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Baylor College of Medicine News

Center for Cell and Gene Therapy researchers receive V Foundation translational grant

Researchers from the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital have received a 2013 V Foundation Translational Grant, an award designated for cancer researchers who are transforming lab discoveries into clinical applications.

Drs. Gianpietro Dotti, Cliona Rooney and Caridad Martinez received a $600,000, three-year grant to advance research into the prevention and treatment of complications associated with stem cell transplantation to cure leukemia.

Viral infections and leukemic relapse

With the new grant, the team will focus on viral infections and leukemic relapse after allogeneic stem cell transplantation--a treatment for leukemia that uses blood-forming stem cells to replace leukemic bone marrow cells destroyed by treatment with healthy bone marrow.

“This award will allow our team to test a new method for making cells that can both treat viral infections in transplant patients and target leukemia to reduce the risk of relapse,” said Dr. Helen Heslop, interim director for of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy.

Dotti is an associate professor in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy; Rooney is a professor in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy and at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers and Martinez is an assistant professor in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy and at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers.

Members of NCI-designated cancer center

Dotti and Rooney are also members of the NCI-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at BCM.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading cancer research funding organizations, awarded $10.8 million to 30 researchers and scientists nationwide in 2013.

Visit the V Foundation's website to see a complete list of grants awarded in 2013.