My research focuses on preclinical development, bench-to-bedside translation, and clinical evaluation of novel cellular immunotherapeutic approaches, with an expertise in chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-)T cell therapy.
A CAR is comprised of an extracellular antigen recognition domain linked to intracellular T cell signaling domains, which after introduction into the T cell enables T cell activation upon encounter with the target antigen. Clinical trials of CAR-T cells targeting CD19 have demonstrated impressive results in the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell malignancies such acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), with response rate >80% for some cancers, highlighting the promise and feasibility of this cellular therapeutic approach.
My laboratory aims to: (a) develop CAR-T cells targeting other malignancies, such as myeloma, and (b) modify CAR-T cells so as to improve efficacy and decrease toxicity. We are exploring multi-antigen targeting approaches, modifications to the CAR construct, and different approaches to T cell manufacturing.
My clinical research with the Leukemia/BMT Program of BC focuses on the development of a CAR-T program in BC and involvement in clinical trials of CAR-T cell therapy.