SCHOOL OF MEDICINE  |  PITT HOME  |  FIND PEOPLE  |  FIND A DOCTOR AT UPMC

Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Hematology/Oncology

[Return To Index page]
photo Ahmad A Tarhini, MD, PhD

Tenured Associate Professor of Medicine, Clinical and Translational Science

Department of Medicine

Division of Hematology/Oncology

Email: tarhiniaa@upmc.edu

Phone: 412-648-6578

Contact
Office: UPMC Cancer Pavilion, 5150 Centre Ave, Ste 555
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
 
Phone: 412-648-6578
Fax: 412-648-6579
E-mail: tarhiniaa@upmc.edu
Administrative Assistant:
Christine Platania
Address: 5150 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Email: cplatania@upmc.edu
Phone: 412-648-6578
Education and Training
Education
BS Biology, American University of Beirut, 1994
MD, Kaunas University of Medicine, 1999
Master of Science, Clinical Research, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, 2006
PhD, Clinical and Translational Science, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, 2011
Training
Internship/Residency, Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2003
Fellowship, Hematology/Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2006
Clinical Research Training Program, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, 2006
Research Interest
Identification of biomarkers for therapeutic response, toxicity prediction, and disease prognosis is a major focus of Dr. Tarhini’s research. He led efforts that demonstrated that S100B is a significant prognostic marker in melanoma and reported on a serum signature consisting of TNFRII, TGFa, TIMP1, and CRP that is prognostic of worse survival. He also recently reported that an early-on treatment signature of pro-inflammatory serum markers (IL2Ra, IL-12p40, and IFNa) significantly predicted survival in patients treated with adjuvant IFNa2b. Dr. Tarhini led neoadjuvant studies of immune checkpoint blockade and reported significant mechanistic findings in the circulation and the tumor microenvironment with therapeutic predictive value. These and other related significant biomarker findings have formed the basis for his recently renewed NIH-funded Skin Cancer SPORE Biomarker Project nested within the US Intergroup E1609 adjuvant phase III trial, where Dr. Tarhini is testing the therapeutic predictive value of markers of the pro-inflammatory immune response and immune suppression within the circulation and the TME based on common-systems biology. As a clinical and translational physician-scientist, a major objective of Dr. Tarhini’s research is focused on overcoming melanoma immune tolerance through combinations of novel immunotherapeutic strategies that involve cytokines and inhibitors of unique checkpoints of immune regulation (UPCI 05-125, E3611, UPCI 11-063, UPCI 14-102, UPCI 15-113). He is the chair of US Intergroup E1609 adjuvant trial testing ipilimumab at 3 or 10 mg/kg versus IFNa, and co-chair of Intergroup S1404 anti-PD1 adjuvant trial. He is co-chair of E3612 and EA6141 trials testing novel combinations targeting immune checkpoints.
Clinical Interest
Dr Tarhini achieved certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in the specialty of internal medicine (2003) and the subspecialties of hematology (2006) and medical oncology (2007). As a faculty member and a practicing physician specialist at UPMC, he has been closely involved in the clinical care of cancer patients and the training of physicians in the outpatient clinics of the internationally renowned Hillman Cancer Center and the inpatient setting at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside tertiary center. Dr Tarhini maintains two clinic days a week at the Hillman Cancer Center and attends on the Hematology - Oncology inpatient and consult services. He has consistently achieved excellent evaluations from residents and fellows. Dr Tarhini leads the inpatient High Dose Interleukin-2 (IL2) Therapy Program at UPCI which involves the training of fellows and physician extenders. He is a national expert on the management of toxicities related to immunotherapy with IFNa, IL2 and immune check-point antibodies upon which he has published, was involved in the development of guidelines and training modules and chairs a “hot-line” in support of the US Intergroup E1609 adjuvant trial.
Educational Interest
Dr Tarhini is an associate Professor of Medicine at UPSOM, Division of Hematology-Oncology. He has a secondary appointment in Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). He received his Master of Science degree in clinical research and doctorate degree in clinical and translational science from CTSI. Dr. Tarhini completed his residency in internal medicine and his hematology and oncology fellowship at UPMC. He joined the faculty in July 2006. In May 2015, he was awarded tenure in the Department of Medicine. As a faculty member, Dr Tarhini has been closely involved in the education of medical students, residents and fellows both at the medical school (course titles: MED 5222 Hematology, MED 5715 Neoplasia, MED 5138 Advanced Physical Examination, Skin and Musculoskeletal Diseases, CLRES 2820 Special Topics in Clinical Trials) and through lecture series, clinic and inpatient service teaching rounds. He is the course director for MED 5831 Medical Oncology Research (2010 – present) and MED 5715 Neoplasia and Neoplastic Disease (2011 – present) at UPSOM. Dr Tarhini has been closely involved in the mentoring of PhD students, post-doctoral students, medical students, internal medicine residents and hematology-oncology fellows. Dr. Tarhini has received multiple awards including UPCI Junior Scholar Award and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Young Investigator Award. He is the current Track Leader of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Education Committee, Melanoma/Skin Cancers Track.
Publications
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Notable Achievements
Amgen Fellowship Award, 2005
ASCO/AACR Workshop, Methods in Clinical Research, 2006
Junior Scholar Award in Clinical Research, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2010
Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Research and Education Foundation Young Investigator Award, 2010