I am a board-certified hematologist-oncologist, and my clinical activity and research focus on stem cell transplantation for patients with blood disorders. I trained and worked for many years at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where I was Deputy Chair of the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies. In May 2010, I joined the faculty of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to lead the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service.
My research focus has been on improving treatments for older patients who have acute and chronic leukemia. My colleagues and I pioneered the use of reduced-intensity conditioning regimens for older or more debilitated patients with blood cancers. Before this discovery, older patients with these diseases were rarely considered candidates for stem cell transplantation procedures using donor cells because of the toxic effects of high-dose chemotherapy. The development of these less intense and less toxic regimens has allowed us to perform transplants for older patients in a safe and effective manner and has changed the standard of care throughout the world. I plan to continue this research in the context of the pioneering T cell depletion techniques developed at Memorial Sloan Kettering. This new approach has dramatically reduced the risk of graft-versus-host disease, a serious complication of donor stem cell transplantation. Disease recurrence after transplantation remains an important cause of treatment failure, and I am a proponent of post-transplant maintenance therapies using a variety of targeted therapies, which we are continuing to explore at Memorial Sloan Kettering.