Dr. Dean A. Lee
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Pediatrics
- Adoptive immunotherapy of pediatrics cancers
- Ex vivo expansion and gene-modification of NK cells
- Chimeric antigen receptors
- Platforms and devices for non-integrating gene transfer
- Immunosensitization of tumors to NK cell lysis using epigenetic drugs
- VEGF receptor expression in T cell subsets
- STAT3 signaling in NK cells
My laboratory works on the translating immunologic basic science concepts to preclinical applications of adoptive immunotherapy for pediatric malignancies, and performs basic immunocorrelative studies for the clinical trials that apply these concepts. We have developed methods for expansion of NK cells to large numbers for clinical trials, and continue to work on methods to modify the expansion conditions or the expanded cells themselves to increase survival, potency, homing, and tumor targeting.
The Lee Laboratory and Cooper Laboratory form the basic/translational core for the Pediatric Cell Therapy Section and collaborate closely together and with many other investigators in academia and industry. The goals of these collaborations are always to advance the field of cellular immunotherapy and translate those advancements to improved long-term, disease-free survival of patients with pediatric malignancies and hematologic diseases.
A tutorial student rotating through the laboratory would be exposed to flow cytometric immunophenotyping and sorting, NK cell expansion, cytokine assays, cytotoxicity assays, construction of fusion proteins, gene transfer techniques, xenograft mouse models, bioluminescent imaging, tissue culture techniques, quantitative RT-PCR, and evaluation of epigenetic modification (e.g., histone acetylation, DNA methylation).