Megan SykesSAB Chairman
Dr. Sykes is the Michael J. Friedlander Professor of Medicine and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and Surgical Sciences (in Surgery), Columbia University. She is Director of the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology, Director of Research for the Transplant Initiative and Director of Bone Marrow Transplantation Research at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Sykes’ research career, during which she has published >410 papers and book chapters, has focused on hematopoietic cell transplantation, organ allograft tolerance induction, xenotransplantation tolerance and Type 1 diabetes. She has developed novel strategies for achieving GVL effects without GVHD following hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). One such approach provided safety and efficacy data in clinical trials of non-myeloablative haploidentical HCT that permitted of the use of HCT for the intentional achievement of organ allograft tolerance in humans. Dr. Sykes dissected mechanisms and pioneered minimal conditioning approaches for using HCT to achieve allograft and xenograft tolerance. She devised an approach to identifying and tracking the alloreactive T cell receptor repertoire in human transplant recipients. Her work on xenogeneic thymic transplantation for tolerance induction permitted long-term kidney xenograft survival in non-human primates. She has extended the HCT approach to the problem of reversing autoimmunity while replacing destroyed islets of Langerhans in Type 1 diabetes and developed novel “humanized mouse” models that allow personalized analysis of human immune disorders and therapies. Dr. Sykes is Past President of the International Xenotransplantation Association, past Vice President of TTS, a member of TTS Council and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.