Lea C. Cunningham, M.D.
Dr. Cunningham's research interests focus on characterizing the germline RUNX1 deficiency syndrome, to understand the pathophysiology of germline RUNX1 neoplastic transformation and to help develop novel therapies, including a dedicated transplantation protocol, for patients with germline RUNX1 mutations. Dr. Cunningham is the Medical Director of the RUNX1-FPD Clinical Research Study program at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). She is also Director of the NIH Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation Fellowship Program.
1) RUNX1 deficiency syndrome, 2) rare inherited primary immunodeficiencies, 3) bone marrow transplantation, 4) cellular therapy
Dr. Cunningham's three main goals are:
- To help characterize the germline RUNX1 deficiency syndrome, to understand the pathophysiology of germline RUNX1 neoplastic transformation and to help develop novel therapies, including a dedicated transplantation protocol for patients with germline RUNX1 mutations.
- To help characterize and to provide comprehensive care to patients with rare inherited primary immunodeficiencies.
- To provide a world-class Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Fellowship (BMTCT) experience in the joint NIH-Children’s National Medical Center to graduates of pediatric hematology/oncology programs seeking further training and expertise in BMTCT.
FDA Approval Summary: Ruxolitinib for Treatment of Steroid-Refractory Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease.Oncologist. 25(2): e328-e334, 2020. [ Journal Article ]
Acute Kidney Injury in Pediatric Patients Receiving Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Incidence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes.Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 24(4): 758-764, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
Selective T-cell depletion targeting CD45RA reduces viremia and enhances early T-cell recovery compared with CD3-targeted T-cell depletion.Transpl Infect Dis. 20(1): e12823, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
- Pediatr Blood Cancer. 63(12): 2078-2085, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
Core Binding Factor Acute Myeloid Leukemia: New Prognostic Categories and Therapeutic Opportunities.Semin Hematol. 52(3): 215-22, 2015. [ Journal Article ]
The primary aim of Dr. Cunningham’s Johns-Hopkins/NIH pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship project was to identify small molecule inhibitors of RUNX1 interaction. Dr. Cunningham was also privileged to help to take care of a small group of patients and families with germline RUNX1 mutations. Dr. Cunningham went on to complete a pediatric bone marrow transplantation and cellular therapy fellowship at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She stayed on as a physician-scientist faculty member in the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy where her research focused on developing targeted therapy, improved immunomodulation and transplantation methods for patients with myeloid malignancies. Dr. Cunningham returned to NIH in 2019.