Mullins, David W.

David W. Mullins

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor,


  • PhD, Immunology and Molecular Cell Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
  • BS, Virginia Tech
  • BS, Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
  • BS, Biochemistry, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
  • Postdoc, Tumor Immunology, University of Virginia

Contact Information

and function relies on infectious models of acute infection. Therefore
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Telephone: 4349241706
Website: the research enterprise consists of interrelated areas of study involving the memory T cells

Research Interests

Immunotherapy; Tumor Immunology

Research Description

The Mullins Research Lab, a component of the Human Immune Therapy Center, combines basic science research methods with translational strategies and bioinformatics to explore improved immunotherapy and to understand the immunologic response to cancer in humans.   The basic premise of tumor immunotherapy is that the immune system can be stimulated to affect an immune response to specific antigens on autologous tumor cells. Like the immune reactions to intracellular pathogens, effective anti-tumor responses are often mediated by CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL). Unlike standard vaccinations against infections pathogens, tumor vaccines are not routinely provided as prophylaxis, but rather, as a means of therapeutic intervention. It is therefore likely that endogenous immune responses directed against tumor-associated antigen will have already occurred prior to vaccination, leading to the formation of tumor-specific memory T cell populations. Therefore, successful anti-tumor vaccination will likely require the reactivation of memory T cells, induced in the context of chronic antigen stimulation, rather than the induction of new" memory T cells as would occur in a prophylactic setting. To date