Christopher G. Kanakry, M.D.

Lasker Clinical Research Scholar

Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch


10-CRC, Room 4-3142
Bethesda, MD 20892


Research Topics

Dr. Kanakry’s research has centered upon better understanding the immunologic mechanisms of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide in order to rationally improve transplantation platforms using this approach. He has defined the preferential resistance of regulatory T-cells to post-transplantation cyclophosphamide and showed this to be a key component of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide’s clinical activity in murine models. He also has published multiple clinical studies on the use of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide as single-agent graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis in human leukocyte antigen-matched allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. His current work centers on using a major histocompatibility complex-haploidentical murine transplant model which he has developed toward investigating a number of key immunologic areas related to graft-versus-host disease and allogeneic transplantation generally and post-transplantation cyclophosphamide specifically. He also continues to explore basic mechanisms of T-cell activation and alloreactivity. Lastly, Dr. Kanakry is directly involved in translating his laboratory findings to the clinic in ongoing early phase clinical trials.


Dr. Kanakry received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his MD from Duke University School of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine residency and Hematology/Medical Oncology fellowships at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he also carried out transplantation research under the mentorship of Dr. Leo Luznik. Dr. Kanakry joined the NCI at the end of 2014.

Selected Publications

  1. Kanakry CG, Coffey DG, Towlerton AM, Vulic A, Storer BE, Chou J, Yeung CC, Gocke CD, Robins HS, O'Donnell PV, Luznik L, Warren EH. Origin and evolution of the T cell repertoire after posttransplantation cyclophosphamide. JCI Insight. 2016;1(5).

  2. Kanakry CG, Fuchs EJ, Luznik L. Modern approaches to HLA-haploidentical blood or marrow transplantation. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2016;13(1):10-24.

  3. Kanakry CG, Tsai HL, Bolaños-Meade J, Smith BD, Gojo I, Kanakry JA, Kasamon YL, Gladstone DE, Matsui W, Borrello I, Huff CA, Swinnen LJ, Powell JD, Pratz KW, DeZern AE, Showel MM, McDevitt MA, Brodsky RA, Levis MJ, Ambinder RF, Fuchs EJ, Rosner GL, Jones RJ, Luznik L. Single-agent GVHD prophylaxis with posttransplantation cyclophosphamide after myeloablative, HLA-matched BMT for AML, ALL, and MDS. Blood. 2014;124(25):3817-27.

  4. Kanakry CG, O'Donnell PV, Furlong T, de Lima MJ, Wei W, Medeot M, Mielcarek M, Champlin RE, Jones RJ, Thall PF, Andersson BS, Luznik L. Multi-institutional study of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide as single-agent graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation using myeloablative busulfan and fludarabine conditioning. J Clin Oncol. 2014;32(31):3497-505.

  5. Kanakry CG, Ganguly S, Zahurak M, Bolaños-Meade J, Thoburn C, Perkins B, Fuchs EJ, Jones RJ, Hess AD, Luznik L. Aldehyde dehydrogenase expression drives human regulatory T cell resistance to posttransplantation cyclophosphamide. Sci Transl Med. 2013;5(211):211ra157.

This page was last updated on October 26th, 2018