Natalie  Silver,  MD

Natalie Silver, MD

Associate Staff

Center for Immunotherapy & Precision Immuno-Oncology; Head & Neck Institute

Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195


Dr. Silver is a head and neck surgical oncologist with a translational research lab. She treats patients at the Cleveland Clinic Head and Neck Institute (HNI) and Taussig Cancer Center. See her clinical profile on the Cleveland Clinic website. She is a Principal Investigator of a lab in the Center of Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology (CITI). She serves as the Director of Head and Neck Cancer Research.

The overall goal of our lab is to improve the lives of head and neck cancer patients through translational research and inspire and train the next generation of physician-scientists and scientists. Our mission is to contribute to the scientific understanding of head and neck cancer by using preclinical models and patient tissue samples, and explore novel ways to reprogram the tumor immune microenvironment for therapeutic benefit.

Our main areas of research include:

  1. RNA nano-vaccines for head and neck cancer: We use preclinical models to investigate the effects of novel therapeutics on the tumor immune micro-environment. We are developing personalized therapeutic mRNA nano-vaccines for recurrent/metastatic head and neck cancer and thyroid cancer. Our lab aims to understand the anti-tumor mechanisms of these vaccines by investigating effects on immunosuppressive myeloid cells. We anticipate initiation of human clinical trials of our vaccine formulations within the next year.

  2. Comparative Oncology, feline oral cancer immunotherapy clinical trial: In order to facilitate translation from bench to bedside, in collaboration with the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, we are running a clinical trial for feline pets with oral cancer. These pets have naturally or “spontaneously occurring” cancers of the oral cavity and their owners are seeking treatment for this difficult-to-treat disease. The expected lifespan is only 1-2 months after diagnosis. Our team has treated several felines with personalized RNA nano-vaccines derived from their tumors. Just like in human clinical trials, we can obtain very valuable information about the therapy including safety, efficacy and immunologic correlates.

  3. Oral microbiome and the tumor immune-microenvironment: We are investigating the role of pathogenic oral bacteria and their effects on oral cancer growth and progression via immunologic interactions. We utilize preclinical models of oral cancer and human tissue samples for our experiments. We hope to identify potential microbial targets that can be used to develop therapies for patients.

Please join us in our fight against head and neck cancer! If you are interested in joining our lab please contact:

See publications for Natalie Silver, MD, on the NCBI website.

Selected Publications

Chieko Michikawa, Vancheswaran Gopalakrishnan, Amani M. Harrandah, Tatiana V Karpinets, Rekha Rani Garg, Randy A. Chu, Yuk Pheel Park, Sasanka S. Chukkapallia, Nikhita Yadlapalli, Kelly C. Erikson-Carter, Frederico Omar Gleber-Netto, Elias Sayour, Ann Progulske-Fox, ‏Edward K.L. Chan, Xiaogang Wu, Jianhua Zhang, Christian Jobin, Jennifer A. Wargo, Curtis R. Pickering, Jeffrey N. Myers, Natalie Silver, Fusobacterium is enriched in oral cancer and promotes induction of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), Neoplasia, Volume 31, 2022, 100813, ISSN 1476-5586,

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