Matthias Stephan

Appointments and Affiliations

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Clinical Research Division
Program in Immunology
Assistant Member, Appointed: 2012
University of Washington
School of Medicine
Medical Oncology
Assistant Professor, Appointed: 2012
Professional Headshot of Matthias Stephan

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 19024
1100 Fairview Avenue N
Seattle, Washington 98109-1024


Phone: (206) 667-6677
Fax: (206) 667-7983


Ph.D., Cornell University, Immunology, 2007
M.D., Medical University of Luebeck (Germany), 2002

Research Interests

The work of Dr. Stephan’s laboratory is conducted where materials science interfaces with immunology, and focuses on the design of synthetic materials that provide novel therapies to treat cancer. His premise, based on observations that certain immune cells can selectively destroy cancerous cells without damaging healthy ones, is that bioengineering approaches grounded in immunology may hold the key to discovering safer, more effective ways to treat cancer. He consequently takes a materials-centric engineering approach to create treatment strategies that are based on controlled modulation of the immune system.
Dr. Stephan’s goal is to make immunomodulation therapy more practical and widespread by creating off-the-shelf reagents that rapidly boost the body's natural ability to fight cancer. Thus, his research group seeks to translate immunomodulatory synthetic materials into the routine standard-of-care for cancer patients, and thereby shift the focus from harmful, broad-impact chemotherapy and radical surgery to the much more specific approach of immunotherapeutics.
Research efforts in the Stephan laboratory are currently focused on (1) the development of an implantable device to eradicate tumor cells left behind after surgery, and (as outlined in this proposal) (2) the design of polymeric nanoparticles that can rapidly program tumor-recognizing capabilities into lymphocytes in vivo.


2014, Associate Scientific Advisor, Science Translational Medicine
2013, Member, Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
2013, Member, Fred Hutchinson/University of Washington Cancer Consortium
2012, Member, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
2012, Member, International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT)

Honors and Awards

2015, CAREER Award, National Science Foundation (NSF)
2014, Liz Tilberis Early Career Award, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
2014, Young Investigator Award, Prostate Cancer Foundation
2014, Young Investigator Award, Melanoma Research Alliance
2014, New Idea Award, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
2010, Future Leaders in Translational Research Award, American Association for Cancer Research
2010, National Research Service Award, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Previous Positions

2008-2012, Fellowship in Bioengineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Coming Soon: New Profiles System!

In preparation for the launch of our new profiles system, we are freezing updates to these profiles. If you have any questions, please email

Researcher Profiles


Related Websites


Scientific Divisions