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Marco L. Davila, MD, PhD

Assistant Member

Pictured: Marco L. Davila

My research focuses on the development of T cell immunotherapies for hematologic malignancies. We create chimeric antigen receptors, CARs, which are composed of a tumor-antigen-binding domain fused to T-cell-signaling components such as CD28 and CD3zeta. We are able to target CARs to any cell-surface antigen on tumor cells, which supports tumor recognition by the T cell and subsequent killing of the tumor cell. We have generated an animal model for acute leukemia and validated the antitumor efficacy and safety of CD19 CAR-targeted T cells. We are using this preclinical model to evaluate mechanisms for regulation of CAR T cells by the immune system. We are also developing new CARs against other targets of hematologic malignancies. This work has been the foundation for a clinical protocol currently open at Memorial Sloan Kettering for which I am the principal investigator.