Current Research and Scholarly Interests
I trained extensively in India as a pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist.Due to a strong interest in pursuing translational research in the field I chose to come to USA.During my stay at children's hospital medical center (CHMC) in Cincinnati, Ohio I developed a strong interest in the field of stem cell biology and transplantation.My experience in this field also included extensive training and expertise obtained at the hospital for sick children,Toronto,Canada and National institutes of health(NIH),USA. At the hospital for sick children I learned and developed stem cell assays and invivo models of human hematopoiesis that were critical in understanding of stem cell biology and its clinical applications. At the NIH I spent Two years with Drs. Nienhuis and Cynthia Dunbar and developed gene transfer assays in Hematopoietic cells. At the NIH I also worked on developing the mammalian models for in vivo gene tranfer in hematopoietic cells.During this time we also published our work on chronic myeloid leukemia addressing the role of interaction of stromal cells with hematopoietic cells in the bone marrow.This publication defined conditions to favor the growth of benign hematopoietic cells in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.
At CHMC,Cincinnati,I established the stem cell biology laboratory to furthur investigate the field of Hematopoietic stem cells specifically involving the umbilical cord blood.I started the clinical Umbilical cord blood transplant program at CHMC.Through my research efforts we were able to develop a sterile system for collection and use of cord blood cells. This endeavor later contributed in establishing methods to collect and store cord blood for clinical use.In the laboratory we were able to set up the assays to identify and collect highly purified hematopoietic cells from the cord blood. The engraftment and expansion potential of the cord blood derived hematopoietic cells was studied in the immune deficient mice.Also these models were then used to develop assays for gene tranfer in Fanconi Anemia.Currently, at Stanford my focus is to develop clinical research protocols to reduce toxicity from high doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy,cellular therapies to reduce graft vs host disease,Graft manipulation to reduce complications from graft vs. host disease in patients who receive mismatched donor stem cells and develop cellular therapies to treat viral infections post transplant.
Thoughout my academic career,I have maintained my interest and committment in providing not only excellent patient care but to provide clinical research data which can be utilized to improve patient care at the end.