Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Neha Wali

M.D./Ph.D. Student

Neha is a graduate student in the South Texas Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD Program). She is also part of the National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge (NIH OxCam) Scholars Program (Track 2) where she is examining the implications of p53 isoforms on immune cell phenotypes and p53 mutations on cancer development in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome under the mentorship of her OxCam co-mentors, Dr. Curtis Harris, MD (NIH/NCI) and Professor Xin Lu, PhD (University of Oxford). 

About Me

I'm an East Coaster through and through, hailing from a few states but predominantly MD. I went to undergrad at UMBC and less than a week after my commencement I flew to TX to join the MSTP. I've always enjoyed being in a scientific milieu like in the lab or clinic, and the STX-MSTP was an excellent place for me to gain further knowledge in both arenas.


Binging movies and TV shows, watching sports, fan of all things Apple (and tech in general)

Research Topic

Cancer genomics, tumor immunology, cancer immunotherapy

Why I chose MD/PhD

I have taken part in lab research for many years and knew that I also wanted to see patients. Pursuing an MD/PhD would thus allow for a formal integration of both components and ensure that I develop robust foundations in each area.


B.S. summa cum laude, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2018


Schubert AD, Channah Broner E, Agrawal N, London N, Pearson A, Gupta A, Wali N, Seiwert TY, Wheelan S, Lingen M, Macleod K, Allen H, Chatterjee A, Vassiliki S, Gaykalova D, Hoque MO, Sidransky D, Suresh K, Izumchenko E. Somatic mitochondrial mutation discovery using ultra-deep sequencing of the mitochondrial genome reveals spatial tumor heterogeneity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Lett. 471: 49-60. (2020). PMCID: PMC6980748.

Khanna S, Graef S, Mussai F, Thomas A, Wali N, Yenidunya BG, Yuan C, Morrow B, Zhang J, Korangy F, Greten TF, Steinberg SM, Stetler-Stevenson M, Middleton G, De Santo C, Hassan R. Tumor-derived GM-CSF promotes granulocyte immunosuppression in mesothelioma patients. Clin Cancer Res. 24(12): 2859-2872. (2018). PMCID: PMC6601632.

Anagnostou V, Smith KN, Forde PM, Niknafs N, Bhattacharya R, White J, Zhang T, Adleff V, Phallen J, Wali N, Hruban C, Guthrie VB, Rodgers K, Naidoo J, Kang H, Sharfman W, Georgiades C, Verde F, Illei P, Li QK, Gabrielson E, Brock MV, Zahnow CA, Baylin SB, Scharpf R, Brahmer JR, Karchin R, Pardoll DM, Velculescu VE. Evolution of neoantigen landscape during immune checkpoint blockade in non-small cell lung cancer.Cancer Discov. 7(3): 264-276. (2017). PMCID: PMC5733805.

Beury DW, Carter KA, Nelson C, Sinha P, Hanson E, Nyandjo M, Fitzgerald PJ, Majeed A, Wali N, Ostrand-Rosenberg S. Myeloid-derived suppressor cell survival and function are regulated by the transcription factor Nrf2. J Immunol. 196(8): 3470-3478. (2016). PMCID: PMC4821672.