Our group focuses on using adoptive cellular therapies, like natural killer (NK) cell and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell infusions to cure pediatric cancers. We also engineer monocytes/macrophages using exosomes to reduce toxicity from immune-related adverse events, such as graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) and acute radiation syndrome.
Cellular Immunotherapy: One component of the Immunotherapy & Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Research Group is exploring methods to improve the usage of NK cells to treat children with solid tumors. We are also developing imaging techniques to monitor NK cell trafficking into tumors in real time, allowing us to understand where they go and how long they persist after infusion.
We also study how CAR T cells can be used to treat pediatric cancers. Dr. Capitini is a site Principal Investigator for clinical trials studying how CAR T cells treat children with high risk B cell leukemia. The Immunotherapy & Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Research Group is also developing non-viral approaches to generate CAR T cells to treat solid tumors as well as innovative methods for tracking them after infusion.
Immune-related adverse events: Total body irradiation is often used as a preparatory regimen before allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant because it can eliminate the host’s hematopoietic cells, called hematopoietic acute radiation syndrome, and also eliminate residual leukemia. It can also contribute to the development of acute GVHD, which is caused by donor T cells attacking normal host tissues that have been damaged by the irradiation such as the liver, skin or gut. We are developing alternatively activated monocytes and macrophages, using exosomes from mesenchymal stromal cells, to treat acute radiation syndrome and GVHD.
Additional Research Activities
- Basic, translational and clinical research of pediatric cancers
- Adoptive cell therapies (NK cell and CAR T cell infusions)
- Models of bone marrow transplant
- Acute radiation syndrome
Research Opportunities – Graduate Students
For students interested in obtaining a PhD, Dr. Capitini is a trainer for the Cellular and Molecular Pathology (CMP), Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB), Clinical Investigation (ICTR), and Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBMS) Graduate Programs. For more information, please click on the link for each program above.
Research Opportunities – Postdoctoral Fellows
Interested applicants with experience in cellular immunology, tumor models and/or genetic engineering may send a cover letter, CV, and emails for 3 references to email@example.com for consideration.
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Three department members honored with named professorships at the inaugural SMPH Faculty Investiture Ceremony
Named professorships endowed by donors to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) convey both an honor and funds to recipients’ research and other endeavors. On October 12, at the Fluno …November 2, 2022
Congratulations to the following faculty and students who were recently awarded Hilldale Faculty/Undergraduate Research Fellowships for the 2022-2023 academic year. The fellowship provides research training and support to undergraduate students, and it provides them the …July 15, 2022
Congratulations to Brittany Russell, a medical student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and her mentor, Christian Capitini, MD, associate professor, Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant, who were recently awarded a $5,000 Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) …April 25, 2022
A collaborative study by researchers from the University of Wisconsin Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine will be highlighted in the Best Abstract Session of the upcoming Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (TCT) Conference on Monday, April …April 18, 2022
Christian Capitini, MD, associate professor, Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant, along with co-investigator Krishanu Saha, PhD, associate professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, were recently awarded a $300,000 Hyundai Hope …February 8, 2022
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