Texas Medical Center
1102 Bates Ave., Ste. 1570
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.
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.
2020 Young Investigator Award, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine
Team Science Award, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
Schwiesguth Prize, International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP)
2014 Young Investigator Award, American Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (ASPHO)
2012 Hyundai Hope on Wheels Scholar
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