The mutational processes that drive cancer also expose it to the immune system. Therapies that invigorate anticancer immunity can be astonishingly effective, but only in a subset of patients. We are developing powerful new strategies to study how the immune system and cancer coevolve, with the goal of expanding the curative potential of immunotherapy to more patients.
Our group studies how the immune system shapes tumor evolution during initiation, malignant transformation, and metastasis—the major cause of cancer mortality. Cancer progresses through sequential genetic and epigenetic aberrations, following Darwinian principles of natural selection. During clonally selective sweeps—population explosions of the most “fit” cancer cells—the molecular and cellular architecture of the tumor and its tissue niche are restructured. We aim to understand how immunosurveillance fails at these critical junctures using a multidisciplinary approach at the interface of cancer genomics and immunology. Central to our approach are next-generation mouse models that capture the mutational complexity and immune interactions of human cancer. We engineer into these models powerful genetic switches that allow us to control the precise timing of tumor selective events and immune perturbations in vivo. Combined with longitudinal tumor sampling, advanced imaging, single cell and spatial omics, and other emerging technologies, these models enable us to deconstruct the spatiotemporal dynamics of tumor-immune crosstalk.
2015 – 2019 Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellowship
2018 – 2018 Peter Karches Mentorship Award
2013 – 2015 NCI Ruth L. Kirschtein National Research Service Award F31
2010 – 2013 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
2010 – 2011 The Long Award for Excellence in Teaching, UCSF School of Pharmacy
CSHL celebrates 50th anniversary of McClintock Laboratory
November 20, 2023
Fifty years ago, CSHL honored Barbara McClintock by dedicating a building in her name. Today, it is home to four innovative cancer labs.
In cancer immunotherapy, more isn’t necessarily better
September 14, 2023
CSHL Assistant Professor Peter Westcott may have discovered why immunotherapy often fails in certain colon cancer treatments.
Immunologist Peter Westcott joins CSHL faculty
September 12, 2022
The Westcott lab explores how the immune system shapes tumor evolution, with the goal of developing new cancer immunotherapies.
Low neoantigen expression and poor T-cell priming underlie early immune escape in colorectal cancer.
Oct 2021 | Nature Cancer | 2(10):1071-1085
Westcott, Peter, Sacks, Nathan, Schenkel, Jason, Ely, Zackery, Smith, Olivia, Hauck, Haley, Jaeger, Alex, Zhang, Daniel, Backlund, Coralie, Beytagh, Mary, Patten, J, Elbashir, Ryan, Eng, George, Irvine, Darrell, Yilmaz, Omer, Jacks, Tyler
2021 | bioRxiv
Westcott, Peter, Muyas, Francesc, Smith, Olivia, Hauck, Haley, Sacks, Nathan, Ely, Zackery, Jaeger, Alex, Rideout, William, Bhutkar, Arjun, Zhang, Daniel, Beytagh, Mary, Canner, David, Bronson, Roderick, Naranjo, Santiago, Jin, Abbey, Patten, J, Cruz, Amanda, Cortes-Ciriano, Isidro, Jacks, Tyler
2020 | Research Square
Westcott, Peter, Sacks, Nathan, Schenkel, Jason, Smith, Olivia, Zhang, Daniel, Hauck, Haley, Backlund, Coralie, Beytagh, Mary, Patten, J, Eng, George, Irvine, Darrell, Yilmaz, Ömer, Jacks, Tyler
22 Jan 2015 | Nature | 517(7535):489-492
Westcott, Peter, Halliwill, Kyle, To, Minh, Rashid, Mamunur, Rust, Alistair, Keane, Thomas, Delrosario, Reyno, Jen, Kuang-Yu, Gurley, Kay, Kemp, Christopher, Fredlund, Erik, Quigley, David, Adams, David, Balmain, Allan
Feb 2013 | Chinese journal of cancer | 32(2):63-70
Westcott, Peter, To, Minh
01 Oct 2023 | Nature Genetics
Westcott, Peter, Muyas, Francesc, Hauck, Haley, Smith, Olivia, Sacks, Nathan, Ely, Zackery, Jaeger, Alex, Rideout, William, Zhang, Daniel, Bhutkar, Arjun, Beytagh, Mary, Canner, David, Jaramillo, Grissel, Bronson, Roderick, Naranjo, Santiago, Jin, Abbey, Patten, J, Cruz, Amanda, Shanahan, Sean-Luc, Cortes-Ciriano, Isidro, Jacks, Tyler
11 May 2023 | Nature Biotechnology
Ely, Zackery, Mathey-Andrews, Nicolas, Naranjo, Santiago, Gould, Samuel, Mercer, Kim, Newby, Gregory, Cabana, Christina, Rideout, William, Jaramillo, Grissel, Khirallah, Jennifer, Holland, Katie, Randolph, Peyton, Freed-Pastor, William, Davis, Jessie, Kulstad, Zachary, Westcott, Peter, Lin, Lin, Anzalone, Andrew, Horton, Brendan, Pattada, Nimisha, Shanahan, Sean-Luc, Ye, Zhongfeng, Spranger, Stefani, Xu, Qiaobing, Sánchez-Rivera, Francisco, Liu, David, Jacks, Tyler
Modeling diverse genetic subtypes of lung adenocarcinoma with a next-generation alveolar type 2 organoid platform.
1 Aug 2022 | Genes and Development | 36(15-16):936-949
Naranjo, Santiago, Cabana, Christina, LaFave, Lindsay, Romero, Rodrigo, Shanahan, Sean-Luc, Bhutkar, Arjun, Westcott, Peter, Schenkel, Jason, Ghosh, Arkopravo, Liao, Laura, Del Priore, Isabella, Yang, Dian, Jacks, Tyler
Jul 2022 | Nature | 607(7917):149-155
Jaeger, Alex, Stopfer, Lauren, Ahn, Ryuhjin, Sanders, Emma, Sandel, Demi, Freed-Pastor, William, Rideout, William, Naranjo, Santiago, Fessenden, Tim, Nguyen, Kim, Winter, Peter, Kohn, Ryan, Westcott, Peter, Schenkel, Jason, Shanahan, Sean-Luc, Shalek, Alex, Spranger, Stefani, White, Forest, Jacks, Tyler
Smarca4 Inactivation Promotes Lineage-Specific Transformation and Early Metastatic Features in the Lung
Feb 2022 | Cancer Research | 12(2):562-585
Concepcion, Carla, Ma, Sai, LaFave, Lindsay, Bhutkar, Arjun, Liu, Manyuan, DeAngelo, Lydia, Kim, Jonathan, Del Priore, Isabella, Schoenfeld, Adam, Miller, Manon, Kartha, Vinay, Westcott, Peter, Sánchez-Rivera, Francisco, Meli, Kevin, Gupta, Manav, Bronson, Roderick, Riely, Gregory, Rekhtman, Natasha, Rudin, Charles, Kim, Carla, Regev, Aviv, Buenrostro, Jason, Jacks, Tyler