Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Carlos Ontiveros

M.D./Ph.D. Student

Carlos Ontiveros is a graduate student in the South Texas Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD Program) studying tumor immunology under the mentorship of Tyler Curiel, MD, MPH. For his research, Carlos is studying the role of tumor cell-of-origin PDL1 in tumorigenesis and early tumor progression in multiple cancers, including melanoma and bladder cancer. For his clinical specialty, Carlos is considering pursuing hematology/oncology or surgical oncology.

About Me

I was born in San Antonio and grew up in both SA and El Paso. I went to the University of Texas at El Paso for undergrad and did a research internship at Scripps in La Jolla, CA. I like rocks, cars, fishing, and the outdoors.


Working on cars, fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking, mineral collecting, wine collecting.

Research Topic

Tumor Immunology; melanoma; tumorigenesis; cancer

Why I chose MD/PhD

I started out just wanting to pursue medicine after attending a health magnet high school. In college, I was exposed to research and I really liked it. My undergraduate scientific mentor saw that I enjoyed both medicine and research and introduced me to the idea of pursuing a MD/PhD dual degree. I spent a lot of time deciding if this path was the right one for me by gaining both clinical and biomedical research experience and decided I couldn't have one without the other.

Why I chose MD/PhD at UT Health San Antonio

The availability of research in my fields of interest. The rigor and reputation of the program and the institution. The diversity of support systems offered for students.


B.S., Biology, University of Texas El Paso, 2018


2023 - 2027    F31CA281345, NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship: "The role of tumor cell-of-origin-specific PDL1 on tumorigenesis and tumor progression"


Murray CE, Galvan E, Ontiveros C, Deng Y, Bai H, Souto Padron A, Hinchee-Rodriguez K, Garcia MG, Kornepati AVR, Conejo-Garcia J, Curiel TJ. Pharmacologic tumor PDL1 depletion with cefepime or ceftazidime promotes DNA damage and sensitivity to DNA damaging agents. Int. Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2022 May 4: doi: 10.3390/ijms23095129. 

Kornepati AVR, Boyd JT, Murray CE, Saifetyarova J, de la Peña Avalos B, Rogers CM, Bai H, Padron AS, Liao Y, Ontiveros C, Svatek RS, Hromas R, Li R, Hu Y, Conejo-Garcia JR, Vadlamudi RK, Zhao W, Dray E, Sung P, Curiel TJ. Tumor-intrinsic PD-L1 promotes DNA repair in distinct cancers and suppresses PARP inhibitor-induced synthetic lethality. Cancer Res. 2022 Mar 3:canres.2076.2021. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-21-2076. 

Ontiveros C, Abhimanyu, Guerra-Resendez RS, Nishiguchi T, Ladki M, Hilton IB, Schlesinger LS and DiNardo AR (2021) Reversing Post-Infectious Epigenetic-Mediated Immune Suppression. Front. Immunol. 12:688132. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.688132