Brian Ruffell, PhD

Brian Ruffell, PhD

Academic Rank: Assistant Member



    • Immunology
    • Breast Oncology
    • Immunology

Education & Training

    • University of British Columbia, PhD - Molecular Immunology
    • University of California, San Francisco, Postdocoral Fellow - Cancer Immunology
    • Oregon Health & Science University, Postdoctoral Fellow - Cancer Immunology

Dr. Ruffell's research programs are focused on the regulation and roles of dendritic cells in controlling the development of breast and prostate cancer, and in dictating the efficacy of chemotherapy and targeted therapeutics. He has an outstanding track-record of high-impact publications and is PI of a NCI K99/R00 funding to support his research programs.


  • Gardner A, Ruffell B. Reducing interferon'ce in stem cells. Nat Cell Biol. 2017 May;19(6):597-599. Pubmedid: 28561058.
  • Bergstrom CP, Ruffell B, Ho CM, Higano CS, Ellis WJ, Garzotto M, Beer TM, Graff JN. Docetaxel and mitoxantrone before radical prostatectomy in men with high-risk prostate cancer: 10-year follow-up and immune correlates. Anticancer Drugs. 2017 Jan;28(1):120-126. Pubmedid: 27669423.
  • Gunderson AJ, Kaneda MM, Tsujikawa T, Nguyen AV, Affara NI, Ruffell B, Gorjestani S, Liudahl SM, Truitt M, Olson P, Kim G, Hanahan D, Tempero MA, Sheppard B, Irving B, Chang BY, Varner JA, Coussens LM. Bruton Tyrosine Kinase-Dependent Immune Cell Cross-talk Drives Pancreas Cancer. Cancer Discov. 2016 Mar;6(3):270-285. Pubmedid: 26715645. Pmcid: PMC4783268.
  • Wolfe AR, Trenton NJ, Debeb BG, Larson R, Ruffell B, Chu K, Hittelman W, Diehl M, Reuben JM, Ueno NT, Woodward WA. Mesenchymal stem cells and macrophages interact through IL-6 to promote inflammatory breast cancer in pre-clinical models. Oncotarget. 2016 Dec;7(50):82482-82492. Pubmedid: 27756885. Pmcid: PMC5347707.
  • Gardner A, Ruffell B. Dendritic Cells and Cancer Immunity. Trends Immunol. 2016 Dec;37(12):855-865. Pubmedid: 27793569. Pmcid: PMC5135568.
  • Zheng H, Zhao W, Yan C, Watson CC, Messengill M, Xie M, Messengill C, Noyes D, Martinez GV, Afzal R, Chen Z, Ren X, Antonia SJ, Haura EB, Ruffell B, Beg AA. HDAC Inhibitors Enhance T-Cell Chemokine Expression and Augment Response to PD-1 Immunotherapy in Lung Adenocarcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Aug;22(16):4119-4132. Pubmedid: 26964571. Pmcid: PMC4987196.
  • Juric V, Ruffell B, Evason KJ, Hu J, Che L, Wang L, Chen X, Bishop JM. Monocytes promote liver carcinogenesis in an oncogene-specific manner. J Hepatol. 2016 Apr;64(4):881-890. Pubmedid: 26639397. Pmcid: PMC4799762.
  • Pilon-Thomas S, Ruffell B. Tipping the Balancing ACT. Cancer Cell. 2016 09;30(3):367-368. Pubmedid: 27622327.
  • Shiao SL, Ruffell B, DeNardo DG, Faddegon BA, Park CC, Coussens LM. TH2-Polarized CD4(+) T Cells and Macrophages Limit Efficacy of Radiotherapy. Cancer Immunol Res. 2015 May;3(5):518-525. Pubmedid: 25716473. Pmcid: PMC4420686.
  • Wolfe AR, Debeb BG, Lacerda L, Larson R, Bambhroliya A, Huang X, Bertucci F, Finetti P, Birnbaum D, Van Laere S, Diagaradjan P, Ruffell B, Trenton NJ, Chu K, Hittelman W, Diehl M, Levental I, Ueno NT, Woodward WA. Simvastatin prevents triple-negative breast cancer metastasis in pre-clinical models through regulation of FOXO3a. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015 Dec;154(3):495-508. Pubmedid: 26590814.
  • Ruffell B, Coussens LM. Macrophages and therapeutic resistance in cancer. Cancer Cell. 2015 Apr;27(4):462-472. Pubmedid: 25858805. Pmcid: PMC4400235.
  • Ruffell B, Chang-Strachan D, Chan V, Rosenbusch A, Ho CM, Pryer N, Daniel D, Hwang ES, Rugo HS, Coussens LM. Macrophage IL-10 blocks CD8+ T cell-dependent responses to chemotherapy by suppressing IL-12 expression in intratumoral dendritic cells. Cancer Cell. 2014 Nov;26(5):623-637. Pubmedid: 25446896. Pmcid: PMC4254570.
  • Affara NI, Ruffell B, Medler TR, Gunderson AJ, Johansson M, Bornstein S, Bergsland E, Steinhoff M, Li Y, Gong Q, Ma Y, Wiesen JF, Wong MH, Kulesz-Martin M, Irving B, Coussens LM. B cells regulate macrophage phenotype and response to chemotherapy in squamous carcinomas. Cancer Cell. 2014 Jun;25(6):809-821. Pubmedid: 24909985. Pmcid: PMC4063283.
  • Ruffell B, Affara NI, Cottone L, Junankar S, Johansson M, DeNardo DG, Korets L, Reinheckel T, Sloane BF, Bogyo M, Coussens LM. Cathepsin C is a tissue-specific regulator of squamous carcinogenesis. Gene Dev. 2013 Oct;27(19):2086-2098. Pubmedid: 24065739. Pmcid: PMC3850093.
  • Strachan DC, Ruffell B, Oei Y, Bissell MJ, Coussens LM, Pryer N, Daniel D. CSF1R inhibition delays cervical and mammary tumor growth in murine models by attenuating the turnover of tumor-associated macrophages and enhancing infiltration by CD8(+) T cells. Oncoimmunology. 2013 Dec;2(12):e26968. Pubmedid: 24498562. Pmcid: PMC3902121.
  • Ganesan AP, Johansson M, Ruffell B, Yagui-Beltrán A, Beltran A, Lau J, Jablons DM, Coussens LM. Tumor-infiltrating regulatory T cells inhibit endogenous cytotoxic T cell responses to lung adenocarcinoma. J Immunol. 2013 Aug;191(4):2009-2017. Pubmedid: 23851682. Pmcid: PMC3774528.
  • Ruffell B, Coussens LM. Some DCs are "B"etter. Immunity. 2013 Apr;38(4):626-628. Pubmedid: 23601679.
  • Ruffell B, Affara NI, Coussens LM. Differential macrophage programming in the tumor microenvironment. Trends Immunol. 2012 Mar;33(3):119-126. Pubmedid: 22277903. Pmcid: PMC3294003.
  • Ruffell B, Au A, Rugo HS, Esserman LJ, Hwang ES, Coussens LM. Leukocyte composition of human breast cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Feb;109(8):2796-2801. Pubmedid: 21825174. Pmcid: PMC3287000.
  • Daldrup-Link HE, Golovko D, Ruffell B, Denardo DG, Castaneda R, Ansari C, Rao J, Tikhomirov GA, Wendland MF, Corot C, Coussens LM. MRI of tumor-associated macrophages with clinically applicable iron oxide nanoparticles. Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Sep;17(17):5695-5704. Pubmedid: 21791632. Pmcid: PMC3166957.
  • DeNardo DG, Brennan DJ, Rexhepaj E, Ruffell B, Shiao SL, Madden SF, Gallagher WM, Wadhwani N, Keil SD, Junaid SA, Rugo HS, Hwang ES, Jirström K, West BL, Coussens LM. Leukocyte complexity predicts breast cancer survival and functionally regulates response to chemotherapy. Cancer Discov. 2011 Jun;1(1):54-67. Pubmedid: 22039576. Pmcid: PMC3203524.
  • Ruffell B, Poon GF, Lee SS, Brown KL, Tjew SL, Cooper J, Johnson P. Differential use of chondroitin sulfate to regulate hyaluronan binding by receptor CD44 in Inflammatory and Interleukin 4-activated Macrophages. J Biol Chem. 2011 Jun;286(22):19179-19190. Pubmedid: 21471214. Pmcid: PMC3103297.
  • Ruffell B, Coussens LM. Histamine restricts cancer: nothing to sneeze at. Nat Med. 2011 Jan;17(1):43-44. Pubmedid: 21217680.
  • Ruffell B, DeNardo DG, Affara NI, Coussens LM. Lymphocytes in cancer development: polarization towards pro-tumor immunity. Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2010 Feb;21(1):3-10. Pubmedid: 20005150. Pmcid: PMC2834837.
  • Johnson P, Ruffell B. CD44 and its role in inflammation and inflammatory diseases. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2009 Jul;8(3):208-220. Pubmedid: 19601881.
  • Ruffell B, Johnson P. Hyaluronan induces cell death in activated T cells through CD44. J Immunol. 2008 Nov;181(10):7044-7054. Pubmedid: 18981124.
  • Ruffell B, Johnson P. Chondroitin sulfate addition to CD44H negatively regulates hyaluronan binding. Biochem Bioph Res Co. 2005 Aug;334(2):306-312. Pubmedid: 16002044.
  • Khan AI, Kerfoot SM, Heit B, Liu L, Andonegui G, Ruffell B, Johnson P, Kubes P. Role of CD44 and hyaluronan in neutrophil recruitment. J Immunol. 2004 Dec;173(12):7594-7601. Pubmedid: 15585887.