John A Ligon

John A Ligon, MD

Assistant Professor

Department: MD-PEDS-HEMATOLOGY
Business Phone: (352) 273-9120
Business Email: john.ligon@ufl.edu

About John A Ligon

My name is John A. Ligon, MD, and I am an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine. I earned my medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, completed my residency in pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and pursued a fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at Johns Hopkins University and the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. In the following years, I completed a senior fellowship in pediatric immunotherapy at the National Cancer Institute and another in pediatric sarcoma at Johns Hopkins University. I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician from a young age, as I loved going to my own pediatrician as a kid. This passion for caring for children persisted through medical school and into my residency training, where I was inspired by my amazing mentors and the strength of their patients to pursue additional training in hematology and oncology. I am board-certified in both general pediatrics and pediatric hematology and oncology by the American Board of Pediatrics. In addition to my numerous original research publications and editorial review appointments, I am a member of various professional societies, such as the Children’s Oncology Group and the American Association for Cancer Research. I have been honored with a variety of awards for my research skills and academic excellence, and my research interests include immunotherapy, tumors and bloodstream infections. I am a member of the Pediatric Cancer Immunotherapy Initiative (PCI2) at the University of Florida. I serve as a translational partner with my collaborators, Drs. Elias Sayour and Paul Castillo, to advance new treatments which harness the power of the immune system into early phase pediatric clinical trials. My work is supported by a number of foundations and organizations including the V Foundation, Hyundai Hope on Wheels, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, MIB Agents and the Children’s Miracle Network.

My goal as a physician is to discover new treatments that will allow more children to be cured of their cancer than could be with currently available treatments. I want my patients to know that rather than focusing on one specific type of cancer, I am interested in using the immune system to find ways to cure all kinds of pediatric cancer. The immune system is the same across all kinds of cancer and I believe there is a way to unlock it for many diseases that we currently have trouble treating.

When I’m not practicing medicine, you can find me watching San Antonio Spurs basketball games, playing Magic: the Gathering trading card game and taking care of my three small children.

Accomplishments

ASTCT Clinical Research Training Course Scholar
2021 · American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy
H. Jean Khoury Award for Scholarly Excellence
2021 · American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy
Special Act Award
2021 · NCI Center for Cancer Research

Board Certifications

  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
    American Board of Pediatrics
  • Pediatrics
    American Board of Pediatrics

Clinical Profile

Specialties
  • Pediatrics
Subspecialties
  • Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Areas of Interest
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Cancer
  • Immune response
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma – Overview
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Pediatric Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors
  • Transplant services

Research Profile

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)

0000-0001-5513-1233

Areas of Interest
  • Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy

Publications

2024
Cutaneous Lagenidium deciduum infection in a patient with relapsed acute myeloid leukemia.
BMC infectious diseases. 24(1) [DOI] 10.1186/s12879-024-09281-5. [PMID] 38778275.
2024
INSPIRED Symposium Part 4B: Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Correlative Studies—Established Findings and Future Priorities
Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. 30(2):155-170 [DOI] 10.1016/j.jtct.2023.10.012.
2024
Pediatric Cancer Immunotherapy and Potential for Impact on Fertility: A Need for Evidence-Based Guidance
Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. [DOI] 10.1016/j.jtct.2024.06.006.
2024
RNA aggregates harness the danger response for potent cancer immunotherapy.
Cell. 187(10):2521-2535.e21 [DOI] 10.1016/j.cell.2024.04.003. [PMID] 38697107.
2024
The role of donor type and pre‐transplant immunosuppression on outcomes of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children and young adults with severe aplastic anemia
Pediatric Transplantation. 28(4) [DOI] 10.1111/petr.14784.
2023
A multidisciplinary pediatric oncofertility team improves fertility preservation and counseling across 7 years
Cancer Reports. 6(2) [DOI] 10.1002/cnr2.1753. [PMID] 36346013.
2023
A Phase II Trial of Guadecitabine in Children and Adults with SDH-Deficient GIST, Pheochromocytoma, Paraganglioma, and HLRCC-Associated Renal Cell Carcinoma
Clinical Cancer Research. 29(2):341-348 [DOI] 10.1158/1078-0432.ccr-22-2168.
2023
Bioconjugated liquid-like solid enhances characterization of solid tumor – chimeric antigen receptor T cell interactions
Acta Biomaterialia. 172:466-479 [DOI] 10.1016/j.actbio.2023.09.042.
2023
Emerging frontiers in immuno- and gene therapy for cancer
Cytotherapy. 25(1):20-32 [DOI] 10.1016/j.jcyt.2022.10.002. [PMID] 36280438.
2023
Mediport use as an acceptable standard for CAR T cell infusion.
Frontiers in immunology. 14 [DOI] 10.3389/fimmu.2023.1239132. [PMID] 37965315.
2023
mRNA aggregates harness danger response for potent cancer immunotherapy.
medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences. [DOI] 10.1101/2023.03.12.23287108. [PMID] 36993772.
2023
mRNA challenge predicts brain cancer immunogenicity and response to checkpoint inhibitors.
bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology. [DOI] 10.1101/2023.03.18.532056. [PMID] 36993158.
2023
Spotlighting cellular therapies to advance the treatment of medulloblastoma.
Neuro-oncology. 25(4):628-630 [DOI] 10.1093/neuonc/noad005. [PMID] 36629263.
2023
Three-Dimensional Bioconjugated Liquid-Like Solid (LLS) Enhance Characterization of Solid Tumor – Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell interactions.
bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology. [DOI] 10.1101/2023.02.17.529033. [PMID] 36865164.
2022
Adoptive Cell Therapy in Pediatric and Young Adult Solid Tumors: Current Status and Future Directions.
Frontiers in immunology. 13 [DOI] 10.3389/fimmu.2022.846346. [PMID] 35273619.
2022
CD19/22 CAR T cells in children and young adults with B-ALL: phase 1 results and development of a novel bicistronic CAR
Blood. 140(5):451-463 [DOI] 10.1182/blood.2022015795. [PMID] 35605184.
2022
Characterization of extramedullary disease in B-ALL and response to CAR T-cell therapy
Blood Advances. 6(7):2167-2182 [DOI] 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021006035. [PMID] 34920453.
2022
Fertility and CAR T-cells: Current practice and future directions
Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. 28(9):605.e1-605.e8 [DOI] 10.1016/j.jtct.2022.06.002. [PMID] 35705177.
2022
Reporting of Racial and Ethnic Minority Representation in Early Phase Pediatric Oncology Clinical Trials.
The oncologist. 27(8):e681-e682 [DOI] 10.1093/oncolo/oyac124. [PMID] 35791896.
2022
Sampling Multiple Catheter Lumens to Improve Detection of Bloodstream Infection in Pediatric Oncology Patients.
Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology. 44(2):e518-e520 [DOI] 10.1097/MPH.0000000000002278. [PMID] 34978782.
2022
The impact of race, ethnicity, and obesity on CAR T-cell therapy outcomes
Blood Advances. 6(23):6040-6050 [DOI] 10.1182/bloodadvances.2022007676. [PMID] 35939781.
2021
Consequences of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis‐like cytokine release syndrome toxicities and concurrent bacteremia
Pediatric Blood & Cancer. 68(10) [DOI] 10.1002/pbc.29247. [PMID] 34309174.
2021
Faculty Opinions recommendation of Global characteristics and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adolescents with cancer (GRCCC): a cohort study.
Faculty Opinions – Post-Publication Peer Review of the Biomedical Literature. [DOI] 10.3410/f.740724547.793589275.
2021
Faculty Opinions recommendation of Monitoring PD-1 phosphorylation to evaluate PD-1 signaling during anti-tumor immune responses.
Faculty Opinions – Post-Publication Peer Review of the Biomedical Literature. [DOI] 10.3410/f.740973956.793589722.
2021
Immuno-transcriptomic profiling of extracranial pediatric solid malignancies
Cell Reports. 37(8) [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.110047. [PMID] 34818552.
2021
Pathways of immune exclusion in metastatic osteosarcoma are associated with inferior patient outcomes
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer. 9(5) [DOI] 10.1136/jitc-2020-001772. [PMID] 34021032.
2021
Predictors of Recurrence and Patterns of Initial Failure in Localized Ewing Sarcoma: A Contemporary 20-Year Experience.
Sarcoma. 2021 [DOI] 10.1155/2021/6681741. [PMID] 33953640.
2020
Desmoid tumor mimics local recurrence of extremity sarcoma on MRI.
Journal of surgical oncology. 121(8):1259-1265 [DOI] 10.1002/jso.25906. [PMID] 32212166.
2020
The Immunosuppressive Niche of Soft-Tissue Sarcomas is Sustained by Tumor-Associated Macrophages and Characterized by Intratumoral Tertiary Lymphoid Structures
Clinical Cancer Research. 26(15):4018-4030 [DOI] 10.1158/1078-0432.ccr-19-3416.
2019
Invasive fusariosis masquerading as extramedullary disease in rapidly progressive acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Pediatric Blood & Cancer. 66(7) [DOI] 10.1002/pbc.27732. [PMID] 30900813.
2018
Differentiation of Deep Venous Thrombosis Among Children With or Without Osteomyelitis.
Journal of pediatric orthopedics. 38(10):e597-e603 [DOI] 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001240. [PMID] 30080773.
2014
Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia without a localizing source in pediatric patients.
The Pediatric infectious disease journal. 33(5):e132-4 [DOI] 10.1097/INF.0000000000000195. [PMID] 24732394.
2013
Staphylococcus aureus Infections in Children With Congenital Heart Disease.
Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. 2(4):337-44 [DOI] 10.1093/jpids/pit037. [PMID] 26619497.
2005
Yersinia pestis outer membrane type III secretion protein YscC: expression, purification, characterization, and induction of specific antiserum.
Protein expression and purification. 40(1):152-63 [PMID] 15721783.

Grants

May 2024 ACTIVE
214 CTOA: Ligon
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: UNIV OF FLORIDA
Apr 2024 ACTIVE
Targeting Glycogen Metabolism in Ewing's Sarcoma: Diagnostic, Prognostic, and Therapeutic Applications
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NCI
Sep 2023 ACTIVE
A Phase 2 Study Evaluating the Efficacy, Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacodynamics of Narsoplimab in Paediatric Patients (28 Days to 18 Y.O.) with High Risk Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Thrombotic Microangiopathy
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: PAREXEL INTERNATIONAL PTY via OMEROS CORP
Jul 2023 ACTIVE
Defining the tumor intrinsic and regional landscape of therapeutic RNA-nanoparticle transduction and immune activation following intravenous administration in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: CHADTOUGH DEFEAT DIPG FOUNDATION
Jul 2023 ACTIVE
The Impact of Race/Ethnicity on Immunotherapy Outcomes in Children/AYA patients with cancer
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: FOU FOR CHILDRENS ONCOLOGY GROUP via CHILDRENS ONCOLOGY GROUP
Jul 2023 – Jun 2024
Studying the impact of RNA-nanoparticle vaccine on immune response to DIPG/DMG
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: DIPG DMG RESEARCH FUNDING ALLIANCE
Jun 2023 ACTIVE
Utilization of Alpha/Beta T Cell and B Cell Depletion in Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in Malignant Diseases
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding: FL DEPT OF HLTH LIVE LIKE BELLA
Feb 2023 ACTIVE
A Retrospective Study to Determine the Outcomes of Pediatric Patients with High-Risk HSCT-TMA Following Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (Allo-HSCT)
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: PAREXEL INTERNATIONAL PTY via OMEROS CORP
Jan 2023 ACTIVE
Investigating the Immune Response to RNA-lipid Nanoparticle Vaccines in a Clinical Trial for Canines with Osteosarcoma
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH FOU
Dec 2022 ACTIVE
Establishment of 3D metastatic osteosarcoma organoid model to accelerate combination immunotherapy
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: HYUNDAI HOPE ON WHEELS
Nov 2022 – Apr 2024
Determining and enhancing stability of RNA-nanoparticle vaccines for a multi-center NPCF clinical trial for patients with metastatic osteosarcoma
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL PEDIATRIC CANCER FOU
Aug 2022 – Jan 2024
Leveraging CD70 CXCR2-modified CAR T-cells for treating AML
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: SOC FOR IMMUNOTHERAPY OF CANCER
Jul 2022 ACTIVE
Leveraging RNA-lipid nanoparticle vaccines to induce immune response in metastatic pulmonary osteosarcoma
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: THE V FOU FOR CANCER RESEARCH
Jul 2022 ACTIVE
Using RNA-nanoparticle vaccines to overcome the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment of canine osteosarcoma
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: MIB AGENTS
Jan 2022 ACTIVE
American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant
Role: Project Manager
Funding: AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
Jun 2021 ACTIVE
Precision mEdicine and Adoptive Cellular tHerapy for the treatment of recurrent neuroblastoma and newly diagnosed diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: ATRIUM HEALTH

Education

Senior Fellowship
2021 · National Cancer Institute
Senior Fellowship
2020 · Johns Hopkins University
Fellowship
2019 · Johns Hopkins University
Residency
2016 · University of Texas Southwestern
Medical Degree
2013 · Baylor College of Medicine
Bachelor's of Science
2009 · Trinity University

Contact Details

Phones:
Business:
(352) 273-9120
Emails:
Business:
john.ligon@ufl.edu
Addresses:
Business Mailing:
Pediatrics Hematology Oncology
PO BOX 100296
Gaineville FL 32611