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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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Carlos A. Ramos, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine
Section of Hematology-Oncology
Baylor College of Medicine

E-mail: caramos@bcm.edu
Phone: 713-441-6256

Education

  • M.D., University of Lisbon Faculty of Medicine, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Internal Medicine Residency: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
  • Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
  • Blood and Marrow Transplantation Fellowship: The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine: Internal Medicine
  • American Board of Internal Medicine: Hematology
  • American Board of Internal Medicine: Medical Oncology

Selected Memberships

  • American Society of Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • American Society of Hematology
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American College of Physicians

Research Interests

One of the laboratory interests of our center is the study of cancer progenitor cells. The presence in tumors of cancer stem (or initiating) cells has been proposed as an explanation for why chemotherapy often fails to fully eradicate tumors. Those cells are thought to share properties with normal stem cells and to possibly be intrinsically chemoresistant, enabling repopulation of tumor sites after cytoreduction. Putative tumor progenitor cell populations have been identified in a few neoplasms. We are focusing on the identification of such a population of cells in several hematological malignancies. We hope to be able to pinpoint pathways that distinguish the progenitor population from the rest of the tumor and to assess whether there are any similarities between the biology of this precursor population and that of normal stem cells. Ultimately, we seek to interfere with those pathways and to engineer immune responses specifically directed against those cells in order to achieve control of tumor re-growth.

In parallel, we are also focusing on the properties of mesenchymal stromal cells, a population of non-hematopoietic, fibroblast-like cells that has been isolated from bone marrow. These cells support hematopoiesis and are able to differentiate into diverse connective tissues, such as bone, cartilage and adipose tissues. Operationally, this mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) population has been more often defined as the fraction of monucleated cells that adhere to plastic dishes within 24 hours of bone marrow culture. Some reports have suggested that these cells are able to incorporate and possibly proliferate in areas of active growth of mesenchymal tissues, such as wounds or neoplasms. We are exploring the ability of these cells to traffic to tumor metastases and deliver biologically active compounds.

Selected Publications

  • Ramos CA, Kopp HG, Rafii S (2007) – Vascular and Hematopoietic Stem Cells as Targets for Antiangiogenic Therapy. In Antiangiogenic Cancer Therapy. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL. (in press)
  • Kopp HG, Hooper AT, Broekman MJ, Avecilla ST, Petit I, Luo M, Milde T, Ramos CA, Zhang F, Kopp T, Bornstein P, Jin DK, Marcus AJ, Rafii S (2006) – Thrombospondins deployed by thrombopoietic cells determine angiogenic switch and extent of revascularization. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 116: 3277-91.
  • Ramos CA, Venezia TA, Boles NC, Merchant AA, Zheng Y, Parra I, Hilsenbeck S, Fuqua S, Shaw SA, Goodell MA (2006) – Evidence for Diversity in Transcriptional Profiles of Single Hematopoietic Stem Cells. Public Library of Science Genetics. 2:e159.
  • Kopp HG, Ramos CA, Rafii S (2006) – Contribution of endothelial progenitors and pro-angiogenic hematopoietic cells to vascularization of tumor and ischemic tissue. Current Opinion in Hematology. 13:175-81.
  • Bowman TV, McCooey AJ, Merchant AA, Ramos CA, Fonseca P, Poindexter A, Bradfute SB, Oliveira DM, Green R, Zheng Y, Jackson KA, Chambers SM, McKinney-Freeman SL, Norwood KG, Darlington G, Gunaratne PH, Steffen D, Goodell MA (2005) – Differential mRNA Processing in Hematopoietic Stem Cells. Stem Cells. 24:662-70.
  • Kopp HG, Avecilla ST, Hooper AT, Shmelkov SV, Ramos CA, Zhang F, Rafii S (2005) – Tie2 activation contributes to hemangiogenic regeneration after myelosuppression. Blood. 106:505-13.
  • Ramos CA (2005) – A 53-year-old woman with fever and diffuse lymphadenopathy after bone marrow transplant. In Hematology and Oncology Pearls (ed. MA Danso, EM Basch). Elsevier Mosby, Philadelphia, PA. 30-2.
  • Venezia TA, Merchant AA, Ramos CA, Whitehouse NL, Young AS, Shaw CA, Goodell MA (2004) – Molecular Signatures of Proliferation and Quiescence in Hematopoietic Stem Cells. Public Library of Science Biology. 2:E301
  • Camargo F, Ramos CA, Goodell MA (2003) – Side Population Phenotype. In Handbook of Adult and Fetal Stem Cells (ed. RP Lanza et al.). Academic Press, New York, NY. Vol. 2, 329-36.
  • Ramos CA, Venezia TA, Camargo F, Goodell MA (2003) – Techniques to Study Adult Stem Cells: Be Fruitful and Multiply. BioTechniques. 34:572-91.
  • Ramos CA, Colombowala I, Goodell MA (2003) – Tracing Down the Origin of Non-Hematopoietic Cells Using a CD45 Restriction Polymorphism. BioTechniques. 34:160-3.
  • Neves H, Ramos C, Silva MG, Parreira A, Parreira L (1999) – The Nuclear Topography of ABL, BCR, PML Genes: Evidence for Gene Proximity in Specific Phases of the Celland RAR Cycle and Stages of Hematopoietic Differentiation. Blood. 93:1197-207.
  • Ferreira J, Paolella G, Ramos C, Lamond AI (1997) – Spatial Organization of Large-Scale Chromatin Domains in the Nucleus: A Magnified View of Single Chromosome Territories. The Journal of Cell Biology. 139:1597-610.
  • Parreira L, Telhada M, Ramos C, Hernandez-Domenech R, Neves H, Carmo-Fonseca M (1997) – The Spatial Distribution of Human Immunoglobulin Genes within the Nucleus: Evidence for Gene Topography Independent of Cell Type and Transcriptional Activity. Human Genetics. 100:588-94.
  • Rebelo L, Almeida F, Ramos C, Bohmann K, Lamond AI, Carmo-Fonseca M (1996) – The Dynamics of Coiled Bodies in the Nucleus of Adenovirus-infected Cells. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 7:1137-51.

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