Dr. Ferrara’s career has focused on the immunology of BMT, particularly its major complication GVHD. Using innovative proteomic techniques, his team has identified and validated biomarkers for skin, gut and steroid-resistant GVHD. Viracor is exclusively partnering with Dr. Ferrara to utilize the approach developed by Drs. Ferrara and Levine and the Mount Sinai Acute GVHD International Consortium (MAGIC) that has now been tested in more than 1000 patients.
Using the pre-symptomatic algorithm with a blood sample taken approximately 7 days after transplant, physicians can identify a patient at high risk for severe aGVHD and NRM, when the patient is not actively displaying symptoms, and can potentially adjust therapy to mitigate identified risks.
With the symptomatic onset algorithm, results predict the pathology of some of the most severe forms of aGVHD — for example, presentation in the gastrointestinal tract — before disease progression becomes serious.
Ward-Coleman Chair in Cancer Medicine
Professor of Pediatrics & Medicine, Ichan School of Medicine Mount Sinai
Dr. James Ferrara is a physician-scientist whose clinical and research career has focused on the immunology of bone marrow transplantation (BMT), particularly its major complication graft versus host disease (GVHD). Using trailblazing proteomic techniques, his team has identified and validated unexpected biomarkers for skin, gut and steroid-resistant GVHD. He has created exceptionally large and informative biorepositories and then mined them to meld these biomarkers into the first algorithm that predicts response to treatment and that can guide GVHD therapy. Dr. Ferrara’s pioneering mechanistic studies have illuminated unexpected interactions between the innate and adaptive immune systems and have led to both conceptual breakthroughs and the discovery of novel therapeutic targets. A superb clinician and world-class clinical investigator, his decades-long focus on GVHD has significant potential impact in making BMT safer and more effective for all patients.
Dr. Ferrara graduated Cum laude from Georgetown Medical School and then completed his pediatric residency and fellowship at Boston’s Children’s and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. After 19 years he went to the University of Michigan to direct the combined adult and pediatric BMT program. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recruited Dr. Ferrara in 2014 to become the Ward-Coleman professor of Cancer medicine and to direct the Center for Translational Research in Hematologic Malignancies.
Hematologist - Oncologist
Associate Professor of Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation; Co-director, Center for Stem Cell Transplantation
Since joining City of Hope in 2002, Ryotaro Nakamura, M.D. has been at the forefront of cutting-edge research in stem cell transplantation and development of cancer vaccines. Among his promising projects: A study indicating that bone marrow transplants may be effective in treating systemic mastocytosis, a rare blood disease with no known cure, and the use of vaccines to replace antivirals which can often spawn deadly infections.
Dr. Nakamura trained in Japan and served a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, before arriving at City of Hope’s Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute, which includes the Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research, Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center and Gehr Family Center for Leukemia Research
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