Sergei Grivennikov, PhD

Sergei Grivennikov, PhD

Research Program

Hallmarks of Cancer
Chimeric mice
Cytokines are important for a cross-talk between inflammatory and tumor cells
There are many different types of inflammation associated with tumorigenesis
Oncogene-driven loss of barrier function and activation of immune cells


Education and Training

Educational Background

  • PhD, Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, 2004
  • MS, Moscow State University, 2000

Honors & Awards

  • Landon Innovator Award in Tumor Microenvironment, AACR  2014
  • Pew Scholar, Biomedical Sciences  2013
  • Pathway to Independence Award , NIH, K99/R00   2011 
  • Career Development Award, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America   2011  
  • Award for Postdoctoral Fellows, National Institutes of Health   2005  
  • Research Fellowship Award, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America   2007  
Research Profile

Research Program

Research Interests

How immune and inflammatory pathway promote tumor growth and progression

  • Role of cytokines in tumor development
  • Mechanisms of tumor-elicited inflammation
  • Role of inflammatory pathways in normal regeneration and in response to anti-cancer therapies
  • Mouse models of inflammation and cancer

Lab Overview

It has become recently clear that Inflammation plays important roles at different stages of tumor development, including initiation, promotion, malignant conversion, invasion, and metastasis. Immune cells that infiltrate tumors engage in an extensive and dynamic crosstalk with cancer cells and some of the molecular events that mediate this dialog have been revealed. Inflammatory microenvironment is an essential component of all tumors, including some in which a direct causal relationship with inflammation is not yet proven. Importantly, only a minority of all cancers are caused by germline mutations, whereas the vast majority (90%) are linked to somatic mutations or epigenetic changes and environmental factors, including preceding chronic inflammation. Recent studies provided further evidence about the connection between inflammation and cancer, as non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, significantly lower the risk of cancer death. Several types of tumor-associated inflammation have been outlined, which either pro- or anti-tumorigenic effect. Given the importance of the functional interaction between immune cells and cancer cells, the outstanding question is what mediates such a cross-talk?

Our research interests are to connect various immune signaling pathways with pathogenesis of inflammation-associated and sporadic cancers, including colon cancer.

Research in the lab utilizes various genetic animal models of immunodeficiency and cancer as well as human tissues, and follows several major directions: 

1. Examine the role of various inflammatory cytokine pathways in regulation of tumor-elicited inflammation tumor growth, invasion and metastasis.
2. Explore the mechanisms of how inflammatory response in the tumors is induced, including potential contribution of microbiota and endogenous factors produced by the host.
3. How manipulations with the strength and specificity of the host inflammatory response may aid in the development of better preventive and therapeutic strategies.

Lab Staff

Oxana Dmitrieva, MD

PhD Student

Room: P2149

Yi Shao

Visiting Scientist

Room: P2149

Ashley Russell, BS

Scientific Technician II

Room: P2149

Additional Staff

Former staff members

Ralph Francescone, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher
Wei Guo
Vivi Hou, BS
Paula Mafra (Visiting PhD Student)
David Posocco, BS, Scientific Technician
Debora Vendramini, PhD, Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher


Selected Publications

Vendramini-Costa DB, Francescone R, Posocco D, Hou V, Dmitrieva O, Hensley H, de Carvalho JE, Pilli RA, Grivennikov SI. Anti-inflammatory natural product goniothalamin reduces colitis-associated and sporadic colorectal tumorigenesis. Carcinogenesis, 38(1):51-63, 2017. PMC5219049

Koltsova EK, Grivennikov SI. IMPlicating Mesenchymal Imp1 in Colitis-Associated Cancer. Mol Cancer Res. 2015 Nov;13(11):1452-4. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-15-0385. Epub 2015 Oct 9. PubMed

Francescone R, Hou V, Grivennikov SI. Cytokines, IBD, and colitis-associated cancer. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015 Feb;21(2):409-18. doi: 10.1097/MIB.0000000000000236. Review. PubMed

Wang K, Kim MK, Di Caro G, Wong J, Shalapour S, Wan J, Zhang W, Zhong Z, Sanchez-Lopez E, Wu LW, Taniguchi K, Feng Y, Fearon E, Grivennikov SI, Karin M. Interleukin-17 receptor a signaling in transformed enterocytes promotes early colorectal tumorigenesis. Immunity. 2014 Dec 18;41(6):1052-63. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2014.11.009. Epub 2014 Nov 25. PubMed

Francescone R, Hou V, Grivennikov SI. Microbiome, inflammation, and cancer. Cancer J. 2014 May-Jun;20(3):181-9. PubMed

Koltsova EK, Grivennikov SI. IL-22 gets to the stem of colorectal cancer. Immunity. 2014 May 15;40(5):639-41. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2014.04.014. PubMed

Grivennikov SI, Wang K, Mucida D, Stewart CA, Schnabl B, Jauch D, Taniguchi K, Yu GY, Osterreicher CH, Hung KE, Datz C, Feng Y, Fearon ER, Oukka M, Tessarollo L, Coppola V, Yarovinsky F, Cheroutre H, Eckmann L, Trinchieri G, Karin M. Adenoma-linked barrier defects and microbial products drive IL-23/IL-17-mediated tumour growth. Nature. 2012 Nov 8;491(7423):254-8. PubMed

Grivennikov SI, Greten FR, Karin M. Immunity, inflammation, and cancer. Cell. 2010 Mar 19;140(6):883-99. PubMed

Additional Publications


This Fox Chase professor participates in the Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship
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