Project Description

Vivek Verma, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Cancer Systems Biology
Immunology, Cancer Immunotherapy and Immune Metabolism


Dr. Vivek Verma is an assistant professor at The Hormel Institute of the University of Minnesota. Dr. Verma did his M.S. in microbiology from the Central Research Institute at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh and he earned his Ph.D. from Punjab University, located in the pristine city of Chandigarh in northern part of India. Dr. Verma did his postdoctoral studies in cancer biology and innate immune system, first at Chonnam National University in South Korea followed by Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta, USA. Following his postdoctoral research, Dr. Verma joined Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Center as an assistant professor on research tract where he studied the mechanisms to enhance the anti-tumor responses using immune modulatory antibodies and small molecule inhibitors.


2011 – Ph.D. (Microbiology/Immunology), Department of Microbiology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. (

2006 – M.Sc. (Microbiology/Immunology), Central Research Institute, Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh University, India. (

2004 – M.Sc. (Bioinformatics), Sikkim Manipal University, India. (

Memberships and Professional Affiliations:

2017-present  The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

2015-present  The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).

2012-present  The Korean Immunological Association (KIA).


Complete list of Published Work in MyBibliography

1) Verma V, Jafarzadeh N, Boi S, Kundu S, Jiang Z, Fan Y, Nandre R, Zeng P, Alolaqi F, Ahmad S, Gaur P, Barry ST, Valge-Archer V, Smith PD, Banchereau J, Mkrtichyan M, Youngblood B, Rodriguez PC, Gupta S, Khleif SN. (2021). MEK inhibition reprograms CD8+ lymphocytes into memory stem cell with potent anti-tumor effects. Nature Immunology.
This research has been featured in:
(1) Cancer Discovery (;
(2) ACIR  (;

2) Zhang X, de Oliveira Andrade F, Zhang H, Cruz I, Clarke R, Gaur G, Verma V, Hilakivi-Clarke L. (2020). Maternal obesity increases offspring’s mammary cancer recurrence and impairs tumor immune response [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 1]. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2020; ERC-20-0065.R2. doi:10.1530/ERC-20-0065.

3) Verma V, Shrimali RK, Ahmad S, Dai W, Wang H, Lu S, Nandre R, Gaur P, Lopez J, Sade-Feldman M, Yizhak K, Bjorgaard SL, Flaherty KT, Wargo JA, Boland GM, Sullivan RJ, Getz G, Hammond SA, Tan M, Qi J, Wong P, Merghoub T, Wolchok J, Hacohen N, Janik JE, Mkrtichyan M, Gupta S, Khleif SN. (2019). PD-1 blockade in subprimed CD8 cells induces dysfunctional PD-1+CD38hi cells and anti-PD-1 resistance. Nature Immunology (20); 1231-1243.
(DOI: 10.1038/s41590-019-0441-y).
This research has been featured in ACIR (

4) Ahmad S, Webb M, Verma V, Kumari A, Ananth S, Gaur P, Abu-Eid R, Mkrtichyan M, Janik J, Khleif SN. IL-6 regulates the balance between Th17 and Tregs through modulation of PI3K isoforms signaling, providing new targets for immunotherapy (Under review)
Hwang HS, Puth S, Tan W, Verma V, Jeong K, Lee SE, Rhee JH (2018). More robust gut immune responses induced by combining intranasal and sublingual routes for prime-boost immunization. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 21:1-20.
DOI:10.1080/21645515.2018.1472185. (

5) Shrimali RK, Ahmad S, Verma V, Zeng P, Ananth S, Gaur P, Gittelman RM, Yusko E, Sanders C, Robins H, Hammond SA, Janik JE, Mkrtichyan M, Gupta S, Khleif SN (2017). Concurrent PD-1 blockade negates the effects of OX40 agonist antibody in combination immunotherapy through inducing T-cell apoptosis. Cancer Immunological Research. 5(9):755-766. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-17-0292.

6) Ahmad S, Eid RA, Shrimali RK, Webb M, Verma V, Doroodchi A, Berrong Z, Samara RN, Rodriguez PC, Mkrtichyan M, Khleif SN (2017). Differential PI3Kδ signaling in CD4+ T cell subsets enables selective targeting of T regulatory cells to enhance cancer immunotherapy. Cancer Research. 77(8):1892-1904. Doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-1839.

7) Verma V, Kim Y, Lee MC, Lee JT, Cho S, Park IK, Min JJ, Lee JJ, Lee SE, Rhee JH (2016). Activated dendritic cells delivered in tissue compatible biomatrices induce in-situ anti-tumor CTL responses leading to tumor regression. Oncotarget. 7(26):39894-39906.
Doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.9529.  (

8) Verma V, Tan W, Puth S, Cho KO, Lee SE, Rhee JH (2016). Norovirus (NoV) specific protective immune responses induced by recombinant P dimer vaccine are enhanced by the mucosal adjuvant FlaB. J Transl Med. 2016 May 17; 14(1):135.
Doi: 10.1186/s12967-016-0899-4. (

9) Lee SE, Hong SH, Verma V, Lee YS, Duong T-MD, Jeong K, Uthaman S, Sung YC, Lee J-T, Park I-K, Min JJ, Rhee JH (2015). Flagellin is a strong vaginal adjuvant of a therapeutic vaccine for genital cancer. OncoImmunology. 24;5(2):e1081328.
Doi 10.1080/2162402X.2015.1081328. (

10) Saha S, Uttam V, Verma V (2015). u-CARE: user-friendly Comprehensive Antibiotic resistance Repository of Escherichia coli. Journal of clinical pathology, 68(8):648-51.

11) Tan W, Verma V, Jeong K, Kim SY, Jung C, Lee SE and Rhee JH (2014). Molecular characterization of vulnibactin biosynthesis in Vibrio vulnificus indicates the existence of an alternative siderophore. Front. Microbiol24,5:1.

12) Nguyen CT, Hong SH, Ung TT, Verma V, Kim SY, Rhee JH, Lee SE (2013). Intranasal immunization with a flagellin-adjuvanted peptide anticancer vaccine prevents tumor development by enhancing specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte response in a mouse model. Clin Exp Vaccine Res 2, 128-134. (

13) Saha BS, Verma V (2013). In Silico analysis of Escherichia coli polyphosphate kinase (PPK) as a novel antimicrobial drug target and its high throughput virtual screening against PubChem library. Bioinformation 9(10), 518-523.

14) Verma V and Chhibber S (2012) Combination Therapy: Types, Procedures and Outcomes. In: Advances in Medicine and Biology. Ed: Berhardt LV. Volume 48, 225-244. (Book chapter).

15) Verma V, Harjai K, Chhibber S (2010). Structural changes induced by lytic bacteriophage makes ciprofloxacin effective against older biofilm of Klebsiella pneumoniae. Biofouling, 26, 729-737. (

16) Verma V, Harjai K, Chhibber S (2009). Restricting ciprofloxacin induced resistant variant formation in biofilm of Klebsiella pneumoniae B5005 by complementary bacteriophage treatment. J Antimicrob Chemotherap, 64, 1212-1218.

17) Verma V, Harjai K, Chhibber S (2009). Characterization of a T7-Like Lytic Bacteriophage of Klebsiella pneumoniae B5055: A Potential Therapeutic Agent. Curr Microbiol, 59, 274-281.

18) Verma V, Sehgal R, Tahlan AK, Sood DK, Dogar V (2009). Feasibility of use of single dose immunization regime in Antibody Induction Method for testing potency of tetanus component in DTP group of vaccines and comparison of validated ELISA with TNT for antibody titration. Am J Biomed Sci, 1(2), 143-156.(

19) Bedi MS, Verma V, Chhibber S (2009). Amoxicillin and specific bacteriophage can be used together for eradication of biofilm of Klebsiella pneumoniae B5055. World J of Microbiol Biotech, 25(7), 1145-1151.


Guest Editor:

Cancer Reports

Frontiers Immunology

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