Season 2, Episode 19

The Crossroads Between Immune-Oncology and Digital Pathology

This episode's guest:

Keith Wharton, MD, PhD Ultivue

This episode of Digital Pathology Today™ our guest is Keith Wharton, MD, PhD from Ultivue.

The big trend in oncology over the past few years has been immunotherapy. This trend is converging with the digital transformation we are undergoing in pathology. We seem to be at the crossroads of immune-oncology, digital pathology, image analysis, artificial intelligence, and the increasing ability to multiplex.

Our guest is Keith Wharton Jr., MD, PhD from Ultivue, a company looking to reveal actional biology through multiplex immunofluorescence to make immunotherapy a reality for patients with cancer. Keith is a board-certified anatomic pathologist with diverse achievements in research, drug/diagnostic development, and clinical investigation. He leads Ultivue’s Pathology and Biomarker Analytics team.

We’ll be discussing what is the need for multiplexing. How much information can multiplexing add above and beyond standard methods? When do we reach the point of diminishing returns? What are some challenges to implementation and risks of complexity and system failure? In addition, we will talk about specific applications in immune oncology for immunofluorescence and multiplexing versus the current state of the practice including immunohistochemistry and quantifying tumor infiltrating lymphocytes on good old-fashioned H&E sections.

More About Keith Wharton, MD, PhD Ultivue

Keith Wharton

Vice President, Medical Director


Keith is a board-certified human anatomic pathologist with diverse achievements in research, drug/diagnostic development, and clinical investigation. Leading Ultivue’s Pathology and Biomarker Analytics team, he brings expertise in investigative pathology, multiplex microscopy and imaging, and digital pathology to our customers striving to realize the promise of personalized medicine. Most recently he was Senior Medical Director of Leica Biosystems, and prior to that he led and supported R&D, toxicology, biomarker, and clinical study teams in multiple therapeutic areas at Biogen and Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.

He earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona, and MD and PhD in Molecular Biology from UCLA, where he discovered the molecular basis of DNA recognition by bHLH-PAS transcription factors. Following internship and residency in Anatomic Pathology and fellowships in Autopsy Pathology and Developmental Biology at Stanford, his research lab at UT Southwestern established the Naked cuticle (Nkd) gene family as critical feedback regulators of Wnt/b-catenin signaling in development and disease.