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 firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
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The previously published manuscript, “Production and characterization of virus-free, CRISPR-CAR T cells capable of inducing solid tumor regression,” was voted the Best Immune Cell Therapies and Immune Cell Engineering Paper of 2023 by the Journal for …January 19, 2024
The National Cancer Institute recently granted Christian Capitini, MD, associate professor and chief, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant, an R01 award for his project, “Label-free Imaging of CAR T Cell Metabolism.” MPIs …October 13, 2023
Christian Capitini receives ICTR Pilot Award to investigate immunotherapeutics targeting metastatic osteosarcoma
Christian Capitini, MD, associate professor and chief, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant, and Sandro Mecozzi, PhD, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, were recently awarded a Translational Basic and Clinical Pilot Program award from …August 18, 2023
Christian Capitini will lead Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant as newly named chief
The new academic year will bring a change in leadership for the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant when Christian Capitini, MD, associate professor, assumes the role of division chief on July 1. …June 19, 2023
A bone marrow transplant can be a lifesaving treatment for people with relapsed blood cancers, but a potentially lethal complication known as graft-versus-host disease put limitations on this procedure. New research from the University of …April 13, 2023
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