Paolo Vignali is a University of Pittsburgh MD/PhD candidate who joined the lab and the PMI program in 2018. A graduate of the College Scholars Bachelor of Arts Program from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Paolo presented his thesis on the history of the therapeutic management of hematological malignancies in 2013. During this time, Paolo participated in the Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) pre-doctoral program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2012 with Dr. Doug Green and 2013 with Dr. Charles Mullighan where he was involved in research efforts concerning the study of tumor cell metabolism and the discovery of novel drivers of oncogenesis, respectively. From graduation until matriculation into the University of Pittsburgh MSTP in 2016, Paolo worked as a research technician for Drs. Drew Pardoll and Fan Pan, largely focusing on efforts to delineate the mechanisms of regulatory T cells which derail anti-tumor immunity in the context of local and metastatic disease and with a particular focus on novel drug discovery. 


Paolo’s current research interests involve the metabolic adaptations of immune cell subtypes and tumor cells which confer functional advantages in the characteristically nutrient-dearth tumor microenvironment with significant interest in novel drug discovery and treatment protocols to augment current immunotherapeutic efforts.