BMT Translational Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Translational Research

The BMT Program is built upon three translational research pillars: supportive care, the Host Defense Program and the Cellular Therapy Program. By integrating care, research and collaboration at all levels, we are able to elevate the patient’s opportunities for best outcomes and advance the field of BMT.

Supportive Care

A team of researchers, physicians, nurses and support staff focus on treating and preventing infection, late effects and organ toxicity. As a site for pharmaceutical trials and protocol development in each of these areas, the team ensures that patients have every opportunity for the best possible outcomes.

Among the advanced therapies offered is extracorporeal photopheresis, a form of apheresis and photodynamic therapy in which the blood is treated with a photosensitizing agent and irradiated before it is returned to the body. Recent studies show that photopheresis is a promising treatment for graft versus host disease (GvHD). Under the leadership of Hemalatha Rangarajan, MD, photopheresis is being used to treat both GvHD and autoimmune skin disorders.

Host Defense Program

The Host Defense Program (HDP) is a translational research collaborative among the Divisions of Hematology, Oncology and BMT and Infectious Diseases, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCC-James). The goal of the program is to reduce infection-related morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients through the use of novel therapeutics.

Areas of translational research focus in the HDP include:

  • Immune modulation following hematopoietic cell transplants
  • Gastrointestinal immunity and influence of the microbiome
  • Viral pathogenesis

Cellular Therapy

The newly created Cellular Therapy Program is led by Dean A. Lee, MD, PhD. This collaborative effort with

OSUCCC-James is dedicated to pursuing clinical trials and innovative treatments.

Advanced cellular therapy uses knowledge of the immune system and the transplant process to target specific cells to prevent or reduce GvHD, infection and disease relapse. The implications of cellular therapy are broad and further development and refinement in this field will directly impact children everywhere.

Through my new position at Nationwide Children’s, I am excited to bring together my clinical and research interests to develop trials of adoptive immune therapy and other cellular derived therapies for children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

-Dean A. Lee, MD, PhD, Director, Cellular Therapy Program