Skip to main content

Mustafa Khasraw

Professor of Neurosurgery
Neurosurgery

Research Interests


I lead a Tumor Immunobiology laboratory where we employ a wide range of wet and dry lab techniques to drive cancer research forward. Our primary goal is to uncover biologically significant insights and identify vulnerabilities that can be leveraged for therapeutic purposes.

Through close collaboration with our team, we facilitate the translation of fundamental scientific discoveries into biologically driven clinical trials, ensuring a seamless journey from laboratory bench to patient bedside and back.

I also play pivotal roles in various national and international initiatives related to biomarker research, immunotherapy, and genomics. Our recent work, highlighted in a Nature Medicine paper (PMID: 37488293), outlines our vision to transform the drug development paradigm in glioblastoma by emphasizing biologically driven biospecimen evaluation and serial on-treatment biopsies.

Laboratory Research Initiatives:

  1. Investigate the divergence in tumor cell signatures following interactions with the immune-neuronal microenvironment.
  2. Discern immunogenic glioma neoantigen-T cell receptor (TCR) pairs.
  3. Investigate how brain tumors disrupt classical immune functions.
  4. Analyze biospecimens collected from patients participating in clinical trials to identify prognostic and predictive biomarkers.
  5. Translate laboratory discoveries into the surgical window of opportunity and other investigator-initiated clinical trials.

Current Research Initiatives:

  1. Develop biologically relevant in vitro and in vivo models of human tumors and their microenvironments, alongside dry lab technologies (bioinformatics), to address critical questions related to both tumor and immune intrinsic factors.
  2. Integrate longitudinal human sample collection into multiple prospective protocols to investigate pharmacological, immune, and biological aspects.
  3. Focus on the preclinical and clinical development of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) as a therapy for patients with central nervous system (CNS) cancers.
  4. Design and test novel methods for the safe direct delivery of immunotherapies into brain tumors.

Selected Grants


Phase 1 BNT152+153 in patients with solid tumors

Clinical TrialPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by BioNTech SE · 2022 - 2027

Duke ACS Institutional Research Grant

ResearchSignificant Contributor · Awarded by American Cancer Society, Inc. · 2024 - 2026

PARAMETer: A window of opportunity study of Patritumab Deruxtecan in patients with brain metastases

Clinical TrialPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Daiichi Sankyo Inc · 2022 - 2026

Federated Learning for Postoperative Segmentation of Treated Glioblastoma (FL-PoST)

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by American Roentgen Ray Society · 2024 - 2026

ADI-PEG 20 (Pegargiminase) Treatment Arm

Clinical TrialCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by Global Coalition for Adaptive Research · 2024 - 2025

Genomic and Epigenomic Blood sample Analysis for FIG Study

ResearchCo Investigator · Awarded by Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute · 2021 - 2024

Celldex CDX-527

Clinical TrialPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. · 2020 - 2024

Astellas 1951-CL-0101

Clinical TrialPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Astellas Pharma Global Development, Inc · 2020 - 2024

NUTMEG Tissue Analysis

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of Sydney · 2022 - 2023

T32 UNC - Duke Immunotherapy Training Program

Inst. Training Prgm or CMEPreceptor · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2021 - 2022

External Relationships


  • AnHeart
  • BPG Bio
  • George Clinical
  • Jax lab for genomic research
  • Menarini Ricerche S.p.A.
  • AnHeart
  • BPG Bio
  • George Clinical
  • Jax lab for genomic research
  • Menarini Ricerche S.p.A.
  • Servier

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported outside activities with the companies, institutions, or organizations listed above. This information is available to institutional leadership and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts of interest.