Immunology Faculty Member - Mikael Pittet, PhD

Mikael Pittet, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital
Simches Research Building
185 Cambridge Street, Room 5228
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: 617-643-6285
Fax: 617-643-6133
Visit my lab page here.

My laboratory focuses on uncovering knowledge gaps on the interactions between the immune system and cancer and defining immunotherapies that are effective against a broad range of tumors. To do so, we study various immune cells, including cytotoxic T cells, regulatory T cells, macrophages, monocytes, neutrophils and dendritic cells.

Over the past several years, we have divided our to address both fundamental and translational research questions. In our fundamental studies, we started to address the origins of myeloid cells that accumulate in tumors and other disease sites, the capacity of tumors to hijack myeloid and other cells remotely, and the ability of some myeloid cells to mediate tumor suppressive functions. In our translational studies, we started to address how to make tumors responsive to immunotherapy by harnessing both lymphoid and myeloid cells, and how to use high-resolution imaging to uncover the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of immunotherapeutic drugs in real-time in vivo.

We collaborate with several immunology programs at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and outside Boston.

Last Update: 6/8/2020


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Weissleder R, Pittet MJ. The expanding landscape of inflammatory cells affecting cancer therapy. Nat Biomed Eng. 2020;4(5):489-498 - DOI: 10.1038/s41551-020-0524-y

Zilionis R*, Engblom C*, Pfirschke C*, Savova V*, Zemmour D, Saatcioglu HD, Krishnan I, Maroni G, Meyerovitz CV, Kerwin CM, Choi S, Richards WG, De Rienzo A, Tenen DG, Bueno R, Levantini E, Pittet MJ**, Klein AM**. Single-Cell Transcriptomics of Human and Mouse Lung Cancers Reveals Conserved Myeloid Populations across Individuals and Species. Immunity. 2019;50(5):1317-1334.e10 - DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2019.03.009

Pittet MJ, Garris CS, Arlauckas SP, Weissleder R. Recording the wild lives of immune cells. Sci Immunol. 2018;3(27):ePub - DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aaq0491

Garris CS*, Arlauckas SP*, Kohler RH, Trefny MP, Garren S, Piot C, Engblom C, Pfirschke C, Siwicki M, Gungabeesoon J, Freeman GJ, Warren SE, Ong S, Browning E, Twitty CG, Pierce RH, Le MH, Algazi AP, Daud AI, Pai SI, Zippelius A, Weissleder R, Pittet MJ. Successful Anti-PD-1 Cancer Immunotherapy Requires T Cell-Dendritic Cell Crosstalk Involving the Cytokines IFN-γ and IL-12. Immunity. 2018;49:1-14 - DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2018.09.024

Engblom C*, Pfirschke C*, Zilionis R, Da Silva Martins J, Bos SA, Courties G, Rickelt S, Severe N, Baryawno N, Faget J, Savova V, Zemmour D, Kline J, Siwicki M, Garris C, Pucci F, Liao HW, Lin YJ, Newton A, Yaghi OK, Iwamoto Y, Tricot B, Wojtkiewicz GR, Nahrendorf M, Cortez-Retamozo V, Meylan E, Hynes RO, Demay M, Klein A, Bredella MA, Scadden DT, Weissleder R, Pittet MJ. Osteoblasts remotely supply lung tumors with cancer-promoting SiglecFhigh neutrophils. Science. 2017;358:eaal5081 - DOI: 

Arlauckas SP*, Garris CS*, Kohler RH, Kitaoka M, Cuccarese MF, Yang KS, Miller MA, Carlson JC, Freeman GJ, Anthony RM, Weissleder R, Pittet MJ. In vivo imaging reveals a tumor-associated macrophage–mediated resistance pathway in anti–PD-1 therapy. Sci Transl Med. 2017;9(389):eaal3604 - DOI: 

Engblom C, Pfirschke C, Pittet MJ. The role of myeloid cells in cancer therapies. Nat Rev Cancer. 2016;16(7):447-62 - DOI: 

Pucci F, Garris C, Lai CP, Newton A, Pfirschke C, Engblom C, Alvarez D, Sprachman M, Evavold C, Magnuson A, von Andrian UH, Glatz K, Breakefield XO, Mempel TR, Weissleder R, Pittet MJ. SCS macrophages suppress melanoma by restricting tumor-derived vesicle–B cell interactions. Science. 2016;352(6282):242-246 - DOI: 

Pfirschke C, Engblom C, Rickelt S, Cortez-Retamozo V, Garris C, Pucci F, Yamasaki T, Poirier-Colame V, Newton A, Redouane Y, Lin YJ, Wojtkiewicz G, Iwamoto Y, Mino-Kenudson M, Huynh TG, Hynes RO, Freeman GJ Kroemer G, Zitvogel L, Weissleder R, Pittet MJ. Immunogenic Chemotherapy Sensitizes Tumors to Checkpoint Blockade Therapy. Immunity. 2016;44:1-12 - DOI: 

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of Harvard College