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Interview With Cornelia Liu Trimble

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Cornelia Liu Trimble

Cornelia Liu Trimble

Dr. Cornelia Liu Trimble, Professor in the Departments of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Pathology, an Oncology, is a physician scientist who is involved not only in elucidating the reasons that distinguish why some patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers progress while others spontaneously regress, but also in using these insights in developing and delivering novel immune therapies effective for HPV disease. At Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, she has established a multidisciplinary program that is unique in the nation – the Center for Cervical Dysplasia. This center provides patient care, education, and badly needed clinical outreach to the local underserved community. It also serves as a nucleus for faculty and student mentoring, and for a translational research program that brings advances in her laboratory to the care of patients with HPV disease. Much of Dr. Trimble’s efforts are focused on designing and implementing trials to test immune-based therapies for women with pre-invasive HPV disease, and, based on her current results, these studies will likely change the way women with cervical dysplasia are treated in the near future, making it possible for a large fraction of patients to avoid the need for, and subsequent sequelae of, surgery. Her lab is also investigating the fundamental mechanisms by which HPV-associated diseases evade immune recognition and destruction, which has broad implications and applications not only to cervical disease but to head and neck cancers as well, with HPV now recognized as the most common cause of cancer of the mouth and throat mouth in North America and Europe. The success and promise of the work emanating from her lab and clinical trials reflect not only the commitment and creativity she brings to the field, but also the unique and broad set of skills she has acquired through her extensive training and experience, being double-boarded in obstetrics and gynecology and in anatomic pathology, having specialty training in gynecological pathology, and laboratory research training in immunology.