Amer M. Najjar

Learn More
Aberrant expression and/or activity of members of the Src family of nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinases (SFK) are commonly observed in progressive stages of human tumors. In prostate cancer, two SFKs (Src and Lyn) have been specifically implicated in tumor growth and progression. However, there are no data in preclinical models demonstrating potential(More)
The importance of the EGF receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway in the development and progression of nonsmall cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) is widely recognized. Gene sequencing studies revealed that a majority of tumors responding to EGFR kinase inhibitors harbor activating mutations in the EGFR kinase domain. This underscores the need for novel biomarkers and(More)
BACKGROUND AIMS Naturally occurring regulatory T cells (Treg) are emerging as a promising approach for prevention of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), which remains an obstacle to the successful outcome of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. However, Treg only constitute 1-5% of total nucleated cells in cord blood (CB) (<3 × 10⁶ cells), and(More)
UNLABELLED Imaging 2 different molecular-genetic events in a single subject by PET is essential in a variety of in vivo applications. Using herpes simplex virus-1 thymidine kinase (HSV1-tk) mutants with narrower substrate specificities in combination with wild-type HSV1-tk (wtHSV1-tk) would enable differential imaging with corresponding radiotracers, namely(More)
Natural killer cells (NK) are important effectors of anti-tumor immunity, activated either by the downregulation of HLA-I molecules on tumor cells and/or the interaction of NK-activating receptors with ligands that are overexpressed on target cells upon tumor transformation (including NKG2D and NKP30). NK kill target cells by the vesicular delivery of(More)
BACKGROUND Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate into endothelial cells in vivo. However, it is unknown if the differentiated MSCs persist in vivo and if this potential persistence contributes to functional improvement after experimental myocardial infarction. METHODS AND RESULTS We generated a lentivector encoding 2 distinct reporter genes, one(More)
Many tumors overexpress tumor-associated antigens relative to normal tissue, such as EGFR. This limits targeting by human T cells modified to express chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) due to potential for deleterious recognition of normal cells. We sought to generate CAR(+) T cells capable of distinguishing malignant from normal cells based on the disparate(More)
Natural killer (NK) cells are important mediators of anti-tumor immunity and are active against several hematologic malignancies, including multiple myeloma (MM). Umbilical cord blood (CB) is a promising source of allogeneic NK cells but large scale ex vivo expansion is required for generation of clinically relevant CB-derived NK (CB-NK) cell doses. Here we(More)
This study was conducted to compare the heat shock responses of cells grown in 2D and 3D culture environments as indicated by the level of heat shock protein 70 expression and the incidence of apoptosis and necrosis of prostate cancer cell lines in response to graded hyperthermia. PC3 cells were stably transduced with a dual reporter system composed of two(More)
Clinical-grade T cells are genetically modified ex vivo to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to redirect their specificity to target tumor-associated antigens in vivo. We now have developed this molecular strategy to render cytotoxic T cells specific for fungi. We adapted the pattern-recognition receptor Dectin-1 to activate T cells via chimeric(More)