Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

My research interests lies in translational cancer immunotherapy and early-phase clinical trials. I am working with Dr. Zarour and Kirkwood to coordinate the clinical care and translational research of a novel trial combining PD-1 inhibitor Pembrolizumab with immunomodulatory PEG-IFN. I presented preliminary results at ASCO 2015. Final results have been collated along with correlative analyses and are pending publication.

More recently, in collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb and based on published findings by Dr Zarour’s laboratory, I have contributed to the development and implementation of a first-in-human study of TIGIT mAb (BMS-986207) singly and in combination with Nivolumab that is presently in active accrual and for which I am the institutional Principle Investigator. I am also the institutional Principle Investigator for first-in-human studies of GITR mAb (TRX-518), pegylated arginase (AEB1102) and IDO inhibitor (BMS-986205).

Based on emerging data implicating intestinal dysbiosis in mediating non-response to PD-1 blockade, I developed with Dr. Zarour a protocol evaluating fecal microbiota transplant in combination with PD-1 blockade to treat PD-1 non-responders. This first-in-human study was selected for funding by Merck to support the clinical costs and is IRB approved. In the context of this trial that I am the Principle Investigator for, I work in close collaboration with Dr. Zarour and co-investigators Drs. Methe and Benos, for the performance of the correlative studies in the context of the new clinical trial with fecal transplant microbiota and pembrolizumab in PD-1 refractory melanoma patients.
Clinical Interest

Experience

  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh