Emory School of Medicine
My Background research and training has covered several areas of cancer immunotherapy including adoptive immunotherapy clinical trials, development of Chimeric antigen receptor re-directed T lymphocytes (CARS) targeting various cancers.
Additionally I have worked in the laboratory to analyze G-CSF mobilized grafts for various immune suppressive cellular components, which helped in developing applications to deplete these immune suppressive cells and improve immune reconstitution post-transplant.
In the last 6 years I have opened five investigator initiated therapeutic trials in: autologous, allogeneic related, unrelated, and haplo identical hematopoietic stem cell transplants.
My primary area of interest is transplant immunology and applications to use both autologous and allogeneic transplants as platforms for cellular therapy and cancer immunotherapy. One exciting accomplishment is the low rate of aGVHD and good survival in MUDs with Tacrolimus/Sirolimus and Thymoglobulin Phase II trial. We observed encouraging long term outcomes with very low long term complication incidence and quality of life.
1- Depletion of immune suppressor cells from autologous graft with the goal of improving immune reconstitution and anti-tumor immune response post-transplant. In a small investigator initiated trial with immune correlative studies (day 15 lymphocyte/ monocyte recovery and phenotype), which can be compared with base line. Preliminary data can be used for a R21 proposal. Such trial has a potential of changing the paradigm of autologous transplant.
2- Prevention of GVHD both acute and chronic post unrelated transplants (From HLA 8/8 and 7/8 matched donors). Based on encouraging results we observed in reducing GVHD rates with triple immune suppression strategy, I hope to further develop this regimen to reduce non relapse mortality (NRM) at 1 and 5 years post-transplant. Reducing NRM without increasing relapse can improve overall transplant outcomes. Furthermore, this strategy can be well complemented with low dose DLI post-transplant to further prevent relapse.
3- Develop haploidentical transplant. I will focus on having a transplant platform of: enriched donor innate immune cells, enriched host homeostatic cytokines, and depleted donor adaptive immune cells early post-transplant. Such a platform will allow for in vivo donor innate cell activating interventions with the goal of generating allo reactive innate immune response (GVL) without GVHD.