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Paul Hess

Assoc Professor

CVM Main Building B337



  • BA, English, Biology; Rutgers, 1985
  • DVM; Mississippi State, 1992
  • PhD, Immunology; NCSU, 2002 [Gilboa Lab, Duke]


  • Small Animal Rotating Internship; NCSU, 1992-3
  • Residency, Small Animal Internal Medicine; NCSU, 1994-7
  • Post-doctoral researcher, UNC-CH, 2003-8, [Frelinger Lab]
  • Residency, Medical Oncology; NCSU, 2002-8


Professional Affiliations

  • Graduate Faculty, NCSU Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS), Immunology Concentration
  • NCSU Biotechnology Program
  • NCSU Comparative Medicine Institute
  • American Association of Veterinary Immunologists
  • American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine


Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (SAIM, Oncology)

Area(s) of Expertise

Hess Lab: CD8+ T cells in Health & Disease

Research Interests
Cancer in dogs: We’re working to develop new immunotherapies for two common, deadly cancers of white blood cells, lymphoma and histiocytic sarcoma. Our goal is to harness the selective killing power of T cells and antibodies to eliminate the tiny number of cancer cells that somehow resist chemotherapy and ultimately claim a patient’s life. We are conducting 4 active studies in this area. With the exception of the first study, we are seeking donations to assist with the development of these technologies.
• Beginning the test of a novel peptide vaccine for treatment of lymphoma. This is an internal clinical trial limited to Golden Retriever and Boxer patients of the NC State Veterinary Hospital that have failed conventional chemotherapy [Funded by an NCSU Chancellor’s Innovation Fund].
• Investigating new antigens and adjuvants (immune targets and stimulants) for the next-generation version of the lymphoma vaccine.
• Developing a novel antibody-based therapy for targeting and eliminating chemoresistant lymphoma cells.
• We recently completed a study, funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, that used state-of-the-art DNA sequencing of lymphoma cell “fingerprints” in a patient’s blood during treatment as a way to measure the invisible burden of chemoresistant cancer cells. We’re now trying to develop a better method of detection that would have a sufficiently fast turn-around time to guide drug choices in individual patients, as they go through chemotherapy.


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