Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Hematology/Oncology

Faculty Profiles

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photo Diwakar Davar, MD


Associate Professor of Medicine


Phone: 412-623-4724

Office: Suite 1.32d, Hillman Cancer Center Research Pavilion, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
5117 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone: 412-623-4724
Fax: 412-623-7704
Administrative Assistant:
Lynnette Robinson
Address: 5117 Centre Avenue
2.32 HHCLB
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-623-7776
Education and Training
M.B.B.S., National University of Singapore, 2005
M.Sc., University of Pittsburgh, 2016
Research Interest
My research interests lies in translational cancer immunotherapy and early-phase clinical trials. I am working with Dr. Zarour and Kirkwood to coordinate the clinical care and translational research of a novel trial combining PD-1 inhibitor Pembrolizumab with immunomodulatory PEG-IFN. I presented preliminary results at ASCO 2015. Final results have been collated along with correlative analyses and are pending publication.

More recently, in collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb and based on published findings by Dr Zarour’s laboratory, I have contributed to the development and implementation of a first-in-human study of TIGIT mAb (BMS-986207) singly and in combination with Nivolumab that is presently in active accrual and for which I am the institutional Principle Investigator. I am also the institutional Principle Investigator for first-in-human studies of GITR mAb (TRX-518), pegylated arginase (AEB1102) and IDO inhibitor (BMS-986205).

Based on emerging data implicating intestinal dysbiosis in mediating non-response to PD-1 blockade, I developed with Dr. Zarour a protocol evaluating fecal microbiota transplant in combination with PD-1 blockade to treat PD-1 non-responders. This first-in-human study was selected for funding by Merck to support the clinical costs and is IRB approved. In the context of this trial that I am the Principle Investigator for, I work in close collaboration with Dr. Zarour and co-investigators Drs. Methe and Benos, for the performance of the correlative studies in the context of the new clinical trial with fecal transplant microbiota and pembrolizumab in PD-1 refractory melanoma patients.
Clinical Interest
My clinical interests center are in the management of advanced melanoma and the development of early phase studies to test novel immunotherapeutic approaches singly and in combination in patients with advanced cancer.
Notable Achievements
SPORE in Melanoma & SKin Cancer Developmental Research Project Award, 2017
The Harry J. Lloyd Charitable Trust Career Development Award, 2017-2019
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Junior Scholar Award in in Clinical Cancer Research, 2017
Conquer Cancer Foundation/Genentech BioOncology™ Young Investigator Award (YIA), 2016
UPMC/UPCI Skin Spore Developmental Research Project (DRP), 2016
Participant, Accelerating Anticancer Agent Development and Validation Workshop, 2016
Participant, Society for Translational Oncology Fellows Forum, 2015
First Place Director's Award, “Clinical Sciences”, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Scientific Retreat, 2015
Participant, AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Clinical Trials Workshop, 2014