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2016 Featured Talks » Anti-cancer therapies derived from human pluripotent stem cells

Anti-cancer therapies derived from human pluripotent stem cells

Dan Kaufman, PhD
Moores Cancer Center

Dan Kaufman, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Cell Therapy Program UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Dr. Kaufman is a native of the Twin Cities. He did undergraduate work at Stanford University and then completed an MD and PhD (Immunology) at the Mayo Medical School and Mayo Graduate School in Rochester, MN. He then completed both residency training in Internal Medicine and fellowship training in Hematology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Kaufman joined the faculty at University of Minnesota in 2002 and rose in the ranks to become a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation and Associate Director the Stem Cell Institute. In 2016, Dr. Kaufman moved to UCSD to be a Professor in Department of Medicine, Division of Regenerative Medicine and Director of the Cell Therapy program.

Dr. Kaufman provides clinical care for patients with hematological malignancies, with special interest in blood and marrow transplantation (BMT). Research in the Kaufman lab uses human pluripotent stem cells to understand the development of blood cells and related mesodermal cell populations. Specific projects investigate development of distinct cell populations from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), including: hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, lymphocytes, endothelial cells, cardio-vascular progenitor cells, and osteogenic (bone forming) cells. Recent studies have demonstrated the ability to use hESC and iPSC-derived natural killer (NK) cells to kill diverse types of human cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. Current efforts are focused on enhancing anti-tumor activity of the hESC/iPSC-derived NK cells by expression of novel chimeric antigen receptors, stabilized expression of CD16, and other strategies. A key goal is to now advance this work to use human pluripotent stem cells as a resource for new clinical applications for treatment of relapsed/refractory cancers- both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.