Peter Westcott

Peter Westcott

Assistant Professor
Cancer Center Member

Ph.D., University of California San Francisco, 2015

westcott@cshl.edu |

Faculty Profile

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

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Selected Publications

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

Mismatch repair deficiency is not sufficient to increase tumor immunogenicity

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

Low neoantigen expression and poor T cell priming underlie early immune escape in cancer

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

The mutational landscapes of genetic and chemical models of Kras-driven lung cancer.

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

The genetics and biology of KRAS in lung cancer.

Feb 2013 | Chinese journal of cancer | 32(2):63-70
Westcott, Peter, To, Minh

All Publications

Mismatch repair deficiency is not sufficient to elicit tumor immunogenicity

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

A prime editor mouse to model a broad spectrum of somatic mutations in vivo

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

Deciphering the immunopeptidome in vivo reveals new tumour antigens.

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

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