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Tricia Cottrell MD, PhD

Canadian Cancer Trials Group Senior Investigator

Dr. Tricia Cottrell is an immunologist and pathologist whose research focuses on advancing clinical biomarker tests through studying tumour tissue specimens from patients enrolled in clinical trials. She completed her training (MD, PhD, anatomic pathology residency, and post-doctoral research fellowship) at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. As a post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Cottrell was involved in one of the first neoadjuvant clinical trials of anti-PD-1 therapy and was the first to characterize immune-related pathologic response following checkpoint blockade. Dr. Cottrell joined the CCTG in 2019 and her role focuses on neoadjuvant immunotherapy clinical trials, trial associated correlative science, and the National Tumour Tissue Repository at CCTG. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and runs a research lab in the Division of Cancer Biology and Genetics in the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute. 

Areas of expertise:  Clinical trials, thoracic and genitourinary cancers, neoadjuvant immunotherapy, pathologic response, tumour immune microenvironment

Research interests: Dr. Cottrell’s research lab focuses on mapping complex interactions between cancer cells and the immune system using multiplex immunofluorescence and digital image analysis, focusing on thoracic malignancies.


  1. Reuss JE, Anagnostou V, Cottrell TR, Smith KN, Verde F, ZahurakM, Chan HY, McCarthy C, Murray JR, Yang S, Battafarano R, Broderick S,Bush E, Brock M, Ha J, Jones DR, Taube J, Velculescu V, Rosner G, Illei P, Pardoll DM, Topalian SL, Naidoo J, Levy B, Hellmann MD, Brahmer JR, Chaft J, Forde PM. Neoadjuvant nivolumab plus ipilimumab in resectable non-small-cell lung cancer. J Immunother Cancer.  2020 Sep; 8(2):e001282. PMID: 32929052
  2. Naidoo J, Cottrell TR, Lipson EJ, Forde PM, Illei PB, Yarmus LB, Voong KR, Feller-Kopman D, Lee H, Riemer J, Wang D, Taube JM, Brahmer JR, Lin CT, Danoff SK, D'Alessio FR and Suresh K. Chronic immune checkpoint inhibitor pneumonitis. J. Immunother. Cancer. 2020 Jun;8(1):e000840. PMID: 32554618
  3. Stein JE, Soni A, Danilova L, Cottrell TR, Gajewski TF, Hodi FS, Bhatia S, Urba WJ, Sharfman WH, Wind-Rotolo M, Edwards R, Lipson EJ, Taube JM. Major pathologic response on biopsy (MPRbx) in patients with advanced melanoma treated with anti-PD-1: evidence for an early, on-therapy biomarker of response. Ann. Oncol. 2019 Apr 1;30(4):589-596. PMID: 30689736.
  4. Cottrell TR, Thompson ED, Forde PM, Stein JE, Duffield AS, Anagnostou V, Rekhtman N, Anders RA, Cuda JD, Illei PB, Gabrielson E, Askin F, Niknafs N, Smith KN, Velez MJ, Sauter JL, Isbell JM, Jones DR, Battafarano RJ, Yang SC, Danilova L, Wolchok JD, Topalian SL, Velculescu VE, Pardoll DM, Brahmer JR, Hellmann MD, Chaft JE, Cimino-Mathews A, Taube JM. Pathologic features of response to neoadjuvant anti-PD-1 in resected non-small cell lung carcinoma: a proposal for quantitative immune-related pathologic response criteria (irPRC). Ann. Oncol. 2018 Aug 1;29(8):1853-1860. PMID: 29982279.
  5. Forde PM*, Chaft JE*, Smith KN*, Anagnostou V, Cottrell TR, Hellmann MD, Zahurak M, Yang SC, Jones DR, Broderick S, Battafarano RJ, Velez MJ, Rekhtman N, Olah Z, Naidoo J, Marrone KA, Verde F, Guo H, Zhang J, Caushi JX, Chan HY, Sidhom JW, Scharpf RB, White J, Gabrielson E, Wang H, Rosner GL, Rusch V, Wolchok JD, Merghoub T, Taube JM, Velculescu VE, Topalian SL, Brahmer JR, Pardoll DM. Neoadjuvant PD-1 blockade in resectable lung cancer. N. Engl. J. Med. 2018 May 24;378(21):1976-1986.  PMID: 29658848.

Complete list of publications


  • Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) - Clinician Scientist Award
  • Ontario Research Fund Small Infrastructure Fund
  • John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF), Canada Foundation for Innovation

Current trials: IND227, IND228