Dr. Gabrilovich is currently a Christopher M. Davis Professor in Cancer Research and Program Leader, Translational Tumor Immunology at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and Wistar Professor at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Gabrilovich graduated from medical school of Kabardino-Balkarian State University, USSR and received his Ph.D. in 1989 from Central Institute of Epidemiology, Moscow, USSR, after which he worked as head of cell immunology group at HIV reference center in Moscow. During those years his group demonstrated activation of neutrophils in HIV-infected individuals. Based on this work, in 1992, he was awarded the Wellcome Trust Fellowship to study dendritic cell (DC) biology in experimental retroviral infection under Dr. Stella C. Knight at the Imperial College of London in the UK. He was trained in cancer research at U.T. Southwestern Medical School and Vanderbilt University in the laboratory of Dr. D. Carbone. He obtained his first independent faculty position at Loyola University in Chicago in 1999. In 2000 Dr. Gabrilovich moved to H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa where he grew through the ranks and eventually became Robert Rothman Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and Head Section of Dendritic Cell Biology.
In the mid-1990s his group demonstrated that DCs in tumor-bearing mice (and later in cancer patients) were functionally impaired. They have described the first tumor-derived factor directly implicated in DC defects in cancer: vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and suggested that myeloid progenitor cells were the main targets for this negative effect. His group was the first that implicated lipid accumulation as one of the mechanisms negatively regulating function of DCs in cancer.
Dr. Gabrilovich was one of the discoverers of cells that are now called myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). His group characterized a number of molecular mechanisms regulating expansion and function of these cells. Dr. Gabrilovich established the role of antigen-specific mechanisms of regulation of T-cell tolerance mediated by MDSC and described the critical contribution of peroxynitrite to this effect. His group provided first evidence that MDSC can be therapeutically targeted in patients.