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Professor, Pediatrics and Child Health, Immunology and Internal Medicine; Director, Manitoba Blood and Marrow Transplant Program; Director, Cellular Therapy Laboratory; Member, Regenerative Medicine Program
I returned home to Manitoba after many years of practice and research in New York, Boston, St. Louis and San Antonio to head up the Manitoba Blood and Marrow Transplant program.
MD and BScMed 1981,
Pediatric Internship, Babies Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian, NY, NY 1982
Pediatric Residency, Tufts NewEngland Medical Center, Boston, MA, 1983-4
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, The Children’s Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University, Boston MA, 1984-87
My research interest broadly focus on the field of clinical blood and marrow transplantation with a focus on the immunologic aspects of transplantation – the ability to recovery immunity post transplant, control immune dysregulation (also known as graft vs. host disease) and treat cancer. To this end I am active in international and national clinical trials networks (Children’s Oncology Group, Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Group, Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group and the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network) where I am involved with the development, running, and oversite of clinical trials that are asking questions such as the optimal way to use cord blood as an alternative donor source, maximizing graft-vs-leukemia effect of allogeneic transplant in the treatment of childhood leukemia, and optimizing the pretransplant therapy in children with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.
Within the Manitoba Blood and Marrow Transplant program we focus on addressing issues of care delivery for Manitobans. The comprehensive clinical transplant registry forms a foundation upon which clinical outcomes are measured – both in Manitoba and across Canada as part of the Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Registry.
My laboratory focuses broadly on developing cellular therapy in Manitoba and specifically on exploring the possibility of using immune regulatory cell populations as treatment for inflammatory disorders such as graft vs. host disease and multiple sclerosis. Two populations of special interest are mesenchymal stem/stromal cells and myeloid derived suppressor cells. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells are bone marrow-derived cells with potent immune down regulatory capacity. The laboratory is developing tools to measure the potency of these cells and ultimately correlating those measures with clinical responses. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells were intially observed in malignancies but are now found in immature myeloid populations under inflammatory conditions. These cells also are potently immunosuppressive. We are studying the kinetics of recovery of this cell population early post transplant and our ability to modulate their activity through the use of growth factors post transplant – the goal being to modulate graft vs. host disease while preserving the graft vs. leukemia effect of transplantation.