Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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Stem Cell Transplant Research


Our stem cell transplant team is working on innovative research that translates directly to better clinical care.

Pediatrics stem cell transplant program director Carrie Kitko, M.D., is an internationally recognized leader in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a complication where donor stem cells attack the recipient’s body. Dr. Kitko plans to start an entire clinic dedicated to better assess and treatment patients with both acute (early) and chronic (late) GVHD. Under the direction of Dr. Kitko, Vanderbilt is able to provide state-of-the-art treatments, including extracorporeal photophoresis, which are not available at many centers to treat this highly morbid condition. Patients will also have the opportunity to participate in other clinical trials designed to better prevent and treat important transplant associated complications.

James Connelly, M.D. is an expert in transplant for non-malignant conditions, particularly immunodeficiencies. Prior to joining our team at Vanderbilt, he worked at the University of Michigan during the onset of newborn screening for T-cell deficiencies and established an immuno-hematology program that was vital to the assessment of patients with a positive newborn screen for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).

Currently, Dr. Connelly is leading Vanderbilt’s efforts to establish the Comprehensive Hematology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases Program (CHIIP), where patients can be referred for further work-up of immunologic and hematologic conditions. Through this one clinic, patients will be able to see a pediatric immunologist, infectious disease expert, hematologist and as well as Dr. Connelly for his transplant expertise. Dr. Connelly has recently co-authored publications on transplant for SCID in the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and co-authored the largest publication to date on the outcomes of TREC newborn screening in the Journal of the American Medical Association. He has served as the primary investigator for 4 transplant trials for patients with immune deficiencies, and is an active member of the Primary Immune Deficiency Treatment Consortium.

Richard Ho, M.D., is a physician scientist and nationally recognized expert in pediatric clinical pharmacology whose research program focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which drug transporters contribute to overall chemotherapy disposition and interindividual response to drug therapy in pediatric oncology and stem cell transplantation.

Research projects are primarily laboratory- and translational-based which rely on background knowledge in the fields of molecular biology and clinical pharmacology and have been continuously funded by NIH since 2007. Dr. Ho received a Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Clinician Scientist Award in 2003, a K08 Clinical Scientist Career Development Award with grant support from NIH (NIGMS) in 2007, a R01 Independent Investigator Award in 2012, and has served as co-investigator on several NIH-funded grants focused on drug transporters, drug disposition and clinical pharmacology. He is also a co-investigator on a multicenter NIH-funded clinical study of vincristine pharmacogenetics in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients. 

Currently, his laboratory is supported by a R01 Independent Investigator Award from NIH and a Hyundai Scholar Award.  He was elected to the Society for Pediatric Research in 2010 and awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from NIH and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 2013.   

Last Edited: May 17, 2016
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