Robert Holt



  • BSc University of British Colubmia
  • PhD Pharmacology, University of Alberta
  • PDF Molecular Evolution, State University of New York

Research Interests

The main focus in our lab (located at the BC Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre) is understanding and potentiating the anti-cancer immune response. Increasingly cancer is being seen as a disease of immune failure, and in the field considerable effort is being focused on evoking and/or potentiating anti-tumor immunity. In our group, we are taking many approaches in both patient and animal studies to isolate and expand tumor-specific T cells, and to genetically engineer them for improved efficacy.  We also develop high-throughput genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic methods to probe the cellular immune system, with a focus on antigen discovery. In addition to immunology, we also touch on aspects of microbiome research, brain research and evolutionary biology in our group.

For more information, visit our research lab website.

Selected Publications:

  • Holt RA. Immunogenomics: a foundation for intelligent immune design.Genome Medicine. 2015;7:116. doi:10.1186/s13073-015-0247-y. Read more.
  • Gibb EA, Warren RL, Wilson GW, et al. Activation of an endogenous retrovirus-associated long non-coding RNA in human adenocarcinoma. Genome Medicine. 2015;7(1):22. doi:10.1186/s13073-015-0142-6. Read more.
  • Surveillance of the Tumor Mutanome by T Cells during Progression from Primary to Recurrent Ovarian Cancer. Darin A. Wick, John R. Webb, Julie S. Nielsen, Spencer D. Martin,David R. Kroeger, Katy Milne, Mauro Castellarin, Kwame Twumasi-Boateng,Peter H. Watson, Rob A. Holt, and Brad H. Nelson. Clin Cancer Res March 1, 2014 20:1125-1134; Published OnlineFirst December 9, 2013; doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-2147. Read more.

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Future courses may be subject to change.