Subramaniam Malarkannan, PhD
PI, Molecular Immunology and Immunotherapy
Professor of Medicine - Hematology and Oncology & Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Senior Investigator, Blood Research Institute
Research Interests: We are interested in the basic biology and clinical utilization of NK cells. In particular, we study signaling cascades in muring and human NK cells. This helps us to correlate the role of individual signaling proteins with the development, terminal maturation and effector functions on NK cells. Using our findings, we are also exploring the translational relevance of NK and T cells.
Monica Thakar, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics - Hematology and Oncology
Clinical & Co-PI, Molecular Immunology and Immunotherapy
Research Interests: As a physician scientist who has specialized in hematopoietic cell transplantation, my clinical and translational research is geared toward using cellular therapies to treat both malignant and non-malignant (genetic) diseases. I am currently evaluating the role of hematopoietic cell transplantation and adoptive immunotherapy with natural killer (NK) cells for prophylaxis and treatment of relapse, infections, and graft rejection in both lab studies and prospective clinical trials. As part of my co-Investigator role of our laboratory, I am interested in understanding NK cell signaling pathways and effector functions. We are currently designing novel NK cell chimeric antigen receptors to treat high-risk leukemia.
Other Interests: Hiking, mountain climbing, and Yoga.
Tyce Kearl, MD, PhD
Clinical Fellow, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
As a physician scientist specializing in pediatric oncology, I am focused on improving the treatment of childhood cancers. Recent advances in the field of immunotherapy have been exciting, and we are working hard to bring these therapies to our patients. In order to best utilize immunotherapy for cancer, we still need to answer some basic questions. Why do immunotherapies work for some patients and not others? What are the short and long-term risks? How can we mitigate these risks? My current research is focused on better understanding cytokine release syndrome (CRS), a serious toxicity of immunotherapies such as monoclonal antibody therapy and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy. Our lab has delineated divergent signaling pathways downstream of NK and T cell receptors that lead to cytotoxic effector functions or cytokine production. We are working to leverage this divergent signaling and develop CAR products with less CRS potential while maintaining robust anti-tumor cytotoxicity.
Other Interests: Taking my kids backpacking or mountain biking, woodworking, soccer, and tennis
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; TKearl@Versiti.org
Arash Nanbakhsh, DVM, PhD
Research Interests: I am a native of Uremia, Iran. After my graduation from veterinary medicine, I moved to Paris, France to get my PhD in immunology from the university of Paris-sud under supervision of Dr. Jean-Henri Bourhis and Dr. Salem Chouaib. Then, I moved to the USA for my postdoctoral fellowship. I like to understand how we can manipulate immune effector T cells and NK cells in order to make them more competent against cancer cell development in translational studies. Additionally, I like to learn more about the basic molecular mechanisms of immune cells signaling pathways. Therefore, I am studying the different signaling pathways modifying T cells activity in ADAP/Fyn knockout mice. Additionally, I would like to understand how microRNAs can regulate NK cells function and development. Another project of mine is to modify NK cells cytotoxic activity against leukemic patients through transduction of the next generation of CAR to reduce cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in cancer patients treated with CAR immunotherapy.
Other interests: Biking, swimming, mountain climbing, collecting insects and watching soccer, tennis and movies.
Jason Siebert, PhD
Research Interest: I am interested in signaling pathways that regulate the production of inflammatory cytokines and anti-tumor cytotoxic responses of Natural Killer cells. In particular, my study will focus how to engineer when chimeric antigen receptors that can be introduced into mouse and human Natural Killer cells. I am currently finishing my course and clinical requirements and will be starting the laboratory work in few months time.
Other Interests: In my free time I like to snowboard and go to concerts.