CRI Funded Scientists

Randall S. Carpenter, PhD, CRI Postdoctoral Fellow

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Area of Research: Leukemia

Dr. Randall S. Carpenter is exploring how a potential link between nerves and reactive oxygen species (ROS) influences the immune system’s ability to eliminate leukemia cells.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a devastating blood cancer that affects 20,000 people every year in the U.S. and causes approximately 12,000 deaths. The standard of care for AML patients is chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplantation. However, the 5-year survival rate is less than 25% due to changes in bone marrow that promote the survival of leukemic stem cells that can reactivate years after the initial disease. One change in the bone marrow during leukemia is the loss of sympathetic nerves, a process that accelerates disease and hastens death in mice. While sympathetic nerves are known to be lost during leukemia, it remains unknown how the loss of nerve signals limits the development of leukemia.

Dr. Carpenter hypothesizes that a loss of nerve signals contributes to excess production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), small molecules produced by immune cells in the bone marrow. Elevated ROS levels, in turn, then impair the immune response against leukemia. Overall, he  envisions that targeting this neuro-immune communication may complement existing therapies to improve the immune system’s ability to search out leukemic stem cells in the bone marrow, ultimately preventing relapse and improving patient outcomes.

Projects and Grants

Regulation of innate and adaptive immune function in the leukemic microenvironment by sympathetic nerves and reactive oxygen species

Albert Einstein College of Medicine | Leukemia | 2023 | Maria Maryanovich, PhD

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