Full Name
Vinod Balachandran, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Speaker Bio
Vinod Balachandran completed his undergraduate degree in Physics at Cornell University, medical degree at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, general surgery residency at Weill Cornell’s New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and complex surgical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). In 2015, he joined MSK as faculty, where he is a laboratory head in the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program and an attending hepatopancreatobiliary surgeon. His research aims to discover new immunotherapies for pancreatic cancer.

In 2017, Vinod’s group made the striking observation that exceptional survivors of pancreatic cancer have immune-activated tumors infiltrated with T cells that recognize highly immunogenic mutation-derived neoantigens. As pancreatic cancer, and most solid tumors, were presumed to lack clinically relevant neoantigens, this unexpected discovery has spurred efforts to identify, validate, and deliver immunogenic neoantigens to “therapeutically phenocopy” the exceptional survivor state. His group has spearheaded these efforts, including completion of the first clinical trial of personalized mRNA neoantigen vaccines for pancreatic cancer. The positive results of this trial have ignited global interest in mRNA vaccines as next-generation cancer therapies and reinvigorated vaccine oncology.

For his work, Vinod has received a Trailblazer Award for Clinician-Scientists from the Foundation for the NIH, a Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award, a Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators, and a Louise and Allston Boyer Young Investigator Award for Cancer Research, among others.
Vinod Balachandran, MD