Dr. Ian McNiece
Professor of Oncology
Ph.D., Hematology, Melbourne University, Melbourne , Australia
Dr. McNiece is director of the graft engineering laboratory at Johns Hopkins. This laboratory is responsible for all processing of bone marrow, peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) products and cord blood products for transplantation of cancer patients. He is actively involved in optimization of cellular grafts for patient treatment and the translation of basic research to clinical treatment.
It is planned to commence clinical trials early in the 4th quarter of 2005 to evaluate the potential of ex vivo expansion to improve the engraftment rate of cord blood products. In addition, a trial will commence in the 3rd quarter of 2005 using ex vivo expanded PBPC products purged with mafosfamide to eliminate leukemia cells.
Dr. McNiece’s research seeks to better understand the biology of stem cells and progenitor cells to develop cellular therapies for regenerative and replacement-tissue engineering. The primary focus is on understanding the cells required for replacement of blood cells in settings such as high-dose chemotherapy. By defining the subpopulations of stem cells and progenitor cells involved in generation of functional mature blood cells, it is hoped that we can develop culture methods for generating these cells in vitro. These cells will provide optimal grafts for cancer patients who are at risk for infections and bleeding complications due to treatment.
Dr. McNiece’s studies on ex-vivo expansion of hematopoietic cells have led to clinical trials aimed at improving engraftment in patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy. In particular, his laboratory is focused on the role of cord blood products as an alternate cellular graft and the potential for ex-vivo expanding cord-blood cells. Optimization of cord-blood products through approaches such as expansion has the potential to provide many patients who do not have an appropriate matched donor with cellular grafts to undergo treatment.
The development of mature blood cells from hematopoietic stem cells is poorly understood. Hematopoietic growth factors (HGFs) control the differentiation and proliferation of stem cells and progenitor cells. However, as the stem cells are rare cells in bone marrow or other hematopoietic tissues, their identity and biology are poorly defined. The studies being undertaken in Dr McNiece’s laboratory are aimed at better defining the subpopulations of stem and progenitor cells and the interactions of combinations of HGFs required for optimal stimulation of these cells. It is hoped that by understanding the effects of growth factors that control cell production in vivo, we can duplicate these conditions in vitro and learn how to grow blood cells for therapeutic purposes.
Davie, N. J., Crossno, J. T., Jr., Frid, M. G., Hofmeister, S. E., Reeves, J. T., Hyde, D. M., et al. 2003. Hypoxia-induced pulmonary artery adventitial remodeling and neovascularization: potential contribution of circulating progenitor cells. Am. J. Physiol.-Lung C. 10:1152.
McNiece, I. K., Civin, C., Harrington, J., Malehorn, M., Barber, J., Kellner, J., et al. 2003. Ex vivo expansion of mafosfamide purged PBPC products from patients with AML. Blood. 102:962a.
McNiece, I., Harrington, J., Turney, J., Kellner, J., & Shpall, E. J. 2004. Ex vivo expansion of cord blood mononuclear cells on mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). Cytotherapy. 6:311-317.
Rosinski, S. L., McNiece, I. K., Shpall, E. J., Clough, N., Russell, P., Blunk, B., et al. 2005. Prognostic analysis of pre-transplant peripheral T cell levels in patients receiving an autologous hematopoietic progenitor-cell transplant. Bone Marrow Transpl. 36:425-430.
Shpall, E. J., Quinones, R., Giller, R., Zeng, C., Baron, A. E., Jones, R. B., et al. 2002. Transplantation of ex vivo expanded cord blood. Biol. Blood Marrow Tr. 8:368-376.
Wang, Y., Huso, D. L., Harrington, J., Kellner, J., Jeong, D. K., Turney, J., et al. 2005. Outgrowth of a transformed cell population derived from normal human BM mesenchymal stem cell culture. Cytotherapy. 7:509-519.
McNiece, I. K., & Briddell, R. A. 2003. Stem cell factor. In A. W. Thomas, & M. T. Lotze (Eds.), The Cytokine Handbook (pp. 1011-1016). [4th edition]. MA: Elsevier.