoresis of cellular membrane components creates the directional cue guiding keratocyte galvanotaxis. Curr Biol. 2013 Apr 08; 23(7):560-8.  View on PubMed
  10. Wilson CA, Tsuchida MA, Allen GM, Barnhart EL, Applegate KT, Yam PT, Ji L, Keren K, Danuser G, Theriot JA. Myosin II contributes to cell-scale actin network treadmilling through network disassembly. Nature. 2010 May 20; 465(7296):373-7.  View on PubMed
  11. Barnhart EL, Allen GM, Jülicher F, Theriot JA. Bipedal locomotion in crawling cells. Biophys J. 2010 Mar 17; 98(6):933-42.  View on PubMed
  12. Keren K, Pincus Z, Allen GM, Barnhart EL, Marriott G, Mogilner A, Theriot JA. Mechanism of shape determination in motile cells. Nature. 2008 May 22; 453(7194):475-80.  View on PubMed
  13. Allen GM, Shortall BP, Gemci T, Corcoran TE, Chigier NA. Computational simulations of airflow in an in vitro model of the pediatric upper airways. J Biomech Eng. 2004 Oct; 126(5):604-13.  View on PubMed

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