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Dr. Plon’s translational research has focused on analysis of patients with inherited susceptibility to childhood cancer, for example Rothmund Thomson syndrome associated with mutations in the RECQL4 gene and predisposition to osteosarcoma. Over the last ten years her research group has also reported on novel mechanisms of AML predisposition (microdeletion of 21q22), a novel chromosome breakage syndrome (LICS) and enrolling and interrogating the constitutional genome in families with unusual patterns of childhood cancer and congenital anomalies through whole genome and exome sequencing.
Dr. Nabil Ahmed is a physician-scientist engaged in translational research focusing on adoptive immunotherapy with gene-modified effector cells, to improve therapy for brain tumors. Dr Ahmed's initial studies demonstrated that antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells could eradicate established brain tumors in medulloblastoma and glioblastoma models. Subsequent studies have demonstrated that the tumor-specific T cells, unlike conventional therapies, can effectively target the stem cell compartment in the tumor eradicating experimental tumors in animal models.
Dr. Andras Heczey's research focuses on developing novel treatments for children with solid tumors by redirecting the immune system to attack and kill cancer cells by using genetically-engineered T cells and Natural Killer T cells.
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.
Dr. Robert Krance's research interests include: 1) the development of transplantation using alternative donors, 2) transplantation using less than fully HLA matched related donors, and 3) the impact of viral infection post-transplantation.
Based on her clinical interests in leukemia and lymphoma, specifically how to harness the immune system to recognize and attack tumors, during fellowship Dr. Rouce embarked on a laboratory project that identified a previously undescribed mechanism of ALL immune evasion from NK cell surveillance. She has spent several years in the translational research laboratories of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT) in order to achieve her goal of becoming a clinical investigator conducting immunotherapy trials.
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.
Dr. Parihar’s research interests center around finding new ways in which to enhance the body’s own immune system to detect and destroy cancer. He has worked in the field of immunology for over a decade and has contributed to numerous translational research projects investigating the role of various immune cells in the control of cancer.
Dr. Fasipe's research interests are focused on understanding barriers to transitioning youth with sickle cell to adult care. She desires to improve readiness to transition through active training and mentorship programs. Additionally, she wants to understand the factors related to patients with high care utilization patterns, in particular those with recurrent pain encounters. Dr. Fasipe is working to provide interventions to help improve pain management and hence, decrease the burden of high utilization.
Dr. Tubman is a promising young investigator who has developed successful clinical and research partnerships in the USA and in sub-Saharan Africa. With this unique perspective on sickle cell disease, Dr. Tubman has created an innovative lens through which she pursues sickle cell disease research.