Honors & Awards

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Dr. Mildred-Scheel-Foundation, German Cancer Aid (01/2019-)

Professional Education

  • Residency, Goethe-University-Hospital Frankfurt, Internal Medicine and Hematology and Oncology (2015)
  • Doctor of Medicine, Albert Ludwigs Universitat Freiburg (2016)
  • Staatsexamen, Albert Ludwigs Universitat Freiburg (2014)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Molecular Imaging of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells by ICOS-ImmunoPET. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Simonetta, F., Alam, I. S., Lohmeyer, J. K., Sahaf, B., Good, Z., Chen, W., Xiao, Z., Hirai, T., Scheller, L., Engels, P., Vermesh, O., Robinson, E., Haywood, T., Sathirachinda, A., Baker, J., Malipatlolla, M. B., Schultz, L. M., Spiegel, J. Y., Lee, J. T., Miklos, D. B., Mackall, C. L., Gambhir, S. S., Negrin, R. 2020


    PURPOSE: Immunomonitoring of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells relies primarily on their quantification in the peripheral blood, which inadequately quantifies their biodistribution and activation status in the tissues. Non-invasive molecular imaging of CAR T cells by positron emission tomography (PET) is a promising approach with the ability to provide spatial, temporal and functional information. Reported strategies rely on the incorporation of reporter transgenes or ex vivo biolabeling, significantly limiting the application of CAR T cell molecular imaging. In the present study, we assessed the ability of antibody-based PET (immunoPET) to non-invasively visualize CAR T cells.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: After analyzing human CAR T cells in vitro and ex vivo from patient samples to identify candidate targets for immunoPET, we employed a syngeneic, orthotopic murine tumor model of lymphoma to assess the feasibility of in vivo tracking of CAR T cells by immunoPET using the 89Zr-DFO-anti-ICOS tracer we previously reported.RESULTS: Analysis of human CD19-CAR T cells during activation identified the Inducible T-cell COStimulator (ICOS) as a potential target for immunoPET. In a preclinical tumor model, 89Zr-DFO-ICOS mAb PET-CT imaging detected significantly higher signal in specific bone marrow-containing skeletal sites of CAR T cell treated mice compared with controls. Importantly, administration of ICOS-targeting antibodies at tracer doses did not interfere with CAR T cell persistence and function.CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the potential of ICOS-immunoPET imaging for monitoring of CAR T cell therapy, a strategy readily applicable to both commercially available and investigational CAR T cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2770

    View details for PubMedID 33087332

  • Visualization of activated T cells by OX40-immunoPET as a strategy for diagnosis of acute Graft-versus-Host-Disease. Cancer research Alam, I. S., Simonetta, F., Scheller, L., Mayer, A. T., Murty, S., Vermesh, O., Nobashi, T. W., Lohmeyer, J. K., Hirai, T., Baker, J., Lau, K. H., Negrin, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2020


    Graft versus host disease (GvHD) is a major complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), mediated primarily by donor T cells that become activated and attack host tissues. Non-invasive strategies detecting T cell activation would allow for early diagnosis and possibly more effective management of HCT recipients. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is a sensitive and clinically relevant modality ideal for GvHD diagnosis and there is a strong rationale for the use of PET tracers that can monitor T cell activation and expansion with high specificity. The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily member OX40 (CD134) is a cell surface marker that is highly specific for activated T cells, is upregulated during GvHD, and mediates disease pathogenesis. We recently reported the development of an antibody-based activated T cell imaging agent targeting OX40. In the present study, we visualize the dynamics of OX40 expression in a major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mismatch mouse model of acute GvHD using OX40-immunoPET. This approach enabled visualization of T cell activation at early stages of disease, prior to overt clinical symptoms with high sensitivity and specificity. This study highlights the potential utility of the OX40 PET imaging as a new strategy for GvHD diagnosis and therapy monitoring.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-1149

    View details for PubMedID 32900772

  • Engineered IL-2 Cytokine-Cytokine Receptor Complex Enables Selective Expansion of Regulatory T Cells and Facilitates Establishment of Organ Transplantation Tolerance Hirai, T., Simonetta, F., Su, L. L., Picton, L., Baker, J., Seo, K., Lohmeyer, J., Mavers, M., Blazar, B. R., Garcia, C., Negrin, R. S. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2020: S59–S60