Department of Otolaryngology

Lazar Vujanović, PhD

  • Research Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology

Dr. Vujanovic is an immunologist with expertise in basic and translational studies of novel cancer-targeting immunotherapies. His research interests include immune checkpoint antagonists, dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccines for the induction of tumor-specific T cells, natural killer (NK) cell biology, the role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in immunity and carcinogenesis, and prognostic liquid biopsy biomarkers. He is also investigating mechanisms of anti-tumor immunity, as well as immune escape mechanisms within the HNSCC tumor microenvironment using single-cell RNA sequencing.

Dr. Vujanovic received his PhD in immunology from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Interdisciplinary Biomedical Program. After completing his postdoctoral training at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, he joined the Departments of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh as a Research Assistant Professor.

Representative Publications

1. Vujanovic, L., Chuckran, C., Lin, Y., Santos, P.M., Lohr, J., Kirkwood, J.M. and Butterfield, L.H. CD56dim CD16- Natural killer cell profiling in melanoma patients receiving a cancer vaccine and interferon-α2b. Front. Immunol. 2019. Jan 29;10:14. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00014. eCollection 2019.

2. Vujanovic, L., Stahl, E.C., Pardee, A.D., Watkins, S.C., Gibson, G.A. and Butterfield, L.H. Tumor-Derived α-Fetoprotein Directly Drives Human Natural Killer-Cell Activation and Subsequent Cell Death. Cancer Immunol Res. 2017. 5(6):493-502. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066. PMID: 28468916.

3. Sobo-Vujanovic, A., Vujanovic, L., DeLeo, A.B., Concha-Benavente, F., Ferris, R.L., Lin, Y. and Vujanovic, N.L. Inhibition of soluble tumor necrosis factor prevents chemically induced carcinogenesis in mice. Cancer Immunol Res. 2016. 4(5): 441-451. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066. PMID: 26896171.

4. Vujanovic, L., Ballard, W., Vujanovic, N.L., and Butterfield, L.H. Adenovirus-engineered human dendritic cells induce natural killer cell chemotaxis via CXCL8/IL-8 and CXCL10/IP-10. OncoImmunol.2012. 1(4): 448 - 457. *Cover image for the issue. doi: 10.4161/onci.19788. PMID: 22754763.

5. Vujanovic, L., Szymkowski, D.E., Sean Alber, Simon C. Watkins, Vujanovic, N.L., Butterfield, L.H. Virally-Infected and Matured Human Dendritic Cells Activate Natural Killer Cells Via Cooperative Activity of Plasma Membrane-Bound TNF and IL-15. Blood. 2010. 116 (4): 575-583. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-08-240325. PMID: 20430958

6. Vujanovic, L., Mandic, M., Olson, W.C., Kirkwood, J.M. and Storkus, W.J. A Mycoplasma Peptide Elicits Heteroclitic CD4+ T Cell Responses against Tumor Antigen MAGE-A6. Clin. Canc. Res. 2007. 13 (22): 6796-6806. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-1909. PMID: 18006782

Dr. Vujanovic’s most current publications