Jennifer L. Guerriero, PhD • 2021 SITC Election

Jennifer L. Guerriero, PhD
Brigham and Women's Hospital


Dr. Guerriero is a PhD immunologist and runs an independent laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) that focuses on developing novel strategies to modulate tumor associated macrophages (TAMs). The Guerriero laboratory works on unraveling the complexity of TAM biology, ontogeny and metabolic regulation with the goal of developing clinically effective strategies to target TAMs to promote T-cell activation and weaken the immune-suppressive TME to improve immunotherapy response rates. Dr. Guerriero also serves as the Director of the Breast Tumor Immunology Laboratory (BTIL) at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The focus of the translational research in the BTIL is to investigate innovated methods to modulate the immune response in breast cancer as well as to better understand the mechanistic basis for sensitivity and resistance to currently available immunotherapies. Dr. Guerriero received a BS in biochemistry from Northeastern University while on a Division I pole vault scholarship. She received a PhD in molecular and cellular biology and immunology and pathology from Stony Brook University. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and joined the faculty in 2017 as an Instructor, before joining Brigham and Women’s Hospital as an independent investigator in 2020.

Dr. Guerriero has been a dedicated SITC member and has served as the Chair (2018-2020) and Co-Chair (2016-2018) of the SITC Early Career Scientist Committee (ECS). During her tenure as the Chair of the ECS she developed a program for early career scientists, Sparkathon 2.0, which is set to launch in the Fall of 2021. The goal of Sparkathon 2.0 is to ensure the field continues to gain momentum by enabling the next generation of scientists and physicians by providing the tools and resources they need to succeed. Dr. Guerriero will continue to oversee the program. In addition, Dr. Guerriero currently serves on the SITC Membership Committee, Education and Training Committee and Awards Committee, including Acting Oversite Review Subcommittee for the Awards Committee. She has participated in multiple SITC strategic leadership retreats. Dr. Guerriero is a member of the Annual Program Committee and is co-organizer of the Annual Primer (2021) and primary organizer of the Annual Primer (2022). She is an Associate Editor for the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC). Dr. Guerriero is also co-founder of The Myeloid Network, a monthly international seminar series aimed to connect researchers worldwide to promote communication and advancement in the field of myeloid cell biology.

SITC Election Platform Statement

What are the two or three critical issues facing the field of cancer immunotherapy?

In the last decade immunotherapy has demonstrated remarkable responses in a number of cancers and has considerable potential to be implemented as part of routine care for most cancer types. SITC has been a pioneer in the advancement of cancer immunotherapy by advancing the science through education, integration and leadership. Building on this success there are a number of opportunities to ensure rapid translation of immunotherapy to increase cure rates for patients with advanced disease. Continued effort and attention to critical issues facing our field today that are necessary to rapidly accelerate clinical progress include:

  1. Identifying and overcoming mechanisms of immune resistance. Identifying why some tumors respond to immunotherapy, and others do not, will open the door to novel opportunities for anti-cancer therapy. Developing new strategies will bring the benefit of immunotherapy to more patients. This will require fostering early stage research and discovery to enable robust mechanistic immunology in research laboratories and comprehensive translational biomarker analysis of clinical samples to identify robust correlative markers of response and resistance.
  2. Empowering the next generation of scientists and physicians. It is imperative that we are able to encourage the best and brightest early career scientists to pursue a career in cancer immunotherapy, and ensure they have the support to thrive. This will require increased travel awards to annual meetings and education symposiums for early career scientists and those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. In addition, an increase in research support for early and mid-career scientist who are at a critical point in their careers will translate to future success for the entire community.
  3. Foster collaboration between interdisciplinary fields. To move the field forward collaboration between immunologists, cancer biologists, nurse and advanced practice providers, physicians, government officials and patient advocates will be required. Building on the success of SITC in bringing together diverse colleagues and stakeholders, further integration will ensure optimal implementation of immunotherapy in the clinic. New opportunities for engagement between academia, industry and private foundations will bring new funding, increase the depth of knowledge and access to drug pipelines and clinical samples. Bringing together early career scientists with established faculty will engender mentorship and leadership development in the field. Importantly, brining together peers will foster cross-institute collaborations that otherwise may not have existed and will enable our community and field to thrive.

What is your vision for SITC?

Serving as the chair and co-chair of the SITC Early Career Scientist Committee for the past 4 years has been a privilege and one of my greatest honors. If elected to the Board of Directors, I will serve our SITC community by continuing to be a strong voice for the next generation of scientists and physicians by advocating for opportunities, networking, funding, training and education to ensure the success of the future of our field. There is no doubt that SITC will continue to be an international leader in education and networking. To build on this, I will ensure that our mission to develop the best science into clinically meaningful strategies is at the forefront. In that regard I will work to continue to facilitate multidisciplinary collaborations to facilitate development of the most promising novel therapies, technologies and combinations for cancer immunotherapy. We are in an unprecedented time and we will need to be mindful of the long-term impact of COVID on both patient care and research. SITC is uniquely positioned to be a thought leader on how the field will adapt and evolve during this time and it will be important to bring together a multidisciplinary team to ensure a positive outcome. I am committed to ensuring that SITC has continued growth as a diverse international community that is dedicated to the advancement of highly efficacious immunotherapy for the treatment and prevention of cancer.