Christian Capitini, MD

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics


Organ System/Disease Focus:
Graft-versus-tumor effect for pediatric malignancies/GVHD
Aligned Research Focus:
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant

Christian Capitini headshot


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Research Description:

Dr. Capitini focuses his research on using allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (alloHSCT) to cure pediatric cancers. The goal of this research is two-fold: to improve graft-vs.-tumor effects using immunotherapies that have potential to be translated into the clinic, and to reduce or eliminate graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) through modulation of antigen presenting cells. Ongoing laboratory work is combining NK cells expanded with costimulatory molecules and gamma (c) cytokines with antibodies to stimulate NK cell proliferation and activation against several pediatric tumors in the alloHSCT setting. He is also developing MRI techniques to monitor NK cells in vivo. Clinically, Dr. Capitini is a site investigator for clinical trials studying chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells for relapsed leukemia.

Selected References:
  • Bouchlaka MN, Moffitt AB, Kim J, Kink JA, Bloom DD, Love C, Dave S, Hematti P,Capitini CM: Human mesenchymal stem cell-educated macrophages are a distinct high IL-6 producing subset that confer protection in graft-versus-host-disease and radiation injury models. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2017 Feb 28. pii: S1083-8791(17)30306-3. PMCID: pending
  • Li Y*, Bouchlaka MN*, Wolff J, Grindle KM, Lu L, Qian S, Zhong X, Pflum N, Jobin P, Kahl BS, Eickhoff JC, Wuerzberger-Davis SM, Miyamoto S, Thomas CJ, Yang DT#, Capitini CM#, Rui L#: FBXO10 Deficiency and BTK Activation Upregulate BCL2 Expression in Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Oncogene 2016 May 9. [epub ahead of print] PMID: 27157620. PMCID: PMC5102814 * = co-first authors, # = co-senior authors.
  • Bouchlaka MN, Ludwig KD, Gordon JW, Kutz MP, Bednarz B, Fain SB, Capitini CM: 19F-MRI for monitoring human NK cells in vivo. Oncoimmunology 2016; 5(5):e1143996. PMCID: PMC4910731
  • Lieberman NAP, DeGolier K, Haberthur K, Chinn H, Moyes KW, Bouchlaka MN, Walker KL, Capitini CM, Crane CA: An uncoupling of canonical phenotypic markers and functional potency of ex vivo expanded natural killer cells. Frontiers in Immunology 2018 Feb 2; 9:150.
    Piscopo NJ, Mueller KP, Das T, Hematti P, Murphy WL, Palecek SP, Capitini CM#, Saha K#: Bioengineering solutions for manufacturing challenges in CAR T-cells. Biotechnology Journal 2017 Aug 25. PMCID: pending # = co-senior author