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Mohammad Sohrab Hossain PhD

Instructor (Research)
Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. Mohammad S. Hossain obtained his Masters degree in Pharmacy in 1992 from the Department of Pharmacy, Dhaka University, Bangladesh. He conducted research on the structural elucidation of organic compounds isolated from plant parts by different types of chromatographic analysis followed by NMR, MS, IR and UV spectroscopies analysis and anti-microbiological studies of isolated fractions or purified organic compounds. He obtained his PhD in 1999 in experimental viral immunology from the Immunology Laboratory of Professor K. Nomoto MD, PhD, Department of Immunology, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. Immediately afterwards, Dr. Hossain moved to the AIDS Research Center, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan as a post-doctoral fellow. He studied basic immunology in HIV infection and establishment of HLA-A*3303-restricted HIV-1 peptide specific CD8+ T cell epitopes by using method named Reverse Immunogenetics.

Since June 2001, Dr. Hossain has been performing stem cell research to develop a clinically relevant therapeutic strategy of anti-viral adoptive immunotherapy in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) without GvHD. Using the DNA cross-linking property of amotosalen (a water-soluble synthetic S59 psoralen compound manufactured by Cerus Corporation, Concord, CA), he developed an experimental parent to F1 allogeneic HSCT model without GvHD but protected from murine CMV infection. Using flagellin, a TLR5 agonist and a bacterial protein extracted and purified from S. typhimurium, Dr. Hossain successfully developed a novel treatment strategy to treat experimentally irradiated recipients with allogeneic HSCT without GvHD and without compromising the anti-viral immunity of donor T cells. Besides this preclinical research project, Dr. Hossain is also involved in a number of clinical research projects.

Dr. Hossain has published 19 peer reviewed research articles in highly reputed international journals including Blood, J. Immunology, AIDS, Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation etc. Since 2001, a total of 28 scientific abstracts from his research have been accepted for either oral or poster presentations in the annual meetings of ASH, AAI, AABB, BBMT, AACR, ASCO etc. Dr. Hossain is an active member of ASH, AAI, AAAS and ASBMT.

Research Interests

The goal of Dr. Hossain’s research is to develop new treatment strategies to treat malignant and non-malignant patients with allogeneic HSCT without GvHD and without compromising immune responses to opportunistic infection. Both pre-clinical and clinical research projects are in progress in an active collaboration with Dr. Edmund K. Waller, MD, PhD, FACP, Professor of Medicine and Oncology, Director, Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Center, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University; Dr. Amelia Langston MD, Associate Professor of Hematology-Oncology, Section Chief, BM & Stem Cell Transplant Center, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine; Dr. Jens P. Wrammert, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University; and Dr. Taofeek K. Owonikoko, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar, Emory University, Winship Cancer Institute. Preclinical Studies: To investigate the clinical efficacy of flagellin, a TLR5 agonist to reduce GvHD in recipients treated with allogeneic HSCT. A significant number of patients with aplastic anemia (AA), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), Fanconi’s anemia, and blood cancer are treated with allogeneic (HSCT), but most recipients develop graft-vs-host disease (GvHD) which can have serious and even life-threatening effects. While immunosuppressive drugs are used to prevent GvHD, they are often ineffective and are associated with significant drug-related toxicities. Moreover, high-dose myeloablative transplant conditioning regimens make patients severely immunocompromised, increasing the risks of opportunistic infections. We tested flagellin, a TLR5 agonist in allogeneic HSCT recipients, and found that it markedly improved the safety of allogeneic HSCT against GvHD. Detailed investigations are in progress. Clinical Studies: 1. To investigate the vaccine immune responses in autologous and allogeneic HSCT patients. Immune responses to live attenuated or inactivated influenza virus vaccines in healthy children and adults are reliable, but immune responses in immune-compromised HSCT recipients are often limited. Due to pre-transplant conditioning with high dose chemotherapy and or radiation, HSCT recipients are severely immunocompromised and at increased risk for post-transplant respiratory virus infections (RVIs). About 30% of RVIs are caused by influenza and parainfluenza virus infections that can cause severe and often fatal respiratory illnesses. Although vaccination is the easiest way to protect HSCT recipients from seasonal influenza infection, immune-compromised HSCT recipients are generally less responsive than healthy individuals. This research project is mainly focused on investigating the detailed kinetics and magnitude of B and T cell immune responses in HSCT patients vaccinated with influenza vaccine. 2. To enhance anti-CMV immunity by using targeting immunotherapy in allogeneic HSCT recipients. Besides anti-CMV therapy, episodes of CMV reactivation are often observed and the mechanisms for this failure of CMV-specific immunity are not well defined. In vivo blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 with specific mAbs can restore the anti-viral immunity and the use of blocking mAbs to PD-1/PD-L1 may enhance anti-CMV immunity in CMV reactivated allogeneic HSCT patients. 3. To investigate the immune responses of thyroid cancer patients. Clinical studies indicate a strong association between thyroid cancer outcome and patient immunologic function. In this study we are investigating the modulation of aberrant immune function regulators such as NK, T regulatory (Tregs) and CTLA-4 and PD-1 expressing T cells in thyroid cancer patients.

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Publications

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