Texas Medical Center
Houston, TX 77030
Meenakshi G. Hegde, MD
Dr. Meenakshi Hegde is a pediatric oncologist engaged in translational research on immunotherapy to improve patient outcomes in high-risk cancer. Her research was the first to demonstrate that a highly heterogeneous landscape of antigen expression in glioblastoma and other solid tumors benefitted from simultaneous targeting of these antigens using a novel bispecific CAR T-cell (TanCAR).
Her current efforts focus on the tumor complex rather than the tumor cell to develop effective T-cell based platform resistant to the inhibitory pathways within the tumor environment and translation of newly developed cellular therapies from the laboratory to clinic through well-designed clinical trials to shape standard of care practices in the field of high-risk cancer therapy. Her clinical interests span adoptive cellular therapy and bone marrow transplant.
Dr. Hegde is a member of the Brain Tumor Research Program at Texas Children's Cancer Center, the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, and the Bone Marrow / Stem Cell Transplant Program.
She is a board certified physician-specialist in pediatric hematology/oncology and a member of the American Board of Pediatrics.
Board Certifications American Board of Pediatrics American Board of Pediatrics - Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Solid tumors enable immune evasion by expressing high-levels of immune-inhibitory ligands that attenuate anti-tumor responses by inducing functional exhaustion and apoptotic death of the activated tumor-antigen specific T cells. Programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1; B7-H1)/ programmed death protein-1 (PD-1; CD279) immune-checkpoint is a key mediator of this tumor-derived immune-inhibition.
Using a glioma model, we are currently investigating how PD-L1/PD-1 axis can be best manipulated to enhance the anti-tumor efficacy of adoptively transferred chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells.
Our approach will create a broad T-cell engineering platform to modulate tumor derived immune-inhibitory signals for improved cellular therapy of solid tumors.
Schwiesguth Prize by the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP)
Young Investigator Award by the American Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (ASPHO)
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