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Texas Medical Center
1102 Bates Ave., 12th Floor
Houston, TX 77030
Amy N. Courtney, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology/Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine
|Baylor College of Medicine||Post-doctoral Fellow||Tumor Immunology||2013|
|University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston||PhD||Doctor of Philosophy, Viral Immunology||2010|
|Texas A&M University||Bachelors||Bachelor of Science||2003|
Dr. Amy Courtney is an immunologist with over fifteen years of experience in both basic and translational research. Her research has focused primarily on invariant natural killer T (NKT) cells, specifically how to utilize their unique biological characteristics to treat various illnesses.
She has worked in collaboration with others to develop and optimize protocols for isolating and ex vivo expanding human NKTs for clinical applications. She is currently the lead investigator performing correlative studies for two phase 1 clinical trials. The first trial is a first-in-human phase 1 clinical trial that utilizes ex vivo expanded NKTs expressing a chimeric antigen receptor in neuroblastoma patients (NCT03294954) and the interim results of this trial have recently been published (Heczey et al, Nat Med, 2020). The second trial is a phase 1 clinical trial with an allogeneic CD19.CAR NKT product for adult lymphoma patients (NCT03774654).
She is also interested in the cross-talk between NKTs and immunosuppressive tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), which have been shown to correlate with both metastatic disease and poor outcome in neuroblastoma patients. Her work has revealed that human NKTs mediate anti-neuroblastoma activity through both direct and indirect interactions with tumor-supportive TAMs. Currently, she is utilizing a transgenic murine model of neuroblastoma to further explore the role of NKT-TAM interactions in tumor immune surveillance.
|Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Association (ANRA)||Member|
|American Association of Immunologists (AAI)||Member|
Amy Courtney's main focus in the lab is to examine the impact of natural killer T cells (NKTs) on the neuroblastoma microenvironment. In particular, she is interested in the cross-talk between NKTs and immunosuppressive tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), which have been shown to correlate with both metastatic disease and poor outcome in neuroblastoma patients. Her work has determined that human NKTs directly target TAMs in both a contact-dependent and -independent manner. Currently, she is utilizing a transgenic murine model of neuroblastoma to further explore the role of NKT-TAM interactions in tumor immune surveillance.
As part of our recently initiated first-in-human CAR NKT cell clinical trial in children with neuroblastoma (NCT03294954), she will perform correlative studies on patient samples to determine the effect of the adoptively transferred CAR NKTs on a variety of immune cell subsets. In addition, she is optimizing established procedures for isolation and ex vivo expansion of NKTs from human peripheral blood (Heczey et al, Blood, 2014).
Awards & Honors
2016 AAI Abstract Trainee Award and oral presenter, 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
2012 AAI Abstract Trainee Award and oral presenter, 99th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
2012 Keystone Future Science Fund Travel Scholarship, The Role of Inflammation during Carcinogenesis Conference, Keystone Symposia
2012 Prize for oral presentation, Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center 8th Annual Research Symposium
2009 Travel Scholarship, 5th International Symposium on CD1/NKT Cells
2009 Prize for poster presentation, 1st Annual GSBS Immunology Program Retreat
2007 Smith Educational Program Fellowship
* Texas Children's Hospital physicians' licenses and credentials are reviewed prior to practicing at any of our facilities. Sections titled From the Doctor, Professional Organizations and Publications were provided by the physician's office and were not verified by Texas Children's Hospital.