Rochester, Minnesota


Ilyas.Sumera@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


Sumera I. Ilyas, M.B.B.S., has research interests in hepatobiliary malignancies, particularly cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). Dr. Ilyas' interest in CCA stems from the limited understanding of this disease and ample opportunity to contribute to a deeper comprehension of disease pathogenesis, as well as advancements in treatment.

Focus areas

  • Immunobiology of cholangiocarcinoma. Dr. Ilyas' laboratory characterized the immunosuppressive myeloid cell populations that foster CCA growth and progression. Targeting these tumor-associated macrophages and granulocytic myeloid derived suppressor cells (G-MDSCs) potentiates immune checkpoint blockade in CCA. Moreover, they have uncovered a novel subset of G-MDSCs with potent immunosuppressive properties in murine and human cholangiocarcinoma.
  • Carcinogenesis and cancer progression in cholangiocarcinoma. The tumor microenvironment is integral to carcinogenesis and cancer progression in CCA. Dr. Ilyas' work has demonstrated that myofibroblasts present in the tumor microenvironment are highly susceptible to cell death by a class of drugs referred to as BH3 agonists. She and colleagues have elucidated the mechanism underlying BH3 agonist induced CCA cell death, and developed a novel, transposon-driven, genetic mouse model of CCA that demonstrates the tumor-suppressive properties of a BH3 agonist.

    Dr. Ilyas has helped highlight the tumor microenvironment as a target for anticancer therapy and described a novel, autocrine, signaling pathway linking oncogenic fibroblast growth factor receptor and Hippo signaling pathways to survival signaling in human CCA cells. She also linked oncogenic hippo pathway signaling to chromosomal instability in the mouse model of CCA. Moreover, Dr. Ilyas has participated in studies demonstrating that fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibition mediates cellular depletion of the anti-apoptotic protein myeloid cell leukemia-1 leading to CCA cell necrosis.

Significance to patient care

As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Ilyas is uniquely able to translate investigational observations into clinical practice. Her work highlights the tumor immune microenvironment, particularly immunosuppressive myeloid cells, as a target for anticancer therapy.

Professional highlights

  • New Investigator Award, Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine, 2020
  • Salix Fellowship2Leadership Award, 2015
  • J. Arnold Bargen Award for Excellence in Research, Mayo Clinic Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2015
  • ASCI/AAP Joint Meeting Travel Award, 2015
  • International Liver Cancer Association Fellowship, 2014
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award, American Liver Foundation, 2014
  • Presidential Poster Award, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Annual Meeting, Boston, Mass., 2014
  • Young Investigator Bursary, European Association for the Study of the Liver, 2014
  • Young Investigator Travel Award, AASLD, 2014
  • Presidential Poster Award, AASLD Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., 2013


See my publications


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine

Joint Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Immunology

Academic Rank

  1. Assistant Professor of Immunology
  2. Assistant Professor of Medicine


  1. Clinical Fellowship - Transplant Hepatology Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  2. Clinical Fellowship - Gastroenterology and Hepatology Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  3. Postdoctoral Research Fellowship - NIH T32 program, Laboratory of Gregory J. Gores, M.D. Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic
  4. Internship/Residency University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  5. Research Trainee Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic
  6. MB BS King Edward Medical College
  7. BSc University of Punjab

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