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Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapeutics Laboratory

Photo of Zachary Conrad Hartman, PhD

Zachary Conrad Hartman, PhD

Office: Box 2606 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

Scientific Focus

Our laboratory studies immunity and inflammation in the context of developing and established cancers. These research interests involve the investigation of immune regulation in cancer and strategies to modulate innate and adaptive immunity against tumors. In these efforts, we principally explore the use of immunotherapeutic modulators against cancer and the development of vaccines and antibodies to specific oncogenic targets. Our laboratory also investigates the regulation of inflammation and immunity in cancer, as well as their impact on the genesis of cancer and its metastasis to different organ sites. The major translational focus of the Hartman laboratory is in uncovering strategies to modulate tumor-derived inflammation and stimulate tumor-specific immunity that will translate into clinically efficacious therapies in patients.

  • Pre-clinical and clinical vaccine studies against tumor driver and resistance genes
  • Investigations of the mechanisms involved in antibody-mediated immunity of cancer
  • Development of improved tumor vaccine strategies
  • Local modulation of the tumor immune microenvironment
  • Discovery and modulation of different types of inflammation

The Hartman lab is part of the Department of Surgery’s Division of Surgical Sciences and affiliated with the Center for Applied Therapeutics and the DCI Center for Immunotherapy. We have a secondary affiliation with the Department of Pathology and are also members of the Department of Pathology Graduate Training Program, the Viral Oncology Training Program (T32), the Surgical Oncology Training Program (T32), as well as the Duke Cancer Institute.

Selected Achievements

Advanced Training

The Hartman lab is currently looking for interested students and post-doctoral fellows to train in cancer immunotherapy. Interested applicants should e-mail

Contact Us

If interested in collaborations, employment, or reagents, please feel free to contact Dr. Hartman.

Latest Publications

Werner, Lauryn R., Katelin A. Gibson, Merit L. Goodman, Dominika E. Helm, Katherine R. Walter, Sean M. Holloran, Gloria M. Trinca, et al. “Progesterone promotes immunomodulation and tumor development in the murine mammary gland.” J Immunother Cancer 9, no. 5 (May 2021).

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Crosby, Erika J., H Kim Lyerly, and Zachary C. Hartman. “Cancer vaccines: the importance of targeting oncogenic drivers and the utility of combinations with immune checkpoint inhibitors.” Oncotarget 12, no. 1 (January 5, 2021): 1–3.

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Crosby, Erika J., Amy C. Hobeika, Donna Niedzwiecki, Christel Rushing, David Hsu, Peter Berglund, Jonathan Smith, et al. “Long-term survival of patients with stage III colon cancer treated with VRP-CEA(6D), an alphavirus vector that increases the CD8+ effector memory T cell to Treg ratio.” J Immunother Cancer 8, no. 2 (November 2020).

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Crosby, Erika J., Chaitanya R. Acharya, Anthony-Fayez Haddad, Christopher A. Rabiola, Gangjun Lei, Jun-Ping Wei, Xiao-Yi Yang, et al. “Stimulation of Oncogene-Specific Tumor-Infiltrating T Cells through Combined Vaccine and αPD-1 Enable Sustained Antitumor Responses against Established HER2 Breast Cancer.” Clin Cancer Res 26, no. 17 (September 1, 2020): 4670–81.

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