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Below are selected peer-reviewed publications, categorized by research topic. See a full list of Dr. Nair's publications

Dendritic Cells Transfected with RNA as Cancer Vaccines

Nair SK, Boczkowski D, Morse M, Cumming RI, Lyerly HK, Gilboa E. Induction of primary carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in vitro using human dendritic cells transfected with RNA. Nature Biotechnology 1998;16(4):364-9. PMID: 9555728.

Nair SK, Heiser A, Boczkowski D, Majumdar A, Naoe M, Lebkowski JS, Vieweg J, Gilboa E. Induction of cytotoxic T cells and tumor immunity against unrelated tumors using telomerase reverse transcriptase RNA transfected dendritic cells. Nature Medicine 2000;6(9):1011-7. PMID: 10973321.

Boczkowski D, Nair SK, Nam JH, Lyerly HK, Gilboa E. Induction of tumor immunity and cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses using dendritic cells transfected with messenger RNA amplified from tumor cells. Cancer Research 2000;60(4):1028-34. PMID: 10706120.

Nair S, Boczkowski D, Moeller B, Dewhirst M, Vieweg J, Gilboa E. Synergy between tumor immunotherapy and antiangiogenic therapy. Blood 2003;102(3):964-71. PMID: 12689940.

Nair SK, De Leon G, Boczkowski D, Schmittling R, Xie W, Staats J, Liu R, Johnson LA, Weinhold K, Archer GE, Sampson JH, Mitchell DA. Recognition and killing of autologous, primary glioblastoma tumor cells by human cytomegalovirus pp65-specific cytotoxic T cells. Clinical Cancer Research 2014. 2014 May 15;20(10):2684-94. PMID: 24658154

Modulation of Immune Responses to Enhance Tumor-Specific Immunity

Nair S, Boczkowski D, Fassnacht M, Pisetsky D, Gilboa E. Vaccination against the forkhead transcription factor Foxp3 enhances tumor immunity. Cancer Research 2007;67(1):371-80. PMID: 17210720.

Boczkowski D, Lee J, Pruitt S, Nair S. Dendritic cells engineered to secrete anti-GITR antibodies are effective adjuvants to dendritic cell-based immunotherapy. Cancer Gene Therapy 2009;16(12):900-11. PMID: 19498460.

Pruitt SK, Boczkowski D, de Rosa N, Haley NR, Morse MA, Tyler DS, Dannull J, Nair S. Enhancement of anti-tumor immunity through local modulation of CTLA-4 and GITR by dendritic cells. Eur J Immunol 2011;41(12):3553-63. Epub 2011/10/27. doi: 10.1002/eji.201141383. PMID: 22028176.

Pratico ED, Sullenger BA, Nair SK. Identification and characterization of an agonistic aptamer against the T cell costimulatory receptor, OX40. Nucleic Acid Therapeutics 2013 Feb;23(1):35-43. PMID: 23113766

Novel Vaccine Strategies

Phua KK, Leong KW, Nair SK. Transfection efficiency and transgene expression kinetics of mRNA delivered in naked and nanoparticle format. Journal of Controlled Release 2013 Mar 28;166(3):227-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2012.12.029. Epub 2013 Jan 7. PMID: 23306021

Phua KK, Boczkowski D, Dannull J, Pruitt S, Leong KW, Nair SK. Whole blood cells loaded with messenger RNA as an anti-tumor vaccine. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2014 Jun;3(6):837-42. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201300512. PMID: 24339387

Phua KK, Staats HF, Leong KW, Nair SK. Intranasal mRNA nanoparticle vaccination induces prophylactic and therapeutic anti-tumor immunity. Scientific Reports 2014;4:5128. PMID: 24894817.

Laboratory-to-Clinic Translation Studies (Team Science)

Nair SK, Morse M, Boczkowski D, Cumming RI, Vasovic L, Gilboa E, Lyerly HK. Induction of tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in cancer patients by autologous tumor RNA-transfected dendritic cells. Annals of Surgery 2002;235(4):540-9. PMID: 11923611.

Morse MA, Nair SK, Mosca PJ, Hobeika AC, Clay TM, Deng Y, Boczkowski D, Proia A, Neidzwiecki D, Clavien PA, Hurwitz HI, Schlom J, Gilboa E, Lyerly HK. Immunotherapy with autologous, human dendritic cells transfected with carcinoembryonic antigen mRNA. Cancer Investigation 2003;21(3):341-9. PMID: 12901279.

Dannull J, Haley NR, Archer G, Nair S, Boczkowski D, Harper M, De Rosa N, Pickett N, Burchette J, Selim MA, Mitchell D, Sampson J, Tyler DS, Pruitt SK. Altering the proteasome of dendritic cells used for vaccination enhances anti-tumor immunity in melanoma patients. Journal of Clinical Investigation 2013 Jul;123(7):3135-45. PMID: 23934126

Mitchell DA, Batich KA, Gunn MD, Huang MN, Sanchez-Perez L, Nair SK, Congdon KL, Reap EA, Archer GE, Desjardins A, Friedman AH, Friedman HS, Herndon JE 2nd, Coan A, McLendon RE, Reardon DA, Vredenburgh JJ, Bigner DD, Sampson JH. Tetanus toxoid and CCL3 improve dendritic cell vaccines in mice and glioblastoma patients. Nature 2015 Mar 19;519(7543):366-9. PMID: 25762141

Eteshola, Elias O. U., Karenia Landa, E Shelley Hwang, Angelo Moreno, Smita K. Nair, and Bruce A. Sullenger. “Blocking proinvasive signaling and inflammatory activation in triple-negative breast cancer with nucleic-acid scavengers (NAS).” In Cancer Immunology Research, 8:76–76. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH, 2020.


Huang, Min-Nung, Lowell T. Nicholson, Kristen A. Batich, Adam M. Swartz, David Kopin, Sebastian Wellford, Vijay K. Prabhakar, et al. “Antigen-loaded monocyte administration induces potent therapeutic antitumor T cell responses.” J Clin Invest 130, no. 2 (February 3, 2020): 774–88.

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Mosaheb, Mubeen M., Elena Y. Dobrikova, Michael C. Brown, Yuanfan Yang, Jana Cable, Hideho Okada, Smita K. Nair, Darell D. Bigner, David M. Ashley, and Matthias Gromeier. “Genetically stable poliovirus vectors activate dendritic cells and prime antitumor CD8 T cell immunity.” Nat Commun 11, no. 1 (January 27, 2020): 524.

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Holl, E. K., J. C. Routh, A. W. Johnston, V. Frazier, H. E. Rice, E. T. Tracy, and S. K. Nair. “Immune expression in children with Wilms tumor: a pilot study.” J Pediatr Urol 15, no. 5 (October 2019): 441.e1-441.e8.

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Eteshola, Elias O., Ibtehaj A. Naqvi, Ruwan Gunaratne, Angelo Moreno, Smita K. Nair, and Bruce A. Sullenger. “Abstract 4515: Utilizing nucleic-acid scavengers (NASs) to inhibit proinflammatory and proinvasive signaling in triple-negative breast cancer.” In Tumor Biology. American Association for Cancer Research, 2019.

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Chandramohan, Vidyalakshmi, Xuhui Bao, Xin Yu, Scott Parker, Charlotte McDowall, Yen-Rei Yu, Patrick Healy, et al. “Improved efficacy against malignant brain tumors with EGFRwt/EGFRvIII targeting immunotoxin and checkpoint inhibitor combinations.” J Immunother Cancer 7, no. 1 (May 29, 2019): 142.

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Zhang, Xiaojie, Kathleen A. Ashcraft, Allison Betof Warner, Smita K. Nair, and Mark W. Dewhirst. “Can Exercise-Induced Modulation of the Tumor Physiologic Microenvironment Improve Antitumor Immunity?” Cancer Res 79, no. 10 (May 15, 2019): 2447–56.

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Holl, Eda K., Victoria N. Frazier, Karenia Landa, Georgia M. Beasley, E Shelley Hwang, and Smita K. Nair. “Examining Peripheral and Tumor Cellular Immunome in Patients With Cancer.” Front Immunol 10 (2019): 1767.

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Force, Jeremy, Lynn J. Howie, Sara E. Abbott, Rex Bentley, P Kelly Marcom, Gretchen Kimmick, Kelly Westbrook, et al. “Early Stage HER2-Positive Breast Cancers Not Achieving a pCR From Neoadjuvant Trastuzumab- or Pertuzumab-Based Regimens Have an Immunosuppressive Phenotype.” Clin Breast Cancer 18, no. 5 (October 2018): 410–17.

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Brown, Michael C., Eda K. Holl, David Boczkowski, Elena Dobrikova, Mubeen Mosaheb, Vidya Chandramohan, Darell D. Bigner, Matthias Gromeier, and Smita K. Nair. “Abstract A79: Cancer immunotherapy with recombinant poliovirus induces IFN-dominant activation of antigen-presenting cells and tumor antigen-specific CTLs.” In Other Topics. American Association for Cancer Research, 2018.

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