Hideho Okada MD, PhD

Hideho Okada MD, PhD

Professor of Neurological Surgery

Director, UCSF Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program









Dr. Okada is a physician-scientist focused on immunotherapeutic strategies aimed at malignant brain tumors. He conducted one of the first immune gene therapy trials in patients with malignant glioma. His lab work was also the first to identify and fully characterize cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes for gliomas. This seminal discovery of CTL epitopes in glioma-associated antigens and his work on the mechanisms underlying the adjuvant effects of poly-ICLC led to the launch of novel glioma vaccine trials in combination with poly-ICLC as an adjuvant. The first of these – a phase 1 study – has already yielded evidence for the safety of the vaccine and its ability to evoke potent immunological responses as well as clinical activities in some patients. Dr. Okada has also performed mechanistic studies delineating the role of an integrin receptor very late activation antigen (VLA)-4 and chemokine CXCL10 in efficient trafficking of T-cells to brain tumor sites.

In 2010, Dr. Okada was selected to be a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, which is an honored society of physician-scientists who translate findings in the laboratory to the advancement of clinical practice.

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1991: Medical License for Japan
1996-1997: Visiting Research Associate, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM)
1997-1998: Visiting Research Instructor, Department of Neurosurgery, UPSOM
1998-2001: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, UPSOM
2001-2006: Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery and Surgery, UPSOM
2003: Japanese Board of Neurological Surgery
2004: Medical Physician and Surgeon, issued by Pennsylvania Department of State
2004-2014: Co-Program Leader, Brain Tumor Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
2007-2008: Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery and Surgery, UPSOM
2009-2012: Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Surgery and Immunology
2012-2014: Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Surgery and Immunology UPSOM

Selected Honors and Awards

1996: Uehara Memorial Foundation Postdoctoral Scholarship
1998: First Place, Award for Scientific Excellence and Potential, 10th Annual University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Scientific Retreat
2001: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Clinical Scientist Development Award
2003: James S. McDonnell Foundation 21st Century Science Initiative Research Award: Brain Cancer Research
2007: Excellence in Translational Medicine Award 2006-07 from Journal of Translational Medicine
2008: University of Pittsburgh Innovator Award
2009: Faculty Honoree in the Annual Convocation of University of Pittsburgh
2009: Appointed Council in the Clinical Immunology Society
2010: Selected to be a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)
2010: Team Science Recognition Award by Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer
2011 and 2013: Faculty Honoree in the Annual Convocation of University of Pittsburgh

Selected Recent Publications

Müller S, Agnihotri S, Shoger KE, Myers MI, Smith N, Chaparala S, Villanueva CR, Chattopadhyay A, Lee AV, Butterfield LH, Diaz A, Okada H, Pollack IF, Kohanbash G. Peptide vaccine immunotherapy biomarkers and response patterns in pediatric gliomas. JCI Insight. 2018 Apr 5;3(7). pii: 98791. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.98791. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29618666; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5928860.

Dutoit V, Migliorini D, Ranzanici G, Marinari E, Widmer V, Lobrinus JA, Momjian S, Costello J, Walker PR, Okada H, Weinschenk T, Herold-Mende C, Dietrich PY. Antigenic expression and spontaneous immune responses support the use of a selected peptide set from the IMA950 glioblastoma vaccine for immunotherapy of grade II and III glioma. Oncoimmunology. 2017 Nov 7;7(2):e1391972. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2017.1391972. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 29308320; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5749651.

Müller S, Kohanbash G, Liu SJ, Alvarado B, Carrera D, Bhaduri A, Watchmaker PB, Yagnik G, Di Lullo E, Malatesta M, Amankulor NM, Kriegstein AR, Lim DA, Aghi M, Okada H, Diaz A. Single-cell profiling of human gliomas reveals macrophage ontogeny as a basis for regional differences in macrophage activation in the tumor microenvironment. Genome Biol. 2017 Dec 20;18(1):234. doi: 10.1186/s13059-017-1362-4. PubMed PMID: 29262845; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5738907.

Chapelin F, Gao S, Okada H, Weber TG, Messer K, Ahrens ET. Fluorine-19 nuclear magnetic resonance of chimeric antigen receptor T cell biodistribution in murine cancer model. Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 18;7(1):17748. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17669-4. PubMed PMID: 29255242; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5735180.

Chheda ZS, Kohanbash G, Okada K, Jahan N, Sidney J, Pecoraro M, Yang X, Carrera DA, Downey KM, Shrivastav S, Liu S, Lin Y, Lagisetti C, Chuntova P, Watchmaker PB, Mueller S, Pollack IF, Rajalingam R, Carcaboso AM, Mann M, Sette A, Garcia KC, Hou Y, Okada H. Novel and shared neoantigen derived from histone 3 variant H3.3K27M mutation for glioma T cell therapy. J Exp Med. 2018 Jan 2;215(1):141-157. doi: 10.1084/jem.20171046. Epub 2017 Dec 4. PubMed PMID: 29203539; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5748856.

Okada H, Thorne SH. Is the immune response a friend or foe for viral therapy of glioma? Neuro Oncol. 2017 Jul 1;19(7):882-883. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nox082. PubMed PMID: 28874006; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5737571.

O'Rourke DM, Nasrallah MP, Desai A, Melenhorst JJ, Mansfield K, Morrissette JJD, Martinez-Lage M, Brem S, Maloney E, Shen A, Isaacs R, Mohan S, Plesa G, Lacey SF, Navenot JM, Zheng Z, Levine BL, Okada H, June CH, Brogdon JL, Maus MV. A single dose of peripherally infused EGFRvIII-directed CAR T cells mediates antigen loss and induces adaptive resistance in patients with recurrent glioblastoma. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Jul 19;9(399). pii: eaaa0984. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa0984. PubMed PMID: 28724573; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5762203.

Kohanbash G, Carrera DA, Shrivastav S, Ahn BJ, Jahan N, Mazor T, Chheda ZS, Downey KM, Watchmaker PB, Beppler C, Warta R, Amankulor NA, Herold-Mende C, Costello JF, Okada H. Isocitrate dehydrogenase mutations suppress STAT1 and CD8+ T cell accumulation in gliomas. J Clin Invest. 2017 Apr 3;127(4):1425-1437. doi: 10.1172/JCI90644. Epub 2017 Mar 20. PubMed PMID: 28319047; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5373859.

Furtado AD, Ceschin R, Blüml S, Mason G, Jakacki RI, Okada H, Pollack IF, Panigrahy A. Neuroimaging of Peptide-based Vaccine Therapy in Pediatric Brain Tumors: Initial Experience. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2017 Feb;27(1):155-166. doi: 10.1016/j.nic.2016.09.002. Review. PubMed PMID: 27889021; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5127439.

Han SJ, Reis G, Kohanbash G, Shrivastav S, Magill ST, Molinaro AM, McDermott MW, Theodosopoulos PV, Aghi MK, Berger MS, Butowski NA, Barani I, Phillips JJ, Perry A, Okada H. Expression and prognostic impact of immune modulatory molecule PD-L1 in meningioma. J Neurooncol. 2016 Dec;130(3):543-552. Epub 2016 Sep 13. PubMed PMID: 27624915; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5560602.

Pollack IF, Jakacki RI, Butterfield LH, Hamilton RL, Panigrahy A, Normolle DP, Connelly AK, Dibridge S, Mason G, Whiteside TL, Okada H. Antigen-specific immunoreactivity and clinical outcome following vaccination with glioma-associated antigen peptides in children with recurrent high-grade gliomas: results of a pilot study. J Neurooncol. 2016 Dec;130(3):517-527. Epub 2016 Sep 13. PubMed PMID: 27624914; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5363717.

Najac C, Chaumeil MM, Kohanbash G, Guglielmetti C, Gordon JW, Okada H, Ronen SM. Detection of inflammatory cell function using (13)C magnetic resonance spectroscopy of hyperpolarized [6-(13)C]-arginine. Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 10;6:31397. doi: 10.1038/srep31397. PubMed PMID: 27507680; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4979036.

Hodges TR, Ferguson SD, Caruso HG, Kohanbash G, Zhou S, Cloughesy TF, Berger MS, Poste GH, Khasraw M, Ba S, Jiang T, Mikkelson T, Yung WK, de Groot JF, Fine H, Cantley LC, Mellinghoff IK, Mitchell DA, Okada H, Heimberger AB. Prioritization schema for immunotherapy clinical trials in glioblastoma. Oncoimmunology. 2016 Feb 18;5(6):e1145332. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2016.1145332. eCollection 2016 Jun. Review. PubMed PMID: 27471611; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4938323.

Lin Y, Okada H. Cellular immunotherapy for malignant gliomas. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2016 Oct;16(10):1265-75. doi: 10.1080/14712598.2016.1214266. Epub 2016 Jul 29. Review. PubMed PMID: 27434205; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5133460.

Zhang X, Rao A, Sette P, Deibert C, Pomerantz A, Kim WJ, Kohanbash G, Chang Y, Park Y, Engh J, Choi J, Chan T, Okada H, Lotze M, Grandi P, Amankulor N. IDH mutant gliomas escape natural killer cell immune surveillance by downregulation of NKG2D ligand expression. Neuro Oncol. 2016 Oct;18(10):1402-12. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now061. Epub 2016 Apr 25. PubMed PMID: 27116977; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5035522.

Pollack IF, Jakacki RI, Butterfield LH, Hamilton RL, Panigrahy A, Normolle DP, Connelly AK, Dibridge S, Mason G, Whiteside TL, Okada H. Immune responses and outcome after vaccination with glioma-associated antigen peptides and poly-ICLC in a pilot study for pediatric recurrent low-grade gliomas. Neuro Oncol. 2016 Aug;18(8):1157-68. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now026. Epub 2016 Mar 15. PubMed PMID: 26984745; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4933485.