D. S. Kaufman

Rejuvenation of the immune system through induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology provides a fundamentally new approach to treat and cure malignancies and chronic viral infections. iPSCs have now been made by hundreds of labs using diverse starting cell populations and reprogramming methods. Our group has used both iPSCs and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) as starting cell populations to produce natural killer (NK) cells, key components of the innate immune system. NK cells isolated from peripheral blood (PB-NK cells) are used for adoptive immunotherapy to treat certain refractory cancers such as leukemias. Like PB-NK cells, iPSC and hESC-derived NK cells consist of a mature, homogenous population of cells expressing typical NK cell activating and inhibitory receptors. These iPSC/hESC-derived NK cells are able to kill diverse tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, iPSC/hESC -derived NK cells potently inhibit growth of HIV-infected cells. Currently, we are converting the process to derive NK cells from hESCs and iPSCs to utilize conditions suitable for clinical trials.

Keywords (Optional): 
induced pluripotent stem cells
human embryonic stem cells
natural killer cells