Bone Marrow Transplant; Adoptive Cellular Therapy focusing on Chimeric Antigen Receptor-modified T cells; Transplantation Immunology focused on the biology and treatment of graft-versus-host disease; Innate Lymphoid Cell development after allogeneic stem cell transplantation; Tumor Immunology focused on characterizing the tumor microenvironment in epithelial cancers
BA Biology University of Virginia 1982; MD University of Virginia 1986; Intern and Resident University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1986-1989; Infectious Disease Fellow University of North Carolina Hospital 1989-1991; Hematology Fellow University of North Carolina Hospital 1991-1993; Bone Marrow Transplant and Oncology Fellow Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center 1993; Assistant Professor of Medicine 1993-2000; Joint Appointment in Microbiology and Immunology 1998; Associate Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology 2000-2008; Elizabeth Thomas Professor Associate Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology 2006; Elizabeth Thomas Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology 2008-present.
Research and Clinical Interests
My clinical interests focus on the use of adoptive cellular therapy and stem cell transplantation for the treatment of patients with hematological-based cancers, bone marrow failure syndromes and inherited diseases associated with bone marrow failure and disease. My research focuses on enhancing our understanding of the biology of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). My laboratory currently is working on approaches to treat gastrointestinal tract GvHD using immunosuppressive innate lymphoid cells. Our research focuses on the impaired development of innate lymphoid cells after stem cell transplant and approaches to improve this. Additionally, we focus on enhancing our understanding of the immune response to tumors. Finally my recent research focuses on the discovery of biomarkers of response to immuno-oncology therapy, enhancing our understanding of the function of the tumor microenvironment in blocking the anti-tumor immune response and understanding how to enhance the function of adoptive cellular therapy for the treatment of epithelial malignancies.
During my career which has focused on the care of patients with blood-based cancer, I have seen tremendous strides made in our ability to treat and cure patients with these diseases. This aspect of my career has been tremendously rewarding with new therapies being developed rapidly. Leading a large group of investigators, protocol nurses, regulatory personnel that use CAR T cells to treat patients with cancer has been extremely gratifying especially in our ability to develop novel therapies that have the potential to eliminate malignant disease. Finally, as a holder of a grant to train the next generation of physician scientists in immunotherapy, I am strongly committed to training the next generation of diverse physician scientists.