The Immunotherapy Group, Dr. Diana Hernandez, BSc, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, aims to enhance transplant outcomes by improving stem cell engraftment and preventing common post-transplant problems.
Our Immunotherapy Group looks to improve the outcome of haematopoietic stem transplantation (HSCT) by:
The group’s main interest is translational research to complement the development of the Anthony Nolan Cord Blood Bank.
The Immunotherapy Group combines expertise in stem cell biology and cellular immunology and works closely with the cord blood programme.
Its research strategy is to characterise cord blood immune cells by comparing their therapeutic abilities with their adult counterparts in order to understand their unique properties. Scientists from the group work in London (cell oriented) and Nottingham (product oriented), developing projects in both clinical and basic research.
To maximise the potential of the research in this field, we have defined five working areas:
The Cord Bank project: We have set up the UK’s first charitable cord blood bank to increase access to haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for many patients in need.
We run a state-of-the art programme collecting high quality and diverse cord blood units using ethically approved and safe collection strategies. We are establishing new procedures and implementing new quality control techniques to minimise the risk for donor and patients from this new medical application.
The CordPharm project: We use the ethically donated cord blood units, not currently suitable for clinical transplantation, for translational research. The main goal is to analyse the different cellular subsets in whole cord blood to be used as allogeneic sources for universal cell therapy approaches, both as an immune or stem cell source.
Subsequently, one major area of interest is evolving the concept of using pooled natural produced stem and immunological cells for clinical protocols, without the need for ex vivo procedures.
Target products are:
The main work at the core facility at Nottingham Trent University is to generate these cell sets and produce them under GMP rules before freezing.
Looking for more information?
Please contact Diana Hernandez, BSc, PhD, Senior Research Scientist on Diana.Hernandez ( at ) anthonynolan.org
If you have further enquiries, our team is here to help.