Elizabeth M. Jaffee, M.D.

Headshot of Elizabeth M. Jaffee
  • Deputy Director, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Professor of Oncology


Medical Oncology, Pancreatic Cancer

Research Interests

Immunotherapies for solid tumors; Mechanisms of induction of mouse and human antitumor immune responses ...read more


Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

Appointment Phone: 410-955-8964
401 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231
Phone: 410-955-2957
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Dr. Elizabeth M. Jaffee is an international leader in the development of immune based therapies for pancreatic and breast cancers.  In 1981, she graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University before receiving her medical degree from New York Medical College. From 1985-1988 she completed her medical residency at Presbyterian-University Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, and subsequently received a National Institutes of Health Research Training Grant as a research fellow and principal investigator at the University of Pittsburgh.  Dr. Jaffee came to the Johns Hopkins University in 1989 as Senior Clinical Oncology Fellow.  In 1992, she joined the faculty as Assistant Professor of Oncology.
Since her arrival at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Jaffee has become a renowned oncology researcher and co-director of both the Cancer Immunology Program and the Gastrointestinal Cancers Program. She also established Cell Processing and Gene Therapy cGMP Facility.  She is the first recipient of the Dana and Albert “Cubby” Broccoli Professorship in Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, and also holds a professorship in Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2015, Dr. Jaffee was appointed deputy director of the Kimmel Cancer Center. Dr. Jaffee is also the co-director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care. In 2007, she was appointed deputy director of the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, and has also served as chair of the Clinical Research Committee at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Jaffee’s research is focused on the development of novel vaccine approaches that overcome immune tolerance to cancers, and she currently holds six vaccine patents. Dr. Jaffee has completed multiple studies testing an allogeneic tumor vaccine in patients with pancreatic cancer who were eligible for complete surgical resection of their tumors, but whose cancers are still expected to recur at rates as high as 80% one year following surgery. Dr. Jaffee's first study demonstrated the safety of the vaccine and identified a dose that appears to demonstrate immune activation associated with improved disease-free survival in this patient population. These trials have also allowed Dr. Jaffee to develop both genomic and proteomic methods for identifying new pathways and biomarkers associated with the development and progression of pancreatic cancers.  As an example, Dr. Jaffee recently identified the protein Annexin A2 that appears to be overexpressed in pancreatic cancers.  Her group has shown that this protein changes location in the pancreatic cancer cell when compared with normal pancreatic tissue cells.  This change in location gives the cancer cell the ability to spread from the pancreas to the liver and other organs.  In animal models, Dr. Jaffee has shown that the inhibition of this new protein’s expression results in the prevention of pancreatic cancer spread.  She is currently developing a therapy that targets this protein and plans on testing this in patients in the future.
In addition to many JHU administrative committee appointments, her professional society memberships include the Board of Directors for the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association of Immunologists, and the Society of Immunotherapy for Cancer. Dr. Jaffee also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Philadelphia, and on the External Advisory Boards of both the Seattle Cancer Consortium Breast SPORE and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Head and Neck Cancer SPORE.
Dr. Jaffee currently serves on the National Cancer Advisory Board and on the NCI NExT SEP Committee, is chair of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group (CIMM) Steering Committee, is a member of the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative (CVC), and has served as a co-organizer for the AACR Special Conference on Cancer Immunology in 2010 and 2012. Dr. Jaffee has also served as a member of the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors and the RAID NCI Program Oversight Committee. She is co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel for Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. In addition, she is on the scientific advisory council for the Cancer Research Institute and Team Leader for the Stand Up To Cancer Pancreatic Dream Team research project: Transforming Pancreatic Cancer from Death Sentence to Treatable Disease.

...read more


  • Deputy Director, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • The Dana and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli Professor of Oncology
  • Co-Director, Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer
  • Deputy Director, Institute of Clinical and Translational Research
  • Co-Director, Immunology Cancer Program
  • Associate Director, Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Professor of Oncology
  • Professor of Pathology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • B.A.; Brandeis University (Massachusetts) (1981)
  • M.D.; New York Medical College - Valhalla (New York) (1985)

Research & Publications

Clinical Trial Keywords

breast cancer; pancreatic cancer; vaccine

Clinical Trials

Learn more about clinical trials at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Foley K, Rucki AA, Xiao Q, Zhou D, Leubner A, Mo G, Kleponis J, Wu AA, Sharma R, Jiang Q, Anders RA, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Hajjar KA, Maitra A, Jaffee EM, Zheng L. Semaphorin 3D autocrine signaling mediates the metastatic role of annexin A2 in pancreatic cancer. Science signaling. 2015; 8 (388): ra77. PMCID: PMC4811025.

Keenan BP, Saenger Y, Kafrouni MI, Leubner A, Lauer P, Maitra A, Rucki AA, Gunderson AJ, Coussens LM, Brockstedt DG, Dubensky TW, Jr., Hassan R, Armstrong TD, Jaffee EM. A Listeria vaccine and depletion of T-regulatory cells activate immunity against early stage pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasms and prolong survival of mice. Gastroenterology. 2014; 146 (7): 1784-94 e6. PMCID: PMC4035450.

Kouo T, Huang L, Pucsek AB, Cao M, Solt S, Armstrong T, Jaffee E. Galectin-3 Shapes Antitumor Immune Responses by Suppressing CD8+ T Cells via LAG-3 and Inhibiting Expansion of Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells. Cancer immunology research. 2015; 3 (4): 412-23. PMCID: PMC4390508.

Le DT, Wang-Gillam A, Picozzi V, Greten TF, Crocenzi T, Springett G, Morse M, Zeh H, Cohen D, Fine RL, Onners B, Uram JN, Laheru DA, Lutz ER, Solt S, Murphy AL, Skoble J, Lemmens E, Grous J, Dubensky T, Jr., Brockstedt DG, Jaffee EM. Safety and survival with GVAX pancreas prime and Listeria Monocytogenes-expressing mesothelin (CRS-207) boost vaccines for metastatic pancreatic cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33 (12): 1325-33. PMCID: PMC4397277.

Lutz ER, Wu AA, Bigelow E, Sharma R, Mo G, Soares K, Solt S, Dorman A, Wamwea A, Yager A, Laheru D, Wolfgang CL, Wang J, Hruban RH, Anders RA, Jaffee EM, Zheng L. Immunotherapy converts nonimmunogenic pancreatic tumors into immunogenic foci of immune regulation. Cancer immunology research. 2014; 2 (7): 616-31. PMCID: PMC4082460.


Diagnostic Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets For Pancreatic Cancer
Patent # WO2014088942 A1 | 12/03/2012

We identified >40 proteins that elicited at least a 2-fold increase in antibody response post-pancreatic-cancer vaccination, from each of three patients' sera. The antibody responses detected against these proteins in patients with >3 years disease-free survival indicates the anti-tumor potential of targeting these proteins. We found that tissue expression of proteins PSMC5, TFRC and PPP1R12A increases during tumor development from normal to pre-malignant to pancreatic tumor. In addition, these proteins were shown to be pancreatic cancer-associated antigens that are recognized by post-vaccination antibodies in the sera of patients that received the vaccine and have demonstrated a favorable disease free survival.

Mesothelin Vaccines and Model Systems
Patent # US8137908 B2 | 03/20/2012

Mesothelin can be used as an immunotherapeutic target. It induces a cytolytic T cell response. Portions of mesothelin which induce such responses are identified. Vaccines can be either polynucleotide- or polypeptide-based. Carriers for raising a cytolytic T cell response include bacteria and viruses. A mouse model for testing vaccines and other anti-tumor therapeutics and prophylactics comprises a strongly mesothelin-expressing, transformed peritoneal cell line.

Annexina2 as Immunological Target
Patent # WO2010065613 A3 | 12/03/2008

AnnexinA2 (ANXA2), a member of the Annexin family of calcium-dependent, phospholipid binding proteins, is one of a panel of identified antigens recognized by the post-vaccination sera of patients who demonstrated prolonged disease-free survival following multiple vaccinations. AnnexinA2 is abundantly expressed in pancreatic adenocarcinomas and cell surface/membrane AnnexinA2 increases with the progression from premalignant lesions to invasive pancreatic adenocarcinomas. The cytoplasmic to cell surface translocation of AnnexinA2 expression is critical for pancreatic cancer cell invasion. In addition, phosphorylation of AnnexinA2 at Tyrosine 23 is important for its localization to the cell surface and for the invasion of pancreatic cancer cells. Finally, loss of AnnexinA2 leads to the loss of the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition.

Prostate Stem Cell Antigen Vaccines and Uses Thereof
Patent # WO2007086932 A3 | 01/13/2006

This invention relates to the identification of prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) as a target of clinically relevant antitumor immune responses. The invention provides vaccines comprising PSCA, or fragments thereof, which are useful in inducing antitumor immune responses, including PSCA specific CD8+ T cell responses. Methods of using the compositions to treat cancer are also provided. The invention further provides methods of identifying compounds useful in antitumor vaccines and methods of assessing the responses of patients to cancer immunotherapy.

Mesothelin Vaccines And Model Systems
Patent # WO2004006837 A3 | 07/12/2002

Mesothelin can be used as an immunotherapeutic target. It induces a cytolytic T cell response. Portions of mesothelin which induce such responses are identified. Vaccines can be either polynucleotide- or polypeptide-based. Carriers for raising a cytolytic T cell response include bacteria and viruses. A mouse model for testing vaccines and other anti-tumor therapeutics and prophylactics comprises a strongly mesothelin-expressing, transformed peritoneal cell line.

Contact for Research Inquiries

Cancer Research Building
1650 Orleans Street
Baltimore, MD 21231 map
Phone: 410-955-2957
Fax: 410-614-8216

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Graduate Program

Activities & Honors


  • Dean's List, Brandeis University, 1977 - 1981
  • Magna cum laude with highest honors in Biology/Immunology, Brandeis University, 1981
  • Clinical Fellow, American Cancer Society, 1989
  • Stetler Award, 1992
  • Research Fellowship Award, American Cancer Society, 1992
  • Young Investigator Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology, 1992
  • Physician-Scientist Award, NIH, 1992
  • Clinician-Scientist Award, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1992
  • National Kidney Cancer Career Development Award
  • Directors Award for Outstanding Teaching, JHU Department of Oncology, 1998
  • Directors Award for Outstanding Teaching, JHU Department of Oncology, 1999
  • Directors Award for Outstanding Teaching, JHU Department of Oncology, 2001
  • Recipient of the Dana and Albert Broccoli Endowed Chair in Oncology, 2002
  • Recipient of the NCI Spore Program Investigator of the year, 2006


  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association of Immunologists
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • International Society of Biological Therapy
  • American Association of Cancer Research


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