Texas Medical Center
Houston, TX 77030
Shoba A. Navai, MD
Dr. Shoba Navai is a physician-scientist and full time faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, Section of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. She is a member of the multidisciplinary solid tumor team and Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT).
From early in medical school, Dr. Navai knew she wanted to take care of children with cancer as she had the personal experience of dealing with a close family member who developed leukemia and had to undergo stem cell transplant. During her Pediatric/Global Child Health residency training program at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Navai spent a significant portion of her training in Botswana caring for children diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Treating patients with this serious immunodeficiency and realizing the power of antiviral medications that manipulate the immune system, she developed a strong interest in applying the same principles to children with cancer. This led to her pursuit of research in immunotherapies for cancer during her fellowship and now in her faculty position.
As a member of the Solid Tumor and Rare Tumors Programs at Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers, she is involved in the management of children with a variety of solid tumors, including rare childhood tumors such as melanoma.
Dr. Navai currently co-leads to phase 1 clinical trials testing chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies for patients with HER2-positive sarcoma and patients with HER2-positive brain tumors, respectively.
Board Certifications American Board of Pediatrics
Dr. Shoba Navai's research focuses on translating new treatments for children and adults with solid tumors and brain tumors by redirecting the immune system to attack cancer cells.
Children and adults with difficult-to-treat solid tumors or brain tumors such as sarcoma and glioblastoma are in need of novel therapies to improve their outcomes. Dr. Navai's research focuses on taking promising new cellular immunotherapies developed in the laboratories of Drs. Nabil Ahmed and Meenakshi Hegde forward into clinical trials. Her research group focuses on a specific kind of immunotherapy called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. By genetically engineering a patient's T cells (a type of white blood cell) to express a new protein called a CAR, we hope to use this CAR T cell treatment to redirect each patient's immune system to fight his or her tumor.
The ultimate goal of Dr. Navai's research is to provide new and efficacious immunotherapeutic treatments for patients with the most difficult tumor types and to improve their survival.
To further develop her expertise in the clinical trial development in the arena of CAR T cell therapies, she was awarded an NIH K12 Pediatric Oncology Clinical Research Training Grant in Immuno-oncology in 2018. This career development grant has allowed her to continue her laboratory and clinical trial research and to obtain formal training in clinical research.
Immunotherapy: A Promising New Childhood Cancer Treatment
Treatment of Recurrent Sarcoma in Children and Young Adults using Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Immunotherapy Research Using Car T-Cells to Destroy Cancer Cells
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