Genovefa Papanicolaou, MD

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MD, National University of Athens School of Medicine

My clinical and laboratory research focuses on infectious complications of bone marrow transplantation.


  1. Prospective surveillance of infectious complications

    We have developed a comprehensive database for infectious complications after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

    The infectious disease database is part of the institutionally supported Clinical Research Database (CRDB) at MSKCC. The database provides a tool for a) quality assurance b) outcomes research and c) testing targeted interventions. The overall objective is to improve the outcome of infections after stem cell transplantation.

  2. Clinical trials for management of cytomegalovirus (CMV) after stem cell transplantation

    Current trials include: a) novel antivirals b) DNA-vaccine c) adoptive immunotherapy using donor derived CMV specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes.


  1. Development of the artificial antigen presenting cell (AAPC) system for generation of antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells

    The adoptive transfer antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) expanded from the blood of CMV-seropositive donors has been shown to effectively control CMV infection. However, the requirement for safe and effective antigen-presenting cells (APCs) for each patient precludes broad applicability of this successful form of therapy.

    We have shown that artificial APCs (AAPCs) efficiently expand CMV-specific CTLs from peripheral blood of seropositive HLA A2.1+ donors. We are further developing the AAPC system for the generation of antigen specific cytotoxic T cells directed against the most common HLA alleles of our patient population.

  2. Genetic susceptibility to infection

    Patients undergoing allogeneic bone marrow transplantation are highly dependent upon the innate immune system for survival, and, because their immune systems have been compromised in a predictable fashion, the role of specific innate immune genes in defense against pathogenic microbes is particularly accessible for analysis.

    Through an approved Memorial Sloan Kettering protocol we have generated a DNA bank from stem cell transplant patients. We are studying the correlation of genetic polymorphisms in innate immune genes with susceptibility to specific infections. The long-term objective is to perform analyses of innate immune gene polymorphisms in individual patients to predict susceptibility to infectious diseases.

Publications by Genovefa Papanicolaou

Amigues I, Cohen N, Seo S, Chung D, Jakubowski A, Barker J, Pamer E, Papanicolaou G. Hepatic safety of voriconazole after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2009. [In Press]

Cohen N, Mihu CN, Seo SK, Chung D, Chou J, Heller G, Papanicolaou GA. Hematologic safety profile of linezolid in the early periengraftment period after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2009 Oct;15(10):1337-41. [PubMed Abstract]

Yaa MN, Paolo P, Peter S, Eric PG, Jaya S, Papanicolaou GA. Toll-like receptor 4 polymorphisms and risk of gram-negative bacteremia after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. A prospective pilot study. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2009 Sep;15(9):1130-3. [PubMed Abstract]

Mihu CN, Schaub J, Kesh S, Jakubowski A, Sepkowitz K, Pamer EG, Papanicolaou GA. Risk factors for late Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: A single institution, nested case-control study. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2008 Dec;14(12):1429-33. [PubMed Abstract]

Kamboj M, Louie E, Kiehn T, Papanicolaou G, Glickman M, Sepkowitz K. Mycobacterium haemophilum infection after alemtuzumab treatment. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Nov;14(11):1821-3. [PubMed Abstract]

Winston DJ, Young JAH, Pullarkat V, Papanicolaou GA, Vij R, Vance E, Alangaden GJ, Chemaly RF, Petersen F, Chao N, Klein J, Sprague K, Villano SA, Boeckh M. Maribavir prophylaxis for prevention of cytomegalovirus infection in allogeneic stem-cell transplant recipients: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging study. Blood. 2008; 111(11): 5403-10. [PubMed Abstract]

Portlock CS, Hamlin P, Noy A, Chey W, Gaydos CH, Palomba L, Schwartz I, Corcoran S, Rosenzweig L, Walker D, Papanicolaou GA, Markowitz A. Infectious disease associations in advanced stage, indolent lymphoma (Follicular and non-Follicular): Developing a lymphoma prevention strategy. Ann Oncol. 2008; 19(2): 254-8. [PubMed Abstract]

Mihu CN, King E, Yosepovitch O, Taur Y, Jaffe, D, Jakubowski A, Pamer EG, Papanicolaou GA. Risk factors and attributable mortality of late aspergillosis after T-cell depleted hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Transplant Infect Dis 2008; 10(3):162-7. [PubMed Abstract]

Van Burik JAH, Carter SL, Freifeld AG, High KP, Godder KT, Papanicolaou GA, Mendizabal AM, Wagner JH, Yanovich S, Kernan NA. Higher-risk of cytomegalovirus and aspergillus infections in recipients of T cell depleted unrelated bone marrow: Analysis of infectious complications in patients treated with T cell depletion versus immune suppressive therapy to prevent graft-versus-host disease. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2007;13(12):1487-98. [PubMed Abstract]

Almyroudis NG, Jakubowski A, Jaffe D, Sepkowitz K, Pamer EG, O'Reilly RJ, Papanicolaou GA. Predictors for persistent cytomegalovirus reactivation after T-cell-depleted allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Transpl Infect Dis. 2007; 9(4):286-294. [PubMed Abstract]

Kamboj M, Mihu C, A, Sepkowitz K, Kernan NA, Papanicolaou, GA. Work-up for infectious diarrhea after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Single specimen testing results in cost savings without compromising diagnostic yield. Transpl Infect Dis. 2007; 9 (4): 265-269. [PubMed Abstract]

Symeonidis N, Jakubowski A, Pierre-Louis S, Jaffe D, Pamer E, Sepkowitz K, O'Reilly RJ, Papanicolaou GA. Invasive adenoviral infections in T-cell-depleted allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: high mortality in the era of cidofovir. Transpl Infect Dis. 2007; 9(2):108-13. [PubMed Abstract]

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