Initiative Life Sciences

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

The Opportunity

Each year worldwide, there are approximately 14 million new cancer cases and 8.8 million cancer deaths. And without a major breakthrough, by 2030 each year there will be 21.7 million new cancer cases and 13 million cancer deaths worldwide.

Cancer immunotherapy offers a new way forward. It is one of the most important medical advances of our time, and the first approach with the potential to generate long-lasting regressions for all types and stages of cancer. It harnesses the body’s own powerful immune system and mobilizes its highly refined disease-fighting arsenal to eliminate cancer cells. Cancer immunotherapies overwhelm cancer’s evasive strategies, to ensure that a powerful, precise and adaptable immune attack is focused on tumors anywhere in the body.

The Initiative

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) is an unprecedented collaboration between the country’s leading immunologists and cancer centers — Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Stanford University, UCLA, UCSF, Gladstone Institutes, and the University of Pennsylvania. PICI also supports top researchers at other institutions, including The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, City of Hope, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Institute for Systems Biology and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. By forging alliances with academic, industry and nonprofit partners, PICI makes big bets on bold research to fulfill its mission: to accelerate the development of breakthrough immunotherapies to turn all cancers into curable diseases.

PICI’s goal is to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies capable of turning cancer into a curable disease by ensuring the coordination and collaboration of the field’s top researchers, and quickly turning their findings into patient treatments.

Over 40 laboratories and more than 300 researchers and immunologists from the country’s leading cancer centers are part of the network. Each Parker Institute research center receives comprehensive funding, and access to dedicated research, clinical resources and the key technologies needed to accelerate development in cancer immunotherapy. In a unique agreement, the administration of all intellectual property will be shared, enabling all researchers to have immediate access to a broad swath of core discoveries. A scientific steering committee of the field’s leaders will set a research agenda and coordinate world-class research teams focused on the most pressing and promising scientific questions.

The Parker Institute was created through a $250 million grant from the Parker Foundation.


Dr. Jim Allison, PhD
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Carl June, MD
  • The University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Lewis Lanier, PhD
  • University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Dr. Crystal Mackall, MD
  • Stanford School of Medicine
Dr. Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Dr. Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center