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Center for Cell and Gene Therapy

Houston, Texas

Center for Cell and Gene Therapy
Center for Cell and Gene Therapy
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Chrystal U. Louis, M.D., M.P.H.

Chrystal U. LouisAssistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics
Section of Hematology-Oncology
Baylor College of Medicine

Phone: 832-825-468


  • M.D., Tulane University School of Medicine
  • M.P.H., Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • Residency, University of California at Davis
  • Fellowship, Baylor College of Medicine

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pediatrics
  • American Board of Pediatrics - Hematology/Oncology

Selected Memberships

  • American Association of Cancer Research
  • American Society of Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Research Interests

Dr. Louis is a member of the translational research laboratory in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy. In association with Drs. Stephen Gottschalk and Helen Heslop, she has been working on methods to improve immunotherapy options for patients with solid tumors. At this time, she has focused her research on therapeutic strategies for patients with either nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) or neuroblastoma. Most cases of advanced-stage NPC are associated with Epstein Barr virus (EBV), and our center previously determined that administration of adoptively transferred EBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (EBV-CTL) was safe and produced anti-tumor effects in 50 percent of patients. Therefore, Dr. Louis’ current research efforts have focused on improving the specificity of the CTL product for NPC tumors and identifying additional, non-EBV associated tumor markers that can also be used as immunotherapy targets. For patients with high-risk neuroblastoma, prior studies have shown clinical responses after active immunization; however, responses were limited by the poorly immunogenic nature of neuroblastoma tumor-cell vaccines. Dr. Louis and colleagues are now investigating the safety, immune response, and anti-tumor activity of more potent, genetically modified neuroblastoma tumor cell vaccines after high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell rescue. Additionally, the group is continuing their study using adoptively transferred T cells modified to express receptors for GD2 in patients with a history of high-risk neuroblastoma.

Selected Publications

  • Louis C, Morgenstern B, Butani L. Thrombotic Complications in Childhood-Onset Idiopathic Membranous Nephropathy. Pediatr Nephrol. 2003:18(12):1298-300.
  • Louis CU, Heslop HE. Adoptive Immunotherapy. Encyclopedia of Cancer, 2nd Edition. In press.
  • Louis CU, Paulino A, Gottschalk S, Bertuch AA, Chintagumpala M, Heslop HE, Russell HV. A single institution experience with pediatric nasopharyngeal carcinoma: High incidence of toxicity associated with platinum-based chemotherapy plus IMRT. J Pediatric Hematol Oncol. 2007:29(7):500-5.
  • Louis CU, Butani L. High Blood Pressure and Hypertension in Children with Newly Diagnosed Leukemia and Lymphoma. Pediatr Nephrol. 2008:23(4):603-609.
  • Louis CU, Straathof K, Torrano V, Huls MH, Gresik MV, Weiss H, Gee A, Brenner MK, Rooney CM, Heslop HE, Gottschalk S. Enhancing the In Vivo Expansion of Adoptively Transferred EBV-specific CTL with Lymphodepleting CD45 Monoclonal Antibodies in NPC Patients. Blood. 2008: Oct 29th [Epub ahead of print].
  • Louis CU, Heslop HE. Viral infections post transplant. In: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: In Clinical Practice; eds Treleaven J, Barrett AJ; Elsevier; Edinburgh; 2009: 423-35.
  • Louis CU, Brenner MK (2008). Cellular Immunotherapy for Neuroblastoma: A Review of Current Vaccine and Adoptive T Cell Therapeutics. Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15(4):424-9.

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