Nick Restifo, M.D. - Lyell
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Nick Restifo, M.D.

Executive Vice President, Research

Nick Restifo, M.D.

Nick-RestifoDr. Restifo joined Lyell in July 2019 after a career in academia. His sole focus for over three decades is on the development of immunotherapeutic treatments for patients with cancer. He has focused his efforts on the goal of using T cells to eradicate advanced, metastatic cancer. After undergraduate work at Johns Hopkins University, he received an MD from New York University. After just a year of surgical training, it became clear to Nick that virtually all treatments for patients with metastatic cancers (including surgery!) failed to cure patients. He therefore began post-doctoral training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center before being recruited to the National Cancer Institute, where he remained for 31 years rising through the ranks to become head of the Center of Excellence in Immunology at the NCI and director of the ‘Cancer Moonshot’ in Adoptive Cellular Therapy.

His contributions to the field include: The molecular definition of the qualities of highly effective anti-tumor T cells; identification of the gene expression within tumors that is required for successful immunotherapy; and understanding the impact of host factors in cancer immunotherapy. His basic and clinical findings of how immune cells can destroy tumors have become mainstays of cell-based immunotherapies being used worldwide.

These efforts are documented in more than 340 papers (that have been cited over 80,000 times with an h-index of 142). He has authored two dozen book chapters on cancer immunotherapy. His work has impacted on virtually every component of modern cancer immunotherapy that can be curative in the metastatic solid tumor setting. This work promises to transform modern oncology. He has received many awards and was cited in 2019 by Thomson Reuters as one of the “World’s most influential scientific minds.”