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Pillai Lab

Innate Immune Regulation, Transplantation Tolerance, and Immunotherapy

Research Focus

The Pillai group was first to discover innate-adaptive networks inducing histocompatibility-mismatched stem cell transplant (SCT) tolerance, defining the role of invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT cells) in setting up myeloid and Foxp3+Tregulatory cell activity and regulating GVHD while maintaining graft-versus-tumor activity (GVT). This has successfully translated to novel SCT techniques for children and adults nationally. The group is developing novel haplo-SCT strategies and iNKT immunotherapies for cancer, infectious diseases, and autoimmunity.

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Latest Publications


  • Bigger and better in Tex's Vew In PubMed
  • cROSs-presentation in pDCs: An energetic (m)CAT and mouse game View In PubMed
  • Data-driven advances in precision oncology. View in SpringerLink
  • Globule Leukocytes and Other Mast Cells in the Mouse Intestine. View In PubMed
  • Joshi S, Pillai A. Bigger and better in Tex’s. Invited review. Science Immunology 2018; 3(24): eaau2260. DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aau2260.
  • Joshi S, Pillai A. Innate immune mechanisms of allo-transplant tolerance. Chapter in Kwun J, ed. Transplant Tolerance- Mechanisms, Barriers, and Strategies; Cincinnati. Lidsen Publishing; 2018; in press.
  • Naithani R, Ortiz D, Webster-Carrion A, Joshi S, Pillai A. Stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy for pediatric hematologic malignancies: at the crossroads. Chapter in Warburton D, ed. Encyclopedia of Pediatric Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine; Amsterdam. Elsevier Press; 2018; in press.
  • Phase I study of the safety and pharmacokinetics of plerixafor in children undergoing a second allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for relapsed or refractory leukemia. View In PubMed
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