H. Trent Spencer, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics,
Director of Cell and Gene Therapy Program,
Jean R. Amos Cell and Gene Therapy Chair,
Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center
Emory University School of Medicine
Dr. Spencer is Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Gene Therapy Laboratory in the Aflac Center, and a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar. The development of gene therapy treatments for hemophilia A is a major focus of the Spencer laboratory, which is funded by NIH R21, R01 and R42 grants. Dr. Spencer’s lab has used nonmyeloablative transplantation of genetically-modified hematopoietic stem cells encoding a recombinant factor VIII transgene to achieve sustained curative fVIII levels in hemophilia A mice, with no evidence of an anti-factor VIII immune response, and in hemophilia A mice with pre-existing anti-factor VIII inhibitory antibodies. Dr. Spencer is currently developing strategies to initiate a phase I clinical trial using this technology. In addition, he is pioneering an approach to treat cancer using novel immunotherapies, termed Drug Resistance Immunotherapy (DRI). His lab is testing if immunocompetent cells can be genetically engineered to withstand the toxic effects of chemotherapy, and if so, whether the genetic modification can allow for the combined use of chemotherapy and cell-based immunotherapy, which may result in increased survival compared to individual chemotherapy or immunotherapy treatments.