Christina Angeles, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Surgery
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Christina V. Angeles, MD, FACS, FSSO is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Dermatology and Faculty member of the Cancer Biology Graduate Program at the University of Michigan in the Division of Surgical Oncology. She is the Director of the Regional Therapies Cancer Clinic, Director of the Sarcoma Research Working Group and Co-Leader of the Cutaneous Oncology Research Interest Group at the Rogel Cancer Center. She is the Vice-Chair of the Research Committee for the Society of Surgical Oncology. Dr. Angeles completed general surgery residency at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center during which she completed a two-year basic/translational science Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) focusing on the molecular biology and novel therapeutics for sarcoma. After residency, Dr. Angeles returned to MSKCC and completed a clinical Complex Surgical Oncology Fellowship. Dr. Angeles is board-certified in both General Surgery and Complex General Surgical Oncology. As a surgical oncologist, her clinical practice encompasses caring for patients with soft tissue cancers including sarcoma, GIST, melanoma, and non-melanoma cutaneous malignancies. Her laboratory is currently focusing on the immune microenvironment that drive melanoma and sarcoma in order to identify novel targets for immunotherapy development, specifically investigating the role of resident memory T cells in providing durable cancer immunity. She has funding from the American Cancer Society, the Melanoma Research Alliance, and the Rogel Cancer Center.

Research Interests

The Angeles lab is focusing on the mechanisms that underlie durable immune responses to immunotherapy, at the level of the type of cancer and individual patient. More specifically, we are investigating the role of resident memory T cells (TRM). Our publication in Nature Cancer 2021 highlights our exciting findings which shed light on the mechanism of durability. These studies revealed that cancer survivors can maintain durable memory as functional, broadly-distributed TRM in tissues and effector memory T cells (TEM) in circulation. We are now exploring the initial immune response in primary melanomas, both in human and and mouse, to determine the precursors to non-exhausted TRM. We use single cell RNA and TCR sequencing techniques to trace clonotypes over time. Using our newfound knowledge in melanoma, the lab is now investigating the immune biology of soft tissue sarcomas which has been slower than other cancers due to their rarity. We have found that resident memory T cells express PD-1 in high grade liposarcoma. Additionally, our lab is has developed a novel transgenic, immunocompetent spontaneous liposarcoma mouse model which produces tumors with similar pathway regulation as human liposarcoma. We are characterizing this model both on the molecular level (WES and RNA sequencing) and immune microenvironment (flow cytometry and scRNA/TCR seq) in parallel with human liposarcoma tissues. We also have developed two syngeneic liposarcoma mouse cell lines with variable aggressiveness to explore novel treatment combinations. These models will ultimately lead to more precise, mechanism driven immunotherapy clinical trial design for both melanoma and sarcoma patients.

Research Opportunities for Rotating Students

  • Memory T cell responses in primary melanoma with a focus on interferon-expressing resident memory T cells
  • Tumor microenvironment characterization in human liposarcoma
  • Molecular and immune microenvironment characterization in transgenic mouse models of liposarcoma to develop novel therapies

Other Info

Office Location

  • Rogel Cancer Center, Room 6219
  • Phone: 734-615-4823

Lab Location

  • Rogel Cancer Center, Room 6410
  • Phone: 734-764-8896

Administrative Assistant