Christopher G. Kanakry, M.D.
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. His work spans the generation of new mechanistic immunologic understandings in the laboratory and the direct translation of these understandings to the clinic in early phase clinical studies to improve transplant outcomes for patients with malignant and non-malignant hematologic diseases.
1) allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation, 2) HLA-haploidentical transplantation,
3) graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), 4) post-transplantation cyclophosphamide,
5) post-transplant immune reconstitution
Dr. Kanakry’s research is in transplantation immunology and graft-versus-host disease, particularly focused on better understanding the immunologic mechanisms by which post-transplantation cyclophosphamide prevents graft-versus-host disease in order to rationally improve transplantation platforms using this approach. His work has disproven the previously widely accepted paradigm that post-transplantation cyclophosphamide works by selectively eliminating alloreactive T cells. He has shown in humans and mice that regulatory T cells preferentially recover after post-transplantation cyclophosphamide and are necessary in murine models for post-transplantation cyclophosphamide’s activity in preventing graft-versus-host disease. More recently, he has shown that post-transplantation cyclophosphamide does not eliminate alloreactive T cells, but instead induces their functional impairment. He also has published multiple clinical studies on the use of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide as graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis in human leukocyte antigen-matched and -haploidentical allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. His current work centers on developing a comprehensive new model for understanding graft-versus-host disease prevention by post-transplantation cyclophosphamide in mice and translating these new findings to the clinic in early phase clinical studies.
Selected Recent Publications
Post-transplantation cyclophosphamide prevents graft-versus-host disease by inducing alloreactive T cell dysfunction and suppression.J Clin Invest. 130: 2019. [ Journal Article ]
- JCI Insight. 1(5): 2016. [ Journal Article ]
Mechanisms of Graft-versus-Host Disease Prevention by Post-transplantation Cyclophosphamide: An Evolving Understanding.Front Immunol. 10: 2668, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
Multi-institutional study of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide as single-agent graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation using myeloablative busulfan and fludarabine conditioning.J. Clin. Oncology. 32(31): 3497-3505, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
Aldehyde dehydrogenase expression drives human regulatory T cell resistance to posttransplantation cyclophosphamide.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 as an Assistant Clinical Investigator and was awarded a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar tenure-track position within NCI in October, 2018.
|Amy Chai M.S.N., R.N.||Research Nurse (Transplant Coordinator)|
|Alessandra de Paula Pohl Ph.D.||Research Fellow|
|Rochelle Fletcher Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)|
|Ashley Hadjis B.S.||Medical Research Scholar's Program (MRSP) Fellow|
|Mustafa Ali Hyder M.D.||Assistant Research Physician|
|Shanzay Khan||Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)|
|Meredith McAdams M.D.||Clinical Fellow|
|Michael Patterson||Special Volunteer|
|Jennifer Sadler R.N.||Research Nurse|
|Natalia Schneider Nunes Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)|