Dr. Sophie Paczesny is co-leader of the Cancer Immunology program at the Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina. She was previously Tenured Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology at Indiana University School of Medicine, where she led the Biomarkers Stem Cell Transplantation Program and held the Nora Letzter Chair in Pediatrics. Dr. Paczesny’s research focuses on three areas: 1) developing and translating biomarkers of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and graft-versus-tumor (GVT); 2) discovering inhibitors of drug targetable biomarkers; and 3) finding novel immunotherapies with a recent focus on targeting the tumor microenvironment. The Paczesny laboratory identified novel GVHD biomarkers such as STimulation-2 (ST2), the IL-33 receptor, which is elevated early during the course of the transplant and predictive of GVHD-related mortality. These findings are being explored both for their role in the regulation of T cell balance and for their translational aspect in the treatment of GVHD. Dr. Paczesny’s research has been supported by numerous awards from the National Marrow Donor Program, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the National Institutes of Health.
She is co-chair of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Immunobiology working group, co-chair of the American Society of Hematology task force on immunotherapies, and co-chair of American Society of Transplant and Cellular Therapy Women and Under-Represented Minorities Committee.
Dr. Paczesny is fully committed to exposing trainees to a rigorous mentored research experience ensuring that diverse, highly-trained physician scientists are available to carry out cutting-edge research to transform patient health in the future. She has supervised more than 40 trainees throughout her career and has been successful in transitioning her mentees to independence.