Becky Richards awarded ASH Fellow Scholar Award and NIH K08 grant for research in new CAR T cell therapy

Dr. Rebecca RichardsThe American Society of Hematology (ASH) has awarded Rebecca “Becky” Richards, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant, an ASH Fellow Scholar Award of $100,000 for the period October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2024, with an option to apply for a third year. ASH awards these scholarship grants to researchers who show great promise in the field of hematology/oncology. Richards’ research is in chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy as it applies to patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). She intends to use this funding, combined with both National Institutes of Health and departmental research support, to develop next-generation CAR T cells that are less likely to cause the complication known as on-target, off-tumor toxicity that causes the CAR T cells to attack healthy, non-cancerous tissue.

With a National Institutes of Health (NIH) K08 grant — a Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award — expected to total $1,245,240 over five years, Richards will conduct her research project “NOT-gated CAR T cells to overcome on-target, off-tumor toxicity in AML.” The grant covers the period from September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2027. Richards seeks to identify signaling mechanisms within the CAR T cells that will contribute to the design of better treatments for AML in pediatric patients. Her particular focus is to learn how to prevent on-target, off-tumor toxicity. Working with Richards will be her primary mentor, Christian Capitini, MD, associate professor, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant, as well as the members of her advisory committee, Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, research director and professor, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant; Kara Davis, DO, Stanford University; and Ansuman Satpathy, MD, PhD, Stanford University.