Meenakshi Hegde, MD

Location

  • Texas Medical Center

Specialty

Cancer

Phone: 832-822-4840
Fax: 832-825-4732

Contact Information

1102 Bates Street
Suite 1570
Houston, TX 77030
United States
Texas

Research Area

  • Cell and gene therapy
  • Bone Marrow Transplant / Stem Cell Transplant

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine

Education

School Education Degree Year
Baylor College of Medicine fellowship Pediatric Hematology Oncology 2012
University of Illinois at Chicago, Corner Children's Hospital residency Pediatrics 2009
All India Institute of Medical Sciences postgraduate education Pediatrics 2005
Medical College, Mysore, India medical school Doctor of Medicine 2003
Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates ecfmg
Bangalore Medical College, India internship/residency Pediatrics 2005

About

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.

Organization

Organization Name Role
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Member
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Member
American Society of Bone Marrow Transplant (ASBMT) Member
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Member
Children's Oncology Group (COG) Member
Karnataka Medical Council, India Member
Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Member

Research Statement

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.

Learn more about the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy on BCM.edu

Selected Publications

Awards

Schwiesguth Prize by the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP)

Young Investigator Award by the American Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (ASPHO)