Christian Capitini, MD

Position title: Associate Professor, Pediatrics


Phone: 608-262-2415

Organ System/Disease Focus:
Graft-versus-tumor effect for pediatric malignancies, Graft-versus-host-disease, Acute radiation syndrome
Aligned Research Focus:
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant, Mesenchymal stromal/stem cell-derived exosomes, Adoptive cell therapies (CAR T cells, NK cells and macrophages)
Christian Capitini headshot


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Research Description:

Dr. Capitini leads an NIH-supported laboratory focusing on development of cell-based therapies, including NK cells and CAR T cells, for the treatment of childhood cancers like neuroblastoma and osteosarcoma. The laboratory also manufactures alternatively activated macrophages for complications of hematopoietic stem cell transplant, like graft-versus-host-disease and acute radiation syndrome. In the clinic, Dr. Capitini was a site Principal Investigator for the first multi-center CAR T cell trial, which led to FDA approval of tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) for the treatment of recurrent/refractory B cell leukemia in children. He remains a site PI for trials testing Kymriah as upfront therapy for high risk B cell leukemias and for treatment of relapsed non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Selected References:
  • Walker KL, Rinella SP, Hess NJ, Turicek DP, Kabakov SA, Zhu F, Bouchlaka MN, Olson SL, Cho MM, Quamine AE, Feils AS, Gavcovich TB, Rui L, Capitini CM: CXCR4 allows T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia to escape from JAK1/2 and BCL2 inhibition through CNS infiltration. Leukemia and Lymphoma 2021 May;62(5):1167-1177. PMCID: PMC8432301
  • Chinnadauri R, Bates PD, Kunugi K, Nickel K, DeWerd L, Capitini CM, Galipeau J, Kimple R: Dichotomic potency of IFNg licensed allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cells in animal models of acute radiation syndrome and graft versus host disease. Frontiers in Immunology 2021 Jul 26. 12:708950. PMCID: PMC8352793
  • Forsberg MH, Kink JA, Thickens AS, Lewis BM, Childs CJ, Hematti P, Capitini CM: Exosomes from primed MSCs can educate monocytes as a cellular therapy for hematopoietic acute radiation syndrome. Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2021 Aug 18;12(1):459. PMCID: PMC8371870
  • Bates PD, Rakhmilevich AL, Cho MM, Bouchlaka MN, Hales JM, Rao SL, Orentas RJ, Fry TJ, Gilles SD, Sondel PM, Capitini CM: Combining immunocytokine and ex vivo activated NK cells as a platform for enhancing graft-versus-tumor effects against GD2+ murine neuroblastoma. Frontiers in Immunology 2021 Aug 5. 12:668307. PMCID: PMC8417312
  • Chinnadurai R, Porter AP, Patel M, Lipat AJ, Forsberg MH, Rajan D, Hematti P, Capitini CM, Bruker C: Hepatocellular carcinoma cells are protected from immunolysis by mesenchymal stromal cells through indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 2021 Nov 12;9:715905.