Hemn Mohammadpour

DVM, PhD
Immunology

Cancers Treated:

Specializing In:

Immunology Tumor Immunology Allogenic hematopoietic cell transplantation Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) Graft versus Tumor

About Hemn Mohammadpour

Biography:

I joined the faculty of Cell Stress Biology at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in April 2022 as an Assistant Professor of Oncology. I earned my doctorate of veterinary medicine at University of Tabriz, Iran and a PhD in medical immunology at Tarbiat Modares University, Iran. During my graduate studies, I was working on how different inflammatory cytokines regulate the pro-tumor versus anti-tumor function of mesenchymal stem cells (Mohammadpour et al., International Immunopharmacology, 2015). I further demonstrated that TNF-a promotes anti-tumor function of mesenchymal stem cells, improves the efficacy of irradiation (Mohammadpour et al. Scientific Reports, 2016) and photodynamic therapy (Mohammadpour et al., Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy, 2015) in breast cancer.


I conducted my postdoctoral training in Dr. Elizabeth Repasky’s laboratory at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY. Here, my focus was on the role of chronic stress on myeloid cells especially myeloid derived suppressor cell function in tumor microenvironment. I identified that Beta 2 adrenergic receptor signaling plays a key role in regulating accumulation and immunosuppressive function (Mohammadpour et al., Journal of Clinical Investigations, 2019) and metabolism of MDSCs (Mohammadpour et al., Cell Reports, 2021). I also continued my research on the how beta 2 adrenergic receptor signaling regulates the function of donor T cells after allogenic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) decreasing the severity of graft versus host disease (GvHD) without impairing graft versus tumor (GvT) (Mohammadpour et al., Journal of Immunology, 2018; Mohammadpour et al., JCI insight 2020).

My laboratory has specific research interest in discovering regulatory pathways governing the differentiation and immunosuppressive function of MDSCs, identifying novel therapeutic strategies to target MDSCs with a goal to improve immunotherapy based therapeutic strategies in patients with cancer. I am also very interested in biology of GvHD and identifying new approaches to minimize the severity and mortality of GvHD. My research interests include Myeloid cell differentiation, function and metabolism, the impact of inflammatory stress on the tumor microenvironment, GvHD, GvT and the tumor microenvironment in both hematological malignancies and solid tumor. My laboratory is funded by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Additionally, I have received several awards and honors that include Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows F32 Award and K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award.

Positions

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Assistant Professor of Oncology
  • Department of Cell Stress Biology

Background

Education and Training:

  • 2012- DVM - University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran
  • 2016- PhD - Immunology, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

Fellowship:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow - Immunology, Roswell Park Comprehensives Cancer Center

Professional Memberships:

  • 2021 - Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC)
  • 2021 - American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
  • 2019 - American Society for Hematology (ASH)

Honors & Awards:

  • 2022 - Junior Faculty Best Presentation Award, TRCCC/SITC
  • 2021 - NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)
  • 2019 - NCI Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award
  • 2021 - Abstract Achievement Award, American Society of Hematology
  • 2019 - SABCS® Basic Scholar Award, San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, San Antonio, TX
  • 2019 - Abstract Achievement Award, American Society of Hematology
  • 2015 - Visiting Scholar Award, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2013 - PhD thesis award, Iran National Science Foundation, Iran (Similar to F31 in NIH)
  • 2012 - Talented Student Award, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

Research

Research Overview:

Biology of Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD): GVHD is a major complication after allogenic hematopoietic cell transplantation (Allo-HCT). It happens when donor T cells recognize host alloantigens in the recipient organs especially in target tissues including but not limited to gastrointestinal organ (GI tract) liver, and skin in the context of an inflammatory response. Our lab is interested in identifying and modifying signals that drive or inhibit acute GvHD. We are studying regulatory and inflammatory signaling governing  donor T cell cytotoxicity, regulatory signaling protecting recipient tissues against donor T cell cytotoxicity and discover new soluble biomarkers to predict GvHD morbidity and mortality.

The biology of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs):  Induction of immunosuppression in multiple pre-clinical and human cancers remains a key barrier to the immunotherapeutic success of this disease. A hallmark of immunosuppression is the expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the tumor microenvironment (TME), blood, spleen, and bone marrow of tumor-bearing mice and cancer patients, and these cells functionally suppresses antitumor immunity. Murine and human MDSCs are a heterogeneous population of bone marrow-derived myeloid cells that morphologically and phenotypically resemble immature monocytes (M-MDSCs) and neutrophils (PMN-MDSCs). Several cancers induce expansion of MDSCs which functionally suppress antitumor immunity. Our lab is focused on pathways regulating the differentiation, trafficking, immunosuppressive function, and metabolism of MDSCs and uncovering new therapeutic strategies to enhance immunotherapy by targeting MDSCs.

Immunology of tumor microenvironment in multiple myeloma: Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell cancer of the bone marrow. It is a heterogeneous disease that can present with minimal bone marrow involvement to widespread disease resulting in anemia, renal failure, hypercalcemia, and widespread, destructive bone lesions.  Out MM team has evaluated malignant plasma cells by single cell RNA sequencing to correlate gene expression and clinical phenotypes.  We are currently evaluating the MM immune microenvironment of the bone marrow and osteolytic lesions. We are determining how the heterogeneity of MM clinical presentation and progression correlates with the malignant plasma cell molecular genotype in the context of immune profiling.  We are studying how the immune system interacts and controls malignant plasma cell proliferation so as to develop new strategies to target and treat MM. 


Publications

Full Publications list on PubMed

Mohammadpour H, MacDonald CR, McCarthy P, Abrams SA, Repasky EA. β2-adrenergic receptor signaling regulates metabolic pathways critical for the function of myeloid-derived suppressor cells within the tumor microenvironment. Cell Rep. 2021 Oct 26;37(4):109883. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109883.


Mohammadpour H, Sarow JL, MacDonald CR, Chen GL, Qiu J, Sharma UC, Cao X, Herr MM, Hahn TE, Blazar BR, Repasky EA, McCarthy PL. β2-Adrenergic receptor activation on donor cells ameliorates acute GvHD. JCI Insight. 2020 Jun 18;5(12):137788. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.137788. PMID: 32437333.

Mohammadpour H, MacDonald CR, Qiao G, Chen M, Dong B, Hylander BL, McCarthy PL, Abrams SI, Repasky EA. β2 adrenergic receptor-mediated signaling regulates the immunosuppressive potential of myeloid-derived suppressor cells. J Clin Invest, 2019 Dec 2;129(12):5537-5552. PMID: 31566578. PMID: PMC6877316 Associated with a commentary (Iñigo-Marco I and Alonso M, J Clin Invest. 2019; 129(12):5086-5088) and a Research Highlight in Nature Immunology volume 21, page 8, 2020).

Mohammadpour H, O'Neil R, Qiu J, McCarthy PL, Repasky EA, Cao X. Blockade of host β2 adrenergic receptor enhances graft-versus-tumor effect through modulating antigen presenting cells. J Immunology, 2018; 200(7):2479-2488. PMID: 29445008. PMCID: PMC5860988

Mohammadpour H, Du W, O'Neil R, Khalili S, Qiu J, Repasky EA, McCarthy PL, Cao X. Host-derived Spi6 provides granzyme B-independent protection of intestinal epithelial cells in murine GVHD. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2018. 24(12):2397-2408. PMID: 30006303, PMCID: PMC6286216