News Releases

Johanna Joyce appointed Member of Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne

New York, Oct. 4, 2018—Ludwig Cancer Research congratulates Johanna Joyce on her new role as Member of the Lausanne Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Joyce will continue to lead her laboratory in exploring how non-cancerous cells within the tumor microenvironment support cancer progression, metastasis and drug resistance.

Joyce is perhaps best known for her work on how cells of the innate immune system, particularly macrophages, are recruited, manipulated and harnessed to support these different processes. She and her colleagues have shown how the genomes of these cells are differently activated by comparison to the brain’s resident macrophages in brain tumors, how they contribute to drug resistance in gliomas and how that mechanism might be overcome. She and her team also recently discovered how obesity alters the immune landscape of the lungs in mice to promote breast cancer metastasis to this organ—an effect that, her research indicates, may be reversed by weight loss.

“Johanna’s incisive study of how immune cells shape the tumor microenvironment has contributed significantly to the current understanding of tumor immunology,” said George Coukos, director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne. “Her continuing investigation of how immune cells drive therapy resistance will help us hone our efforts to develop innovative personalized cancer immunotherapies. Undoing those defenses is likely to be essential to improving responses to such therapies.”

Joyce is the recipient of many honors and awards, including a 250,000 franc Swiss Bridge Foundation Award to support her research on the tumor microenvironment, and election to EMBO, the prestigious organization of leading life science researchers in Europe. She is also a member of one of four international teams that won a €20 million Grand Challenge award from Cancer Research UK. The team, led by Greg Hannon in Cambridge, UK, will build an interactive virtual reality map that will allow scientists and doctors to “walk” into breast tumors and study their cellular constituents from multiple perspectives and in unprecedented detail.

“We are very pleased to recognize Johanna’s exceptional work and appoint her as a Member in the Ludwig family,” said Chi Van Dang, scientific director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. “Her reputation as a gifted and creative scientist precedes her and is very well deserved. We are confident that her lab’s research and collaborations with colleagues at Ludwig Lausanne will continue to push the boundaries of cancer immunology to the benefit of both cancer patients and cancer biology.”

In addition to her appointment as a Member of the Ludwig Institute, Joyce is a full professor at the University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland.


About Ludwig Cancer Research

Ludwig Cancer Research is an international collaborative network of acclaimed scientists that has pioneered cancer research and landmark discovery for more than 40 years. Ludwig combines basic science with the ability to translate its discoveries and conduct clinical trials to accelerate the development of new cancer diagnostics and therapies. Since 1971, Ludwig has invested $2.7 billion in life-changing science through the not-for-profit Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the six U.S.-based Ludwig Centers. To learn more, visit

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