James N. Kochenderfer, M.D.

James N. Kochenderfer, M.D.
Senior Investigator

Dr. Kochenderfer is a physician-scientist working to develop immunotherapies for lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma. His current work focuses on chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies. Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are fusion proteins that recognize malignant cells. T cells genetically engineered to express CARs can be infused into patients to treat cancer. Dr. Kochenderfer leads laboratory studies of CAR T-cell biology and clinical studies of CAR T-cell therapies for multiple myeloma and for treatment of B-cell malignancies after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Areas of Expertise

1) chimeric antigen receptors, 2) treatment of lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma, 3) T-cell immunology, 4) gene therapy, 5) immunotherapy, 6) hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Contact Info

James N. Kochenderfer, M.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10 - CRC - Room 3-3888
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ph: 240-760-6062

Dr. Kochenderfer develops T-cell therapies for blood cancers including lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma. T cells normally play a critical role in fighting infections and cancers. Patients who have cancer have T cells that are no longer fighting their cancer.  With gene therapy, their T cells can be modified to attack a cancer target and exert a powerful and specifically-targeted anti- cancer effect. Dr. Kochenderfer leads a lab that genetically engineers T cells with genes encoding chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) that target malignancy-associated antigens.  He previously designed and constructed a novel anti-CD19 CAR T cell that was first to demonstrate antigen-specific activity of anti-CD19 CAR T cells in humans. This work in anti-CD19 CAR T cells led to the first Food and Drug Administration-approved CAR T-cell therapy for lymphoma. Dr. Kochenderfer also designed the first chimeric antigen receptor targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA). He then led the first clinical trial of T cells expressing an anti-BCMA CAR as a treatment for multiple myeloma. He currently has open trials investigating novel CAR T cell therapies in Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma and is developing new methods to improve the cancer fighting ability of CAR T cells.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Clinical Research, Immunology
View Dr. Kochenderfer's PubMed Summary.

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Raje N, Berdeja J, Lin Y, Siegel D, Jagannath S, Madduri D, Liedtke M, Rosenblatt J, Maus MV, Turka A, Lam LP, Morgan RA, Friedman K, Massaro M, Wang J, Russotti G, Yang Z, Campbell T, Hege K, Petrocca F, Quigley MT, Munshi N, Kochenderfer JN
    N Engl J Med. 380: 1726-1737, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Brudno JN, Kochenderfer JN
    Blood. 34: 45-55, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Kochenderfer JN, Somerville RPT, Lu T, Shi V, Bot A, Rossi J, Xue A, Goff SL, Yang JC, Sherry RM, Klebanoff CA, Kammula US, Sherman M, Perez A, Yuan CM, Feldman T, Friedberg JW, Roschewski MJ, Feldman SA, McIntyre L, Toomey MA, Rosenberg SA
    J Clin Oncol. 35: 1803-1813, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Brudno JN, Somerville RP, Shi V, Rose JJ, Halverson DC, Fowler DH, Gea-Banacloche JC, Pavletic SZ, Hickstein DD, Lu TL, Feldman SA, Iwamoto AT, Kurlander R, Maric I, Goy A, Hansen BG, Wilder JS, Blacklock-Schuver B, Hakim FT, Rosenberg SA, Gress RE, Kochenderfer JN
    J Clin Oncol. 34: 1112-21, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Brudno JN, Maric I, Hartman SD, Rose JJ, Wang M, Lam N, Stetler-Stevenson M, Salem D, Yuan C, Pavletic S, Kanakry JA, Ali SA, Mikkilineni L, Feldman SA, Stroncek DF, Hansen BG, Lawrence J, Patel R, Hakim F, Gress RE, Kochenderfer JN.
    J Clin Oncol. 36/22: 2267-2280, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Kochenderfer is a clinician and translational researcher in the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Kochenderfer conducts research aimed at developing new T-cell therapies for lymphoma and leukemia. His clinical expertise lies in the areas of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and hematologic malignancies. Dr. Kochenderfer received his M.D. from West Virginia University in 1995, and he completed clinical training in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University. He completed oncology and hematology fellowships at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and at Baylor College of Medicine. He completed further training in tumor immunology and stem cell transplantation as a clincial fellow at the NCI. He was an Assistant Clinical Investigator at NCI prior to becoming a tenure-track investigator in 2013. He received tenure from NIH in 2020. He received an American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy Outstanding New Investigator Award (2017) and the FNIH Trailblazer Clinican Award (2019). In 2020, his work on "Development of CAR T-Cell Therapy for Myeloma” was selected as a 2020 Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards by the Clinical Research Forum.

Name Position
Christina Amatya Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Jennifer N. Brudno, M.D. Associate Research Physician
Kathryn Cappell M.D. Medical Oncology Clinical Fellow
Ashley Carpenter R.N. Research Nurse
Stephanie Choi B.S. Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Micaela Ganaden R.N. Research Nurse
Brenna Hansen R.N. Research Nurse
Jo Hurtt R.N. Research Nurse (Contr.)
Norris Lam B.S. Biologist
Jennifer Mann CRNP Nurse Practitioner
Lekha Mikkilineni, M.D. Assistant Research Physician
Rachael Mohn B.S. Patient Care Coordinator (Contr.)
Danielle Vanasse B.S. Research Technician (Contr.)
Shicheng Yang Ph.D. Principal Scientist (Contr.)