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Mary Jo Turk, PhD

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Additional Titles/Positions/Affiliations
O. Ross McIntyre, M.D. Endowed Professor
Co-Director, Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy Program
Norris-Cotton Cancer Center

Microbiology and Immunology

Dr. Turk received her B.S. from John Carroll University, and her Ph.D. from Purdue University. She conducted postdoctoral work at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Turk joined the faculty of Dartmouth in 2004.

Immunology Program
Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Programs
Dartmouth Cancer Center


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Contact Information

One Medical Center Drive
Rubin Building 732, HB 7937
Lebanon NH 03756

Office: Rubin 732
Phone: 603-653-3549
Email: mary.jo.turk@dartmouth.edu

Asst. Phone: 603-653-9952

Professional Interests

Tumor Immunology and T cell memory

Our laboratory's research focuses on generating durable memory T cell responses to cancer. What is known about generating immunological memory has historically derived from studies of infectious pathogens. Because tumors are an altered form of self-tissue, memory T cell responses to tumors have been characteristically difficult to generate, and mechanisms for their maintenance have not been well understood.

Our laboratory has established that autoimmune disease is a critical determinant for the maintenance of T cell memory to tumor antigens. We have also shown that the most functional tumor-specific memory T cells reside in peripheral tissues. Our research has established that tissue-resident memory T cells are a critical component of long-lived immunity to cancer.

Courses Taught

Bio 42
Micro/Immuno 136

Selected Publications


CD39 Is Expressed on Functional Effector and Tissue-resident Memory CD8+ T Cells.
Isaacs JF, Degefu HN, Chen T, Kleist SA, Musial SC, Ford MA, Searles TG, Lin CC, Skorput AGJ, Shirai K, Turk MJ, Zanazzi GJ, Rosato PC
J Immunol. 2024 Jul 8; pii: ji2400151. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2400151. Epub 2024 Jul 8.
PMID: 38975728

TimiGP: Inferring cell-cell interactions and prognostic associations in the tumor immune microenvironment through gene pairs.
Li C, Zhang B, Schaafsma E, Reuben A, Wang L, Turk MJ, Zhang J, Cheng C
Cell Rep Med. 2023 Jul 18;4(7):101121. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2023.101121.
PMID: 37467716

Th1-like Treg cells are dressed to suppress anti-tumor immunity.
Ramirez DE, Turk MJ
Immunity. 2023 Jul 11;56(7):1437-1439. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2023.06.014.
PMID: 37437535

The Effect of Lung Resection for NSCLC on Circulating Immune Cells: A Pilot Study.
Phillips JD, Fay KA, Bergeron AJ, Zhang P, Mielcarz DW, Calkins AM, Searles TG, Christensen BC, Finley DJ, Turk MJ, Channon JY
Curr Oncol. 2023 May 17;30(5):5116-5134. doi: 10.3390/curroncol30050387. Epub 2023 May 17.
PMID: 37232845

In the right place at the right time: tissue-resident memory T cells in immunity to cancer.
Ramirez DE, Mohamed A, Huang YH, Turk MJ
Curr Opin Immunol. 2023 Aug;83:102338. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2023.102338. Epub 2023 May 23.
PMID: 37229984

Resident memory CD8(+) T cells in regional lymph nodes mediate immunity to metastatic melanoma.
Molodtsov AK, Khatwani N, Vella JL, Lewis KA, Zhao Y, Han J, Sullivan DE, Searles TG, Preiss NK, Shabaneh TB, Zhang P, Hawkes AR, Malik BT, Kolling FW 4th, Usherwood EJ, Wong SL, Phillips JD, Shirai K, Angeles CV, Yan S, Curiel TJ, Huang YH, Cheng C, Turk MJ
Immunity. 2021 Sep 14;54(9):2117-2132.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2021.08.019.
PMID: 34525340

Dendritic cells maintain anti-tumor immunity by positioning CD8 skin-resident memory T cells.
Vella JL, Molodtsov A, Angeles CV, Branchini BR, Turk MJ, Huang YH
Life Sci Alliance. 2021 Oct;4(10) doi: 10.26508/lsa.202101056. Epub 2021 Aug 6.
PMID: 34362825

Resident and circulating memory T cells persist for years in melanoma patients with durable responses to immunotherapy.
Han J, Zhao Y, Shirai K, Molodtsov A, Kolling FW, Fisher JL, Zhang P, Yan S, Searles TG, Bader JM, Gui J, Cheng C, Ernstoff MS, Turk MJ, Angeles CV
Nat Cancer. 2021 Mar;2(3):300-311. doi: 10.1038/s43018-021-00180-1. Epub 2021 Mar 24.
PMID: 34179824

Memory CD8(+) T cell responses to cancer.
Han J, Khatwani N, Searles TG, Turk MJ, Angeles CV
Semin Immunol. 2020 Jun;49:101435. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2020.101435. Epub 2020 Nov 30.
PMID: 33272898

Oncogenes Feed Treg Cells without Calling CD8s to the Table.
Khatwani N, Turk MJ
Immunity. 2020 Jul 14;53(1):13-15. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2020.06.020.
PMID: 32668223

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