Stephen Gottschalk, MD
My laboratory is interested in cancer immunotherapy with antigen-specific T cells. This therapeutic approach has the major advantage of offering specific killing of malignant cells with minimal side effects. Our research is focused on Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-specific T cells for the treatment of EBV-associated malignancies, and the use of genetically modified T cells for cancer immunotherapy. We have delineated novel mechanisms by which EBV is able to evade specific cytotoxic T-cell responses, devised solutions in the laboratory and advanced them to testing in the clinic. We genetically engineer T cells to render them tumor specific and/or enhance their effector function. T cells genetically modified to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are one focus of our laboratory. We have developed CARs against common solid tumor antigens such as HER2 and EphA2, and have started to test these in the clinic. In addition we are exploring CARs that target the tumor stroma, and are evaluating in preclinical models combinatorial therapies in which T cells are combined with other targeted therapies to enhance their antitumor activity.