Current funding

Current Projects

The Impact of Fitness on Anti-Viral Immunity in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults Undergoing Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

Major Goals: This study will determine the impact of cancer and cancer treatment on anti-viral immunity in children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer and if fitness level may offset some of the negative effects in immunity against viruses caused by cancer and its treatment.

Source of Support: Hyundai Hope on Wheels Impact Grant

A Continuous Cancer Vaccine Platform Employing a Cell Based Implantable Device

Major Goals: Demonstrate the efficacy and safety of a continuous cancer vaccine platform employing the cell based implantable device. Examine the resulting tumor specific immune responses and delineate the immune cells involved.

Source of Support: Hyundai Hope Scholar Grant

Exercise Training as Countermeasure for Anti-Tumor Immune Dysregulation Due to Isolation and Confinement Stress

Major Goals: Determine if exposing humans to a spaceflight isolation and confinement stress analog environment will impair the anti-tumor activity of effector lymphocytes. This project will utilize humanized mouse models to determine the effects of the stress environment on the ability to control leukemic growth in vivo.

Source of Support: NASA

Promoting Behavioral Health, Cognitive, Sensorimotor and Immune Function Using Guided Imagery to Augment Exercise Training in an Isolated and Confined Spaceflight Analog Environment.

Major Goals: To determine the effects of exercise with and without guided imagery on stress induced changes in behavioral health, sensorimotor and immune function.

Source of Support: NASA

Effect of Space Radiation on Cytomegalovirus Reactivation and Lytic Replication.

Major Goals: The major goal of this proposal is to determine the impact of space radiation on the reactivation of cytomegalovirus and anti-viral immunity.

Source of Support: NASA

Validation of Multisystem Countermeasures Protocol for Spaceflight during Antarctica Winterover at Palmer Station

Major Goals: To determine the effects of a multisystems countermeasure protocol on immune dysregulation during extreme isolation and confinement.

Source of Support: NASA


Potential Use of HDAC Inhibitors to Increase Neuroblastoma Immunogenicity by Enhancing Antigen Presentation for Gamma-Delta T Cell and NK Cell Subtypes

Major Goals: This project will explore mechanisms for increasing the immunogenicity of neuroblastoma tumors as well as determine how HDAC inhibitors can improve antigen presentation to gamma-delta T cells and NK cell subtypes to enhance their anti-tumor activity. Additionally, this project will evaluate different expansion protocols for gamma-delta T cells and NK cells to generate "off-the-shelf" adaptive cell products for use against neuroblastoma.

Source of Support: Courtney's Courage

Exercise as an Immune Adjuvant for Gamma Delta T-cell Therapies in Hematologic Malignancies

Major Goals: Determine if a single exercise bout can improve the quality of CAR gd T-cells expanded from healthy donors. Explore the transcriptomic basis for the enhanced expansion and cytotoxicity of exercise mobilized gd T-cells and their expanded products. Identify the b2-AR signaling pathways responsible for mobilizing gd T-cells with enhanced expansion and cytotoxicity potential.

Source of Support: NIH

Use of Humanized NSG Mice to Optimally Balance GvHD and GvL Against Hematologic Malignancies

Major Goals: This project proposes to build on our hematopoietic cell transplant preclinical and clinical data in studying bendamustine as an alternative agent in controlling xenogeneic GvHD (xGvHD) following infusion of human PBMCs in NSG mice. Additionally, we will study the graft versus tumor (GvT) effects following engraftment of human immune cells in NSG mice against both lymphoid and myeloid human malignancies.

Source of Support: Hyundai Hope Scholar Grant