Guest Editors

Dr. Nina Shah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer in Houston, TX. Dr. Shah graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in cognitive neuroscience and received her M.D. degree from New York University. She then trained in internal medicine at Columbia University and completed her hematology-oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Shah’s research focus is on cellular immunotherapy, particularly for lymphoid diseases. She studies umbilical cord blood-derived natural killer cells as an adoptive cellular therapy for hematologic malignancies. She and her colleagues are conducting a first-in-human clinical trial for umbilical cord blood-derived natural killer cells as an adjunct cell therapy in the setting of high dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma. She is also interested in vaccine therapies and post-transplant maintenance therapy for patients with multiple myeloma.

Dr. Jaap Jan Boelens is a Pediatrician, Oncologist / Immunologist. Medicine (UMC Utrecht 1996), PhD in Amsterdam (University of Amsterdam/Academic Medical Center; 1999), trained as a pediatrician in Leiden (Leiden UMC)/Den Haag; Juliana Children’s Hospital; 2004) followed by completion of clinical fellowship in immunology (2006; UMC Utrecht) and oncology (2011; Erasmus MC, Rotterdam). My clinical sub-specialization is Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) and I am working as a consultant in HCT at the UMC Utrecht since 2006.

I have a special interest in rare-diseases (as indication for HCT) in particular “lysosomal storage diseases” and finding strategies to get better disease control (in malignant diseases). My research group (Group Boelens / Nierkens: U-DANCE) focuses on the development of cord blood derived dendritic cell vaccines (anti-AML, anti-Neuroblastoma). In addition there is a special interest designing a predictable low toxic conditioning regimen using PK/PD-models for e.g. Busulfan, ATG (anti-thymocyte globuline) to better predict the immune-reconstitution (necessary for optimal effect vaccines and other adjuvant immunotherapies). 4 PostDocs, 5 PhD students and 3 technicians are working in my group. Active funding from: Dutch Organization for Scientific Research, Villa Joep Foundation, KIKA Foundation, AMMODO Foundation and Friends of the Children’s Hospital UMC Utrecht).