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Paul Armistead, MD, PhD, has received a grant of more than $396,000 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health) to study leukemia stem cell-associated minor histocompatibility antigens.

Bone marrow and stem cell transplantation is primarily an immune therapy directed at cancer, and while it has become a safer and more common treatment for leukemia patients in recent years, current treatment methods can still cause significant toxicity and fail to eliminate the disease. To improve patient outcomes more targeted and effective immune therapies are needed.

The Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08) is to support the career development of outstanding clinician research scientists. Dr. Armistead is an assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology/oncology and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He will be mentored by Charles Perou, PhD, May Goldman Shaw Distinguished Professor of Molecular Oncology and Gary Glish, PhD, Professor of Chemistry.

Dr. Armistead’s long-term goal is to use his training in genomics and computational biology to predict leukemia stem cell-associated minor histocompatibility antigens and confirm their production in leukemia using a new mass spectrometry technique developed in Dr. Glish’s laboratory. His ultimate goal is to develop these antigens as targets for leukemia stem cell-directed immune therapy.