Rochester, Minnesota


Wigle.Dennis@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


Dennis Wigle, M.D., Ph.D., is a thoracic surgeon who also conducts research on understanding and treating thoracic malignancies, mainly lung cancer and esophageal cancer. Working with his lab research team, Dr. Wigle uses several modern genomic, stem cell and regenerative medicine technologies in his studies. This work is translationally focused, with an emphasis on basic discoveries impacting disease understanding and the translation of novel scientific findings into clinical trials and patient care.

Focus areas

  • Genomic alterations in the development of lung adenocarcinoma. The molecular changes leading to invasive disease are poorly understood. Dr. Wigle aims to understand this biology and its impact on patient care for these lethal tumors.
  • Immune-based therapeutics for lung cancer. The profound impact of immune checkpoint inhibitors on the treatment of thoracic malignancy has reinvigorated study of immune-based treatment approaches for cancer. Dr. Wigle's work includes novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell approaches for solid tumors, the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) as cells of origin for cell-based cancer therapeutics, and the high-throughput production of neoantigen-specific monoclonal antibodies in plants.
  • Stem cell and regenerative therapeutics for organ replacement in cancer therapy. Dr. Wigle's work in this area has largely focused on segmental replacement of the esophagus. In 2020, Dr. Wigle and his team performed the first-in-human esophageal replacement using a mesenchymal stem cell-seeded graft. Further work involves harnessing lung regeneration as organ replacement therapy for cancer.

Significance to patient care

Research conducted in Dr. Wigle's lab focuses on developing novel treatment approaches for unmet patient needs. Dr. Wigle and his lab team work closely with commercial partners and have been involved in several investigational new drug applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Professional highlights

  • Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology
    • Vice chair (surgery), Respiratory Committee, 2012-2022
    • Panel member, Study Concept Review Committee, 2011-2012
  • National Institutes of Health
    • Ad hoc panel member, Bioengineering, Technology and Surgical Sciences Study Section, 2020
    • Ad hoc panel member, Cancer Biomarkers Study Section, 2015
  • Mesothelioma Foundation
    • Member, Board of Directors, 2016-2018
    • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, 2015-2016
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Lung Cancer Foundation of America, 2012-2015
  • Panel member, Cell and Molecular Biology Review Committee, Department of Defense Lung Cancer Research Program, 2012
  • American College of Surgeons Oncology Group
    • Member, Executive Committee, 2009-2011
    • Chair, Translational Science Peer Review and Prioritization Committee, 2009-2011
  • Vice-chair, North Central Cancer Treatment Group Surgery Committee, 2008-2011


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery

Joint Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Physiology & Biomedical Engineering

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Surgery


  1. Thoracic Surgery Training Program Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
  2. General Surgery Training Program Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
  3. Postdoctoral Research Fellowship - Molecular and Medical Genetics Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital
  4. MD - Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto
  5. Medical Scientist Trainee Division of Cardiovascular Research, Hospital for Sick Children
  6. PhD Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Queen's University
  7. MSc Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Queen's University
  8. BSc - Faculty of Science University of Waterloo

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