November 7, 2021:

This month, the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium features our member institution University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and medical oncologist Margaret Byrne, MD, MS, clinical assistant professor of Internal Medicine-Hematology, Oncology, and Blood and Marrow Transplantation at the Carver College of Medicine.

Dr. Byrne’s research interests include early-phase clinical trials of adjunctive therapies to enhance the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with head, neck, and lung cancers. Her clinical expertise includes thoracic malignancies and head and neck cancer.

She is a member of the Big Ten CRC’s Thoracic Clinical Trial Working Group and Head and Neck Clinical Trial Working Group.

In fellowship, Dr. Byrne’s research project was a comprehensive description of immune-related adverse events (irAE) in cancer patients being treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors at a single institution. In this study, they described the incidence, severity, time-course, management, and possible risk factors for the development of irAE in this population.

Educational Background:

  • MD: Rush University, Rush Medical College
  • Residency (Internal Medicine): University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Fellowship (Hematology/Oncology): Tufts Medical Center
  • MS (Clinical and Translational Science): Tufts Medical Center

Three facts about Dr. Byrne:

  • She has two young children.
  • She loves Notre Dame sports. “Go Irish!”
  • She loves pork tenderloin sandwiches.

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa’s only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center and has held that designation since 2000. The NCI designation recognizes our cancer center, and its research scientists, physicians, and other health care professionals, for their roles in advancing cancer research that impacts on our ability to prevent, detect, and treat our patients with cancer. The center is a matrix center that spans the university and includes more than 300 physicians, faculty, and researchers from 36 related university departments and six colleges, as well as the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as members and other cancer-focused faculty.


About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit