Theresa L. Whiteside, PhD
Professor of Pathology, Immunology, and Otolaryngology

Dr. Whiteside is a professor of Pathology, Immunology, and Otolaryngology and a member of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
Office Location:
Hillman Cancer Center
5117 Centre Ave, Suite 1.27
Pittsburgh PA, 15232
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-624-0096
Fax: 412-624-0264


  • BA - Biology, Columbia University, 1964
  • PhD - Columbia University, 1967
  • Post-Doctoral Researcher - NIH Special Fellow, New York University School of Medicine, 1967-9
  • Diplomate - American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology, 1979

Clinical Expertise

I am a clinical immunologist with many years of experience in evaluating human immune-mediated diseases. I served as Director of the Immunologic Monitoring and Cellular Products Laboratory (IMCPL) at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center for 25 years and am currently serving as Interim Director. The IMCPL offers a broad spectrum of immunodiagnostic and monitoring assays for testing of patients with cancer. The laboratory also serves as a cGMP facility which generates cellular products for immunotherapy of patients with cancer and HIV.

Research Expertise

My research expertise is in cellular and molecular cancer immunology. My research has been focused on mechanisms of tumor-induced immunosuppression, cytokine networks, development of anticancer vaccines, immunobiology of human tumors and the role of natural immunity in the control of cancer progression. I study mechanisms of tumor escape from the host immune system and the development of therapies designed to eliminate tumor escape. Most recently, I have been investigating tumor-derived exosomes (TEX) and their role in cancer-induced immune suppression. I work with various subsets of human immune cells and study their functional impairments in patients with cancer. Tumor-mediated escape mechanisms are of special interest as are surrogate immunologic markers of prognosis and response to therapy in patients with cancer.

NIH Research

View Dr. Whiteside's NIH RePORT on

Selected Publications

View Dr. Whiteside's publications on PubMed

  • Whiteside TL. The effect of tumor-derived exosomes on immune regulation and cancer immunotherapy. Future Oncology 2017 Dec;13(28):2583-2592. doi: 10.2217/fon-2017-0343. Epub 2017 Dec 4. PMID: 29198150
  • Theodoraki M-N, Yerneni SS, Hoffmann TK, Gooding WE, Whiteside TL. Clinical significance of PD-L1+ exosomes in plasma of Head and Neck Cancer patients. Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Feb 15;24(4):896-905. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-2664. Epub 2017 Dec 12. PMID:29233903
  • Ludwig N, Yerneni SS, Razzo BM, Whiteside TL. Exosomes from HNSCC Promote Angiogenesis through Reprogramming of Endothelial Cells. Mol Cancer Res. 2018 Nov;16(11):1798-1808. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-18-0358. Epub 2018 Jul 24. PMID: 30042174.
  • Whiteside TL. FOXP3+ Treg as a therapeutic target for promoting anti-tumor immunity. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2018 Apr;22(4):353-363. doi: 10.1080/14728222.2018.1451514. Epub 2018 Apr 10.
  • Ludwig S, Sharma P, Theodoraki MN, Pietrowska M, Yerneni SS, Lang S, Ferrone S, Whiteside TL. Molecular and Functional Profiles of Exosomes from HPV(+) and HPV(-) Head and Neck Cancer Cell Lines. Front Oncol. 2018 Oct 12;8:445. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2018.00445. eCollection 2018. PMID: 30370252.