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Smita Kesavan Nair, PhD

Professor in Surgery
Professor in Pathology
Professor in Neurosurgery
Office: Room 1077, Msrb-2, 106 Research Drive, Durham, NC 27710
Campus Mail: DUMC Box 103035 Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710

I have 22 years of experience in the field of cancer vaccines and immunotherapy and I am an accomplished T cell immunologist. Laboratory website:
https://surgery.duke.edu/immunology-inflammation-immunotherapy-laboratory

Current projects in the Nair Laboratory:
1] Dendritic cell vaccines using tumor-antigen encoding RNA (mRNA, total tumor RNA, amplified tumor mRNA)
2] Local immune receptor modulation using mRNA that encodes for antibodies, receptor-ligands, cytokines, chemokines and toll-like receptors (current target list: CTLA4, GITR, PD1, TIM3, LAG3, OX40 and 41BB)
3] Combination therapies for cancer: cytotoxic therapy (radiation, chemo and oncolytic poliovirus therapy) with dendritic cell-based vaccines and immune checkpoint blockade
4] Adoptive T cell therapy using tumor RNA-transfected dendritic cells to expand tumor-specific T cells ex vivo
5] Adoptive T cell therapy using PSMA CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) RNA-transfected T cells
6] Direct injection of tumor antigen encoding RNA (targeting antigens to dendric cells in vivo using nanoparticles and aptamers)

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 1993

Publications

Reap, EA, Suryadevara, CM, Batich, KA, Sanchez-Perez, L, Archer, GE, Schmittling, RJ, Norberg, PK, Herndon, JE, Healy, P, Congdon, KL, Gedeon, PC, Campbell, OC, Swartz, AM, Riccione, KA, Yi, JS, Hossain-Ibrahim, MK, Saraswathula, A, Nair, SK, Dunn-Pirio, AM, Broome, TM, Weinhold, KJ, Desjardins, A, Vlahovic, G, McLendon, RE, Friedman, AH, Friedman, HS, Bigner, DD, Fecci, PE, Mitchell, DA, and Sampson, JH. "Dendritic Cells Enhance Polyfunctionality of Adoptively Transferred T Cells That Target Cytomegalovirus in Glioblastoma." Cancer research 78, no. 1 (January 2018): 256-264.

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Mastria, EM, Cai, LY, Kan, MJ, Li, X, Schaal, JL, Fiering, S, Gunn, MD, Dewhirst, MW, Nair, SK, and Chilkoti, A. "Nanoparticle formulation improves doxorubicin efficacy by enhancing host antitumor immunity." Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society 269 (January 2018): 364-373.

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Brown, MC, Holl, EK, Boczkowski, D, Dobrikova, E, Mosaheb, M, Chandramohan, V, Bigner, DD, Gromeier, M, and Nair, SK. "Cancer immunotherapy with recombinant poliovirus induces IFN-dominant activation of dendritic cells and tumor antigen-specific CTLs." Science translational medicine 9, no. 408 (September 2017).

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Batich, KA, Reap, EA, Archer, GE, Sanchez-Perez, L, Nair, SK, Schmittling, RJ, Norberg, P, Xie, W, Herndon, JE, Healy, P, McLendon, RE, Friedman, AH, Friedman, HS, Bigner, D, Vlahovic, G, Mitchell, DA, and Sampson, JH. "Long-term Survival in Glioblastoma with Cytomegalovirus pp65-Targeted Vaccination." Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 23, no. 8 (April 2017): 1898-1909.

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Holl, EK, Brown, MC, Boczkowski, D, McNamara, MA, George, DJ, Bigner, DD, Gromeier, M, and Nair, SK. "Recombinant oncolytic poliovirus, PVSRIPO, has potent cytotoxic and innate inflammatory effects, mediating therapy in human breast and prostate cancer xenograft models." Oncotarget 7, no. 48 (November 2016): 79828-79841.

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Boczkowski, D, and Nair, SK. "The RNAissance period." Discovery medicine 22, no. 119 (August 2016): 67-72. (Review)

Scholars@Duke

Sullenger, BA, and Nair, S. "From the RNA world to the clinic." Science (New York, N.Y.) 352, no. 6292 (June 2016): 1417-1420. (Review)

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Force, JM, Howie, LJ, Abbottt, S, Bentley, RC, Marcom, PK, Kimmick, GG, Westbrook, KE, Parks, M, Topping, DL, Broadwater, G, Blackwell, KL, and Nair, SK. "Increased FoxP3 and PD-L1 in non-pCR tissue from early stage HER2 positive breast cancer patients treated with trastuzumab-pertuzumab based regimens." May 20, 2016.

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Brown, MC, Holl, EK, Boczkowski, D, Bigner, DD, Gromeier, M, and Nair, SK. "Abstract A157: Oncolytic poliovirus mediated immune events." Cancer Immunology Research 4, no. 1 Supplement (January 2016): A157-A157.

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Kreiter, S, Diken, M, Pascolo, S, Nair, SK, Thielemans, KM, and Geall, A. "RNA Vaccination Therapy: Advances in an Emerging Field." Journal of immunology research 2016 (January 2016): 9703914-.

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