Christopher G. Kanakry, M.D.

Christopher G. Kanakry, M.D.
NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholar

Dr. Christopher Kanakry pursues basic, translational, and clinical research related to allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. His work largely centers on better understanding and developing the use of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide as graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis. By deciphering the immunologic mechanisms underlying the clinical efficacy of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide as well as its immunologic impact, he hopes to make this approach a safer and more effective treatment for patients with malignant and non-malignant hematologic disorders.

Areas of Expertise
1. Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation 2. HLA-haploidentical transplantation 3. Graft-versus-host disease 4. Post-transplant immune reconstitution

Contact Info

Christopher G. Kanakry, M.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
10-CRC, Room 4-3142
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ph: 240-760-6171

Dr. Kanakry’s research has centered upon better understanding the immunologic mechanisms of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide in order to rationally improve transplantation platforms using this approach. He has defined the preferential resistance of regulatory T-cells to post-transplantation cyclophosphamide and showed this to be a key component of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide’s clinical activity in murine models. He also has published multiple clinical studies on the use of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide as single-agent graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis in human leukocyte antigen-matched allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. His current work centers on using a major histocompatibility complex-haploidentical murine transplant model which he has developed toward investigating a number of key immunologic areas related to graft-versus-host disease and allogeneic transplantation generally and post-transplantation cyclophosphamide specifically. He also continues to explore basic mechanisms of T-cell activation and alloreactivity. Lastly, Dr. Kanakry is directly involved in translating his laboratory findings to the clinic in ongoing early phase clinical trials.

Scientific Focus Areas:
Cell Biology, Immunology
View Dr. Kanakry's PubMed Summary.

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Kanakry CG, Coffey DG, Towlerton AMH, Vulic A, Storer BE, Chou J, Yeung CCS, Gocke CD, Robins HS, O’Donnell PV, Luznik L, Warren EH.
    JCI Insight. 1(5): 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Kanakry CG, Fuchs EJ, Luznik L.
    Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology. 13(1): 10-24, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Kanakry CG, Tsai HL, Bolaños-Meade J, Smith BD, Gojo I, Kanakry JA, Kasamon YL, Gladstone DE, Matsui W, Borrello I, Huff CA, Swinnen LJ, Powell JD, Pratz KW, DeZern AE, Showel MM, McDevitt MA, Brodsky RA, Levis MJ, Ambinder RF, Fuchs EJ, Rosner GL, Jones RJ, Luznik L
    Blood. 124(25): 3817-3827, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Kanakry CG, O’Donnell PV, Furlong T, de Lima MJ, Wei W, Medeot M, Mielcarek M, Champlin RE, Jones RJ, Thall PF, Andersson BS, Luznik L
    J. Clin. Oncology. 32(31): 3497-3505, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Kanakry CG, Ganguly S, Zahurak M, Bolaños-Meade J, Thoburn C, Perkins B, Fuchs EJ, Jones RJ, Hess AD, Luznik L
    Sci Transl Med. 5: 211ra157, 1-12, 2013. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Kanakry received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his MD from Duke University School of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine residency and Hematology/Medical Oncology fellowships at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he also carried out transplantation research under the mentorship of Dr. Leo Luznik. Dr. Kanakry joined the NCI at the end of 2014.

Name Position
Rochelle Fletcher Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Suresh Mendu Ph.D. Biologist (Contr.)
Michael Patterson Postbaccalaureate Fellow
Jennifer Sadler R.N. Research Nurse
Natalia Schneider Nunes Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)