John Howard Sampson

John Howard Sampson
Robert H., M.D. and Gloria Wilkins Professor of Neurosurgery, in the School of Medicine
Third Year Mentor - Clinical Research Study Program (CRSP)
Third Year Mentor - Epidemiology and Public Health Study Program (EPH)
Third Year Mentor - Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology Study Program (MIDIP)
Third Year Mentor - Molmed - Regenerative Medicine Track
Third Year Mentor - Molmed - Translational Pharmacology Track
Third Year Mentor - Molmed Oncological Sciences
Third Year Mentor - Neurosciences Study Program (NSS)
Campus mail: 1293 Orange Zone, Duke South, 200 Trent Dr, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 681-6581

Current research activities involve the immunotherapeutic targeting of a tumor-specific mutation in the epidermal growth factor receptor. Approaches used to target this tumor-specific epitope include unarmed and radiolabeled antibody therapy and cell mediated approaches using peptide vaccines and dendritic cells. Another area of interest involves drug delivery to brain tumors. Translational and clinical work is carried out in this area to formulate the relationship between various direct intratumoral infusion parameters and drug distribution within brain tumors and normal brain.

The Duke Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program (BTIP) has an emphasis on translational research in Neuro-Oncology. There are two main areas of study. The first is novel mechanisms of delivery of large molecular weight molecules, such as monoclonal antibodies, throughout brain intersitial space using novel intracerebral infusion techniques developed by this laboratory. Studies exploring this technology are undertaken in both small and large laboratory animals and patients with brain tumors.

The other focus of the BTIP is translational immunotherapy. In this line of work, dendritic cell vaccination strategies and adoptive T-cell strategies have been developed to target novel and well-characterized tumor-specific antigens in patients with brain tumors. The BTIP integrates well with and works closely with the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. The BTIP is well funded and currently holds seven NIH grants, including a SPORE in Brain Cancer grant. There are a large number of investigators at various levels so that students will get exposure to various levels of research and mentorship.

Education and Training

  • University of Manitoba (Canada), M.D. 1990
  • Duke University, Ph.D. 1996
  • Duke University School of Medicine, M.H.S. 2007
  • Duke University, M.B.A. 2011
  • University of Manitoba (Canada), Investigator in Cerebral Hydrodynamics Lab, Neurosurgery
  • Duke University, Intern, Surgery
  • Duke University, Resident in Neurosurgery, Surgery
  • Duke University, Ph.D. Program in Pathology, Surgery

Selected Grants and Awards