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Pathology & Immunology

Houston, Texas

Pathology and Immunology
Pathology & Immunology
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Cliona Rooney, Ph.D.

Cliona Rooney, Ph.D.

Professor, Departments of Pediatrics- Section of Hematology-Oncology and Pathology & Immunology


B.Sc., Genetics, University of East Anglia, England
Ph.D., Immunology, University of Cambridge, England

Research Interests:

Dr. Rooney's research interests are in cellular immunotherapy for virus-associated diseases and malignancies. Studies developed with Dr Helen Heslop have demonstrated the safety and anti-tumor efficacy of EBV-specific cytotoxic T-cells (CTLs) used for the prevention and treatment of EBV-associated lymphoma in stem cell transplant recipients. These studies have been expanded to include patients with relapsed EBV-positive Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Research activities involve increasing tumor antigen-specificity of the T cells, by using specialized antigen-presenting cells and improving CTL functions by genetic modification. These modifications increase the ability of T cells to home to tumor sites, proliferatie in the absence of costimulation and resist the potent inhibitory factors produced both by the tumor itself and by tumor infiltrating cells. Trainees in the Rooney laboratory can therefore work on basic science

Selected Publications:

Recent research projects done by students or postdoctoral fellows under my supervision include:

  • Bollard CM, Straathof KC, Huls MH, Leen A, Lacuesta K, Davis A, Gottschalk S, Brenner MK, Heslop HE, Rooney CM. The generation and characterization of LMP2-specific CTLs for use as adoptive transfer from patients with relapsed EBV-positive Hodgkin disease. J Immunother. 2004 Jul-Aug;27(4):317-27.
  • Straathof KC, Pulè MA, Yotnda P, Dotti G, Vanin EF, Brenner MK, Heslop HE, Spencer DM, Rooney CM. An Inducible Caspase 9 Safety Switch For T Cell Therapy. Blood Jun 2005;105:4247-4254.
  • Leen AM, Myers GD, Sili U, Huls MH, Weiss H, Leung KS, Carrum G, Krance RA, Chang C-C, Molldrem JJ, Gee AP, Brenner MK, Heslop HE, Rooney CM, Bollard CM. Monoculture-derived T lymphocytes specific for multiple viruses expand and produce clinically relevant effects in immunocompromised individuals. Nat Med. 2006 Nov;12(10):1160-1166.
  • Foster AE, Leen AM, Lee T, Okamura T, Lu A, Vera J, Atkinson R, Dotti G, Rooney CM. Autologous designer antigen presenting cells by gene modification of T lymphocyte blasts with IL-7 and IL-12. J.Immunotherapy 2007 Jul-Aug;30(5):506-16.

Contact Information:

Cliona Rooney, Ph.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza
Houston, TX 77030, U.S.A.

Telephone: 832-824-4693

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