Szabolcs Lab

Paul Szabolcs is a physician-scientist whose clinical and research interests are focused on understanding the biology of donor-derived cellular immunity and modulating alloreactivity in recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). The overall goal of his effort is to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to accurately diagnose, predict, and therapeutically accelerate post-transplant immune reconstitution without increasing GVHD. Recently, he has developed a research program to elucidate mechanisms essential for successful tolerance. These studies will help to develop novel immunotherapy interventions. He continues to focus on unrelated cord blood transplantation (UCBT) as the dominant clinical scenario and laboratory model. Nevertheless, this work has important consequences that will influence the global field of transplantation medicine, in particular, the translational science of HLA-mismatched bone marrow transplantation as it is applied in tandem with solid organ transplantation.

Szabolcs lab-based research

Graft Engineering and Immunotherapy after UCBT. The purpose of these studies is to perform a series of laboratory analyses in HCT recipient and donor pairs to dissect the development of protective immunity and to modulate T-cell responses toward amplifying leukemia-reactive T cells. Recently, he and Xiaohua Chen in the Szabolcs Lab have embarked on analyzing and dissecting the active mechanisms responsible for the development of tolerance in HLA-mismatched cord blood recipients. Gaining such insight will lead to the development of innovative immunomodulatory strategies.

Immune Reconstitution after Cord Blood Transplant. The goal of this research is to perform correlative studies of T-cell immune reconstitution in the setting of ongoing clinical trials utilizing UCBT to identify the predictors of clinical outcomes. Since late 2012, the research has increasingly focused on elucidating mechanisms of tolerance in the setting of mixed chimerism and understanding the role of regulatory T cells in those with tolerance, and those without, namely suffering from GVHD. Chen, research assistant professor, is a key investigator in the Szabolcs laboratory.

Publications and Grants

Most Recent Publications

  1. Allewelt H, Martin PL, Szabolcs P, Chao N, Buckley R, Parikh S Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for CD40 ligand deficiency: Single institution experience. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 Aug 20. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25711. PMID: 26291959
  2. Williams KM, Ahn KW, Chen M, Aljurf MD, Agwu AL, Chen AR, Walsh TJ, Szabolcs P, Boeckh MJ, Auletta JJ, Lindemans CA, Zanis-Neto J, Malvezzi M, Lister J, de Toledo Codina JS, Sackey K, Chakrabarty JL, Ljungman P, Wingard JR, Seftel MD, Seo S, Hale GA, Wirk B, Smith MS, Savani BN, Lazarus HM, Marks DI, Ustun C, Abdel-Azim H, Dvorak CC, Szer J, Storek J, Yong A, Riches MR. The incidence, mortality and timing of Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia after hematopoietic cell transplantation: a CIBMTR analysis. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2016 Apr;51(4):573-80. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2015.316. PMID: 26726945
  3. Mehta RS, Chen X, Antony J, Boyiadzis M, Szabolcs P. Generating peripheral blood-derived lymphocytes reacting against autologous primary AML blasts. Journal of Immunotherapy. 2016;39(2):71-80, PMID: 26849076
  4. Ballen K, Woo Ahn K, Chen M, Abdel-Azim H, Ahmed I, Aljurf M, Antin J, Bhatt AS, Boeckh M, Chen G, Dandoy C, George B, Laughlin MJ, Lazarus HM, MacMillan ML, Margolis DA, Marks DI, Norkin M, Rosenthal J, Saad A, Savani B, Schouten HC, Storek J, Szabolcs P, Ustun C, Verneris MR, Waller EK, Weisdorf DJ, Williams KM, Wingard JR, Wirk B, Wolfs T, Young JA, Auletta J, Komanduri KV, Lindemans C, Riches ML. Infection Rates among Acute Leukemia Patients Receiving Alternative Donor Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2016 Sep;22(9):1636-45. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2016.06.012. Epub 2016 Jun 22. PMID:27343716
  5. Goyal RK, Ibrahimova A, Escolar ML, Szabolcs P, Vander Lugt M, Windreich RM, Weiner DJ. Forced deflation pulmonary function test: a novel method to evaluate lung function in infants and young children. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2017 Apr;64(4). doi: 10.1002/pbc.26356. Epub 2016 Nov 22  PMID: 27873442

Current Members

Evelyn Garchar
Lan Manager

Xiaohua Chen, MD, PhD
Research Assistant Professor

Taylor Nee
Research Technician
Rangos Research Building,
Floor 5 - Bay 11,
4401 Penn Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15224