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Lazar Vujanović, PhD

  • Research Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Vujanovic is an immunologist with expertise in basic and translational studies of novel cancer-targeting immunotherapies. He is a member of the Society for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer.


    Education & Training

  • UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Postdoctoral Associate, Tumor Immunology
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Interdisciplinary Biomedical Program, PhD in Immunology
  • Pennsylvania State University, BS in Biology
Developmental Research Project Award - UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Head & Neck Cancer SPORE, 2018, 2022
SITC Junior Faculty Award - Translational Research Cancer Centers Consortium Annual Meeting, 2022
University of Pittsburgh Innovator Award, 2017
Research Interests

Dr. Vujanović's research interests include:

  • The role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in drug resistance and immune suppression
  • The distinct roles of soluble and transmembrane forms of TNF in carcinogenesis
  • TNF receptor 2 expression on tumors, and serum levels of arginase-1 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers that could allow for more timely and personalized therapy of cancer patients
  • The role of pathogen-specific innate and adaptive immune responses in cancer prevention and therapy
  • Dendritic cell-based cancer vaccines and their interaction with adaptive (T) and innate (natural killer) effector cells


Research Grants

NIDCR - R01 DE031947-02                                                               03/01/2022-02/28/2027

Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)

“Identifying cellular and molecular signatures from distinct T cell receptor clonotypes associated with favorable immune checkpoint inhibitor responses in HNSCCs”

Role: Co-PI                                                                                                3.6 calendar months


NCI - P50CA097190

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Head & Neck Cancer SPORE                  07/01/23-6/30/24


Developmental Research Program

“Investigation of serum arginase-1 as a predictive biomarker for head and neck cancer patients”

Role: PI                                                                                                                      0.6 calendar