As a translational physician-scientist my long-term goals are to translate novel aspects of immunology to improve treatments for patients with advanced malignancies. We described human memory-like NK cells with enhanced anti-tumor activity and in a first in human clinical trial demonstrated safety and promising activity of these cells in advanced AML patients. In clinic we are currently testing these memory-like NK cells in combination with novel immune-modulatory agents in patients with advanced malignancies.
The primary focus of my lab-based research efforts is gene manipulation of the key immune cells including Natural Killer (NK) cells to enhance their anti-tumor function and also modulate tumor microenvironment (TME). We are also developing a novel class of immuno-cytokines aimed at selectively targeting the immuno-suppressive cells like MDSCs and Tregs.
I also lead our haploidentical transplant program and we are developing protocols using haploidentical donor transplantation as a platform to incorporate NK cell-based immunotherapy approaches.