Program: Immunotherapy for Targeting Pathogens

Image banner for Program to use Immunotherapy to Eliminate Pathogens project

Key Personnel

  • Michael Keller, MD 
  • Maria Manso, PhD 
  • Russell Cruz, MD, PhD 
  • Swaroop Bose 
  • Patrick Hanley, PhD 
  • Sharon Lam 
  • Sarah McCormack 
  • Kaylor Wright 
  • Hema Dave, MD 
  • Catherine Bollard, MD 
  • EJ Shpall, MD (MDACC) 
  • David Margolis, MD (UNC) 
  • Douglas Nixon, MD, PhD (GWU)

Synopsis
Infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT).  T-Cell immunotherapy directed against viruses has been shown to be effective in restoring antiviral immunity following transplant. T-Cells expanded from different donor sources (e.g. autologous versus allogeneic peripheral blood, seronegative versus seropositive donors and also cord blood donors) specifically recognize and lyse virus-infected cells. We have shown that we can generate virus-specific T-cells in a good manufacturing practices (GMP) setting and administer them to patients without severe adverse events, to prevent or treat adenovirus, CMV, and EBV infections to reduce morbidity and mortality post-transplant. We have now set up a bench-to-bedside translational research workflow at Children’s National that aims to evaluate the use of antiviral T-Cells in different clinical settings including post-cord blood transplant and outside the context of HCT;improve upon current manufacturing processes used in the generation of clinical grade antiviral T-Cells in the GMP including the expansion of virus specific T-Cells from virus-naïve donors, and) develop highly novel cell therapeutics in combination with new technologies to eliminate other pathogens such as HIV, HPV, and invasive fungal disease.