Her work is credited with identifying an essential role for the thymus in human T cell regeneration and discovering IL-7 as the master regulator of T cell homeostasis. She has conducted numerous early phase and first-in-human and first-in-child clinical trials spanning dendritic cell vaccines, cytokines, and adoptive immunotherapy using NK cells and genetically modified T cells.
Her group was among the first to demonstrate impressive activity of CD19-CAR in pediatric leukemia, developed a novel CD22-CAR with impressive activity in leukemia and lymphoma refractory to CD19 targeting, and is leading exciting work focusing on CAR T cell therapy for brain tumors. Her group has identified T cell exhaustion as a major feature limiting the activity of CAR T cells and has developed novel approaches to prevent and reverse human T cell exhaustion.
She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the AACR-St.Baldrick's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Pediatric Cancer Research, the ASCO Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture, is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and the American Academy of Physicians. She serves in numerous national leadership positions, including co-PI on the NCI Pediatric Cancer Immunotherapy Network (U54), Leader of the NCI Pediatric Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network, and co-Leader of the St. Baldrick’s-StandUp2Cancer Pediatric Dream Team. She is Board Certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Internal Medicine.