School of Medicine
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Ernest and Amelia Gallo Family Professor and Professor of Pediatrics and of Medicine
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsRecent clinical studies, by us and others, have demonstrated that genetically engineered T cells can eradicate cancers resistant to all other therapies. We are identifying new targets for these therapeutics, exploring pathways of resistance to current cell therapies and creating next generation platforms to overcome therapeutic resistance. We have discovered novel insights into the biology of human T cell exhaustion and developed approaches to prevent and reverse this phenomenon.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology)
BioRobbie Majzner is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hematology and Oncology. After graduating with a BA from Columbia University, Dr. Majzner attended Harvard Medical School, where he developed an interest in pediatric oncology. He completed his residency training in pediatrics at New York Presbyterian-Columbia and fellowship training in pediatric hematology-oncology at Johns Hopkins and the National Cancer Institute. During his fellowship, he cared for some of the first pediatric patients to receive CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, children with B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) who often had no other therapeutic option. Witnessing the success of CAR T cells in these patients drove Dr. Majzner to the laboratory, where he focuses on extending the use of CAR T cells to solid tumors. He has generated and optimized novel receptors to recognize antigens over-expressed on pediatric solid tumors such as GD2 (Mount/Majzner et al., Nature Medicine, 2018) B7-H3 (Majzner et al., Clinical Cancer Research, 2019), and ALK (Walker/Majzner et al., Molecular Therapy, 2017). Current work focuses on imparting multi-specificity to CAR T cells and optimizing these receptors to enhance their efficacy when the amount of target (antigen density) is limiting (Majzner et al., Cancer Discovery, 2020). By drawing on state of the art bioengineering techniques, the Majzner Laboratory focuses on enhancing the potency and specificity of CAR T cells for children with cancer.
Clinically, Dr. Majzner cares for all patients with neuroblastoma at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and has a specific interest in bringing novel immunotherapies to clinical trials for these patients and those with other solid tumors. He is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology.
Professor of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology) at the Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, Emerita
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsGerm cell tumors and bone sarcomas.
Affiliate, Dean's Office Operations - Dean Other
Fellow in Pediatrics - Hematology & Oncology
BioRaúl Montiel-Esparza, MD is a board-certified pediatrician and currently the inaugural pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy clinical fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Montiel-Esparza grew up in central Mexico and earned his MD with honors from Tecnológico de Monterrey Escuela de Medicina. He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in cancer immunology in the Luznik Lab at Johns Hopkins University followed by his residency in Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He has presented his work on Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Graft-versus-Host disease multiple times at national conferences and has several publications and co-authorships. His experiences as a clinician, scientist, and advocate have ultimately inspired him to explore graft engineering strategies in haploidentical stem-cell transplantation to ameliorate Graft-versus-Host disease in the Bertaina Lab at Stanford. His preliminary research recently granted him the 2022 inaugural underrepresented in medicine new investigator award from the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT). Ultimately, decreasing barriers to stem cell transplantation and improving donor availability in Latin America is in alignment with his future career goals.