Focus Areas

Research in progress in the T Cell Engineering Lab led by Saad J. Kenderian, M.B., Ch.B., at Mayo Clinic.

The research of Saad J. Kenderian, M.B., Ch.B., and his team is centered on the development and optimization of novel-engineered T cell therapy approaches for the treatment of cancer. His team collaborates with other teams and centers within Mayo Clinic and has several research efforts in early-phase clinical trials.

Research focus areas of the T Cell Engineering Lab include:

  • Improving CAR-T cell therapy. The lab is investigating several strategies to either enhance the activity of CAR-T cells or reduce their toxicities. These include secondary modification of CAR-T cells and combination strategies with monoclonal antibodies, small molecules, peptides and other immunotherapeutic strategies.
  • Expanding CAR-T cell therapy. The lab is investigating applying CAR-T cell therapy for other cancers and autoimmune disease.
  • Producing CAR-T cells more efficiently. Two strategies are being researched in the lab; generating CAR-T cells in vivo (skipping the cell production part) and generating nonviral CAR-T cells.

Research highlights

Ruff M, Sakemura R, Cox M, Torghabeh MH, Roman Moreno P, Schick K, Sarkaria J, Kenderian S. Development of EphA3 Directed Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Therapy for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme. Neuro-Oncology. 2019;21;doi:10.1093.

Sterner RM, Cox MJ, Sakemura R, Kenderian SS. Using CRISPR/Cas9 to Knock Out GM-CSF in CAR-T Cells. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2019;149, e59629, doi:10.3791.

Khadka RH, Sakemura R, Kenderian SS, Johnson AJ. Management of cytokine release syndrome: an update on emerging antigen-specific T cell engaging immunotherapies. Future Medicine. 2019;11:doi:10.2217.

Sterner R, Sakemura R, Cox M, Yang N, Khadka R, Forsman C, Hansen M, Jin F, Ayasoufi K, Hefazi M, Schick K, Walters D, Ahmed O, Chappell D, Sahmoud T, Durrant C, Nevala W, Patnaik M, Pease L, Hedin K, Kay N, Johnson A, Kenderian S. GM-CSF inhibition reduces cytokine release syndrome and neuroinflammation but enhances CAR-T cell function in xenografts. Blood. 2018; doi: 10.1182/blood-2018-10-881722.