Peter Edward Fecci


Professor of Neurosurgery

Peter Edward Fecci Profile Photo
Peter Edward Fecci Profile Photo

Research Interests

Brain Tumor Immunotherapy
Cancer-Induced Immune Dysfunction
Brain Metastasis


As the Director of both the Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program and the Center for Brain and Spine Metastasis at Duke University, I focus our programmatic interests on the design, optimization, and monitoring of immune-based treatment platforms for patients with intracranial tumors, whether primary or metastatic. Within this broad scope, however, my own group looks more specifically at limitations to immunotherapeutic success, with a particular focus on understanding and reversing T cell dysfunction in patients with glioblastoma (GBM) and brain metastases. We employ a systematic approach to categorizing T cell dysfunction (Woroniecka et al, Clin Cancer Res 2018 Aug 15;24(16):3792-3802), and whereas our earlier work addressed concerns for regulatory T cell-induced tolerance, we now heavily study T cell ignorance and exhaustion, as well. Regarding the former, we recently published the novel phenomenon of S1P1-mediated bone marrow T cell sequestration in patients with intracranial tumors (Chongsathidkiet et al, Nat Medicine 2018 Sep;24(9):1459-1468). Regarding the latter, we have likewise recently identified and characterized exhaustion as a significant limitation to T-cell function within GBM (Woroniecka et al, Clin Cancer Res 2018 Sep 1;24(17):4175-4186). I very much look to collaboratively integrate our approaches with others investigating innovative treatment options. I continue my focus on combining strategies for reversing T cell deficits with current and novel immune-based platforms as a means of deriving and improving rational and precise anti-tumor therapies. It is my sincerest desire to forge a career focused on co-operative, multi-disciplinary, organized brain tumor therapy. Ultimately, my goal is to help coordinate the efforts of a streamlined and effective center for brain tumor research and clinical care. I hope to play some role in ushering in a period where the science and treatment arms of brain tumor therapy suffer no disjoint, but instead represent the convergent efforts of researchers, neuro-oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, biomedical engineers, and neurosurgeons alike. I hope to see such synergy become standard of care.


  • M.D. Duke University, School of Medicine, 2007
  • Ph.D. Duke University, 2007

Trainings & Certifications

  • Internship, GENERAL SURGERY (2007 - 2008) Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Residency, NEUROSURGERY (2008 - 2013) Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Postdoctoral Fellow (2010 - 2012) Dana Farber Cancer Institute


  • Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Professor in Pathology
  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Associate Professor in Integrative Immunobiology
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Visting Scholar. National Institutes of Health. 2017
  • Paper of the Year. American Association of Physicists in Medicine. 2017
  • Duke Health Scholars Award. Duke University School of Medicine. 2016
  • Prince Mahidol Youth Mentor Award. Prince Mahidol Award Foundation. 2016
  • Resident Advocate Award. Duke University Department of Neurosurgery. 2015
  • Sontag Distinguished Scientist Award. Sontag Foundation. 2015
  • Alpha Omega Alpha. Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. 2015
  • Matson Award for Best Basic Science Research. New England Neurosurgical Society. 2013
  • Preuss Award for Neuro-Oncologic Research. Congress of Neurological Surgeons. 2013
  • NIH Loan Repayment Program Award. National Institutes of Health. 2011
  • Resident Teaching Award. Tufts University School of Medicine. 2008
  • Neurosurgery Award. Duke University Department of Neurosurgery. 2007
  • Keynote Speaker. Society for Neuro-Oncology. 2006
  • Medical Scientist Training Program Fellowship. National Institutes of Health. 2001
  • Eugene A. Stead Scholar. Duke University School of Medicine. 2001
  • Nanaline H. Duke Scholar. Duke University School of Medicine. 1999
  • Merrill Presidential Scholar. Cornell University. 1999
  • Cornell-Diamante Scholarship. Cornell University. 1999

Courses Taught

  • PATHOL 793: Research Independent Study
  • PATHOL 293: Research Independent Study
  • NEUROSCI 494: Research Independent Study 2
  • NEUROSCI 493: Research Independent Study 1
  • MOLMED 301B: Research in MOLMED - Oncological Sciences