McLane Watson, PhD

Why did you choose the University of Pittsburgh?

I chose University of Pittsburgh because of the high concentration of PIs working on tumor immunology. While other universities dabble in tumor immunology, I found that this was a main focus at Pitt. In addition to the unmatched research environment, I fell in love with the city of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has a great food, arts, and entertainment scene all at an affordable price. While spending time in lab is important, it is also important to enjoy the place you live and that is why I chose Pittsburgh.

Doctoral Dissertation

Metabolic support of regulatory T cells by lactic acid

Education & Training

  • PhD in Microbiology & Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2022
  • BS in Biology, Hope College

Research Interests

Tumor immunology; cancer immunotherapy; immune metabolism


Menk AV, Scharping NE, Rivadeneira DB, Calderon MJ, Watson MJ, Dunstane D, Watkins SC and Delgoffe GM. 2018. 4-1BB costimulation induces T cell mitochondrial function and biogenesis enabling cancer immunotherapeutic responses. Journal of Experimental Medicine. jem-20171068.

Mila D, Calderon A, Baldwin AT, Moore KM, Watson M, Phillips BT and Putzke AP. 2015. Asymmetric Wnt Pathway Signaling Facilitates Stem Cell-Like Divisions via the Nonreceptor Tyrosine Kinase FRK-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics. 201: 1047-1060.