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Pappanaicken Kumar

Pappanaicken Kumar

Associate Member

Assistant Professor

[email protected]
MDA SCR4.3016 (Unit 0903)

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma

Research description:

My research is focused to develop cell-based therapies to control opportunistic infections.

1). Develop CAR T cell therapies to control fungal infections

2). Develop fungal specific T cells to control fungal infections

3). Develop bispecific T cells to target leukemic cells and control opportunistic infections

(1)    Fungal specific CAR T- cells to control opportunistic infections:

Fungal infections are a significant threat to immunocompromised patients, such as cancer patients, transplant patients, and AIDS patients. Currently, curative treatments are limited to treat drug-resistant fungal infections. CAR T-cell therapy is a viable option and has not explored intensely to treat fungal infections. This technology harnesses the fungal-targeting power of pattern recognition receptors of the innate immune system and the effector function of the adaptive immune system to eliminate invading pathogens. We collaborate with Dr. Dimitrios Kontoyiannis, professor, Department of Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Christina Rogue-Barreira, Professor, at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

(2)    Bringing production to the bedside:

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients are at risk for fungal infections such as Aspergillus and Candida. Chemoprophylaxis and treatment with small molecules is the standard therapy but limited for a long time usage by the side effects and incomplete responses. Pathogen-specific T-cell therapy is a viable option and gives a long-lasting defense through memory T cells in controlling fungal infections.  

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Education & Training

PhD, University of Madras, 1995


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