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E. John Wherry, PhD

Abramson Cancer Center

Degree and Institution

PhD, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Kimmel Cancer Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

Faculty Title

Associate Professor, Microbiology

Administrative Title

Chair, Immunology Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania
Executive Committee, Immunology Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania


Department of Microbiology

Research Expertise

Our laboratory focuses on understanding T cell differentiation and dysfunction. We study T cell exhaustion during chronic infections where the mechanisms of loss of function and negative regulation have considerable similarity to what occurs during malignancy. Our laboratory has a strong interest in dissecting the mechanisms of inhibitory receptors such as PD-1, LAG-3 and others. We also employ integrated genomics and computational biology to explore the underlying transcription control of T cell exhaustion. Finally, we have broad interests in examining these questions using a variety of animal models and in humans. The long-term goal of these studies is to enhance therapeutic interventions and preventive strategies that overcome or avoid T cell exhaustion.

Other Affiliations
American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Society of Leukocyte Biology (SLB)

Honors and Award

2009, Member, Faculty of 1000
2007, Selected as one of “America’s Young Innovators – 37 under 36” by the Smithsonian magazine
2006, Thomson/ISI citation index Rising Star, November 2006
2006, Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging
2005, Career Development Award, SPORE on Skin Cancer, Wistar/UPenn
2005, AAI Junior Faculty Travel Award
2000-2004, Cancer Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship
2000, NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship F32 AI49163 (Declined)
1999, Sigma XI Student Research Award
1997-1999, Recipient of National Institutes of Health Developmental Training Grant in Developmental Immunology


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Contact Information

E. John Wherry
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
421 Curie Blvd, room 312
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Office Phone: 215-746-8141