Daniel J. Powell Jr., Ph.D.

faculty photo
Research Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Department: Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania
3400 Civic Center Blvd.
Bldg. 421, TRC Rm 8-103
Philadelphia, PA 19104-5156
Office: 215-573-4783
Fax: 215-573-5129
Education:
A.A. (Liberal Arts)
Delaware County Community College, 1991.
A.S. (Natural Science)
Delaware County Community College, 1993.
B.S. (Biology / Pre-Medicine)
Cabrini College, 1995.
Ph.D. (Immunology)
Thomas Jefferson University, 2002.
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Description of Research Expertise

The Powell Lab is actively investigating the application of immune-based therapy for cancer. Building on interrogations in basic T cell biology in the lab, bench-to-bedside translational immunology is being developed, with a strong focus on T cell-based therapy for cancer.

One obstacle to successful immunotherapy is the lack of highly avid, tumor-reactive T cells in multiple cancers. One current focus of the Powell lab is to generate/isolate high avidity, tumor-reactive T cells from heterogenous tumor infiltrating lymphocyte populations in traditionally "non-immunogenic" cancers utilizing novel culture conditions and T cell capture techniques. This in turn will permit downstream studies of T cell receptor (TCR) isolation, cancer antigen identification and molecular characterization of naturally occurring tumor-reactive T cells in human cancer.

A secondary field of study is the de novo generation of tumor-reactive T cells through genetic engineering methods. One approach relies on the isolation and cloning of T cell receptors (TCRs) that confer non-reactive T cells with specific and potent immune function following gene transfer via recombinant lentivirus or retrovirus. Another approach relies upon the use of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that confer T cells with the MHC-independent specificity of a tumor antigen-specific antibody and potent T cell activity delivered by TCR and costimulatory domains. The Powell Lab employs the CAR approach to test the function of novel costimulatory signals in anti-tumor immunity.

The Powell lab also pioneered the use of universal immune receptors as a novel platform for CAR screening and for the tailoring of antigen specificity for simultaneous or sequential targeting of target antigens, and is actively expanding this field of study.

Other current efforts include the exploration of immunomodulation to potentiate antitumor T cell responses, use of bispecific antibodies, pharmacological sensitization of tumor cells to immune attack, tumor vasculature targeting, preclinical validations, clinical translation and trial support.

Powell Lab Personnel:
- Dr. Keith Schutsky, Post-doctoral Investigator
- Dr. Degang Song, Post-doctoral Investigator
- Dr. Kasia Urbanska, Post-doctoral Investigator
- Dr. Xiaojun Xu, visiting Post-doctoral Investigator
- Rachel Lynn, Ph.D. candidate (CB)
- Jenessa Smith, Ph.D. candidate (GTV)
- Dr. Caitlin Stashwick, Medical Fellow
- Dr. Phillip Santoiemma, Master of Translational Research
- Dr. Mathilde Poussin, Ph.D., Lab Manager
- Shree Joshi, Research Technician

Selected Publications

Ye Q, Song D, Poussin M, Yamamoto T, Best A, Li C, Coukos C and Powell, DJ Jr.: CD137 accurately identifies and enriches for naturally-occurring tumor-reactive T cells in tumor. Clinical Cancer Research 20(1): 44-55, Jan 1 2014 Notes: Published OnlineFirst September 17, 2013; doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-0945

Urbanska, K., Lanitis, E., Poussin, M., Lynn, R., Gavin, B.P., Kelderman, S., Yu, J., Scholler, N. and Powell, D.J., Jr.: A universal strategy for adoptive immunotherapy of cancer through use of a novel T cell antigen receptor. Cancer Research 72(7): 1844-52, April 2012.

Lanitis E, Poussin M, Klattenhoff AW, Song D, Sandaltzopoulos R, June CH, and Powell DJ Jr.: Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells with Dissociated Signaling Domains Exhibit Focused Antitumor Activity with Reduced Potential for Toxicity In Vivo Cancer Immunology Research 1(1), July 2013 Notes: Published OnlineFirst April 7, 2013; doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.

Kandalaft L.E.*, Powell D.J. Jr.*, Chiang C.L., Tanyi J., Kim S., Bosch M., Montone K., Mick R., Levine B.L., Torigian D.A., June C.H. and Coukos C. : Autologous lysate-pulsed dendritic cell vaccination followed by adoptive transfer of vaccine-primed ex vivo co-stimulated T cells in recurrent ovarian cancer Oncoimmunology 2(1): e22664, January 2013.

Song D, Ye Q, Santoro S, Fang C, Best A, Powell Jr. DJ. : Chimeric NKG2D CAR expressing T cell-mediated attack of human ovarian cancer is enhanced by HDAC inhibition. Human Gene Therapy Jan 2013 Notes: 2013 Jan 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Song, D., Ye, Q., Poussin, M., Harms, G.M., Figini, M., and Powell, D.J., Jr.: CD27 costimulation augments the survival and anti-tumor activity of redirected human T cells in vivo. Blood 119(3): 696-706, January 2012.

Urbanska, K. and Powell, D.J. Jr.: Development of a Novel Universal Immune Receptor for Antigen Targeting: to Infinity and Beyond. Oncoimmunology 1(5): 777-779, August 2012.

Lanitis, E., Poussin, M., Hagemann, I.S., Coukos, G., Sandaltzopoulos, R., Scholler N. and Powell, D.J., Jr.: Redirected anti-tumor activity of primary human lymphocytes transduced with a fully-human anti-mesothelin chimeric receptor. Molecular Therapy 20(3): 633-43, March 2012.

Rech, A.J., Mick, R., Martin, S., Recio, A., Aqui, N.A., Powell, D.J., Jr., Colligon, T.A., Trosko, J.A., Leinbach, L.I., Pletcher, C.H., Tweed, C.K., Demichele, A., Fox, K.R., Domchek, S.M., Riley, J.L., Vonderheide, R.H. : CD25 Blockade Depletes and Selectively Reprograms Regulatory T Cells in Concert with Immunotherapy in Cancer Patients. Science Translational Medicine 4(134): 134ra62, May 2012.

Song, D., Ye, Q., Carpenito, C., Poussin, M., Wang, L-P., Ji, C., Figini, M., June, C.H., Coukos, G. and Powell, D.J., Jr.: In vivo persistence, tumor localization and anti-tumor activity of CIR engineered T cells is enhanced by costimulatory signaling through CD137 (4-1BB). Cancer Research 71(13): 4617-27. July 2011.

Moon, E.K., Carpenito, C., Sun, J., Wang, L.C., Kapoor, V., Predina, J.D., Powell, D.J., Jr., Riley, J.L., June, C.H. and Albelda, S.M. : Expression of a Functional CCR2 Receptor Enhances Tumor Localization and Eradication by Human T Cells Expressing a Mesothelin-Specific Chimeric Antibody Receptor. Clinical Cancer Research 17(14): 4719-30. July 2011.

Lanitis, E., Dangaj1, D., Hagemann,I.S., Song, D. Best, A., Sandaltzopoulos, R., Coukos, G. and Powell Jr., D.J. : Primary Human Ovarian Epithelial Cancer Cells Broadly Express HER2 at Immunologically-detectable Levels. PLoS ONE 7(11): e49829, Nov 2012 Notes:

Ye, Q., Loisiou, M., Levine, B.L., Suhoski, M., Riley, J.L., June, C.H., Coukos, G. and Powell, D.J., Jr.: Engineered Artificial Antigen Presenting Cells Facilitate Direct and Efficient Expansion of Solid Tumor-Derived T lymphocytes Journal of Translational Medicine 9(131), August 2011.

Chiang, C.L. Maier, D.A., Kandalaft, L.E., Brennan, A.L., Lanitis, E., Ye, Q. Levine, B.L., Czerniecki, B.J., Powell, D.J., Jr. and Coukos G.: Optimizing Parameters for Clinical-scale Production of High IL-12 Secreting Dendritic Cells Pulsed with Oxidized Whole Tumor Cell Lysate Journal of Translational Medicine 9(1): 198, November 2011.

Chiang, C.L., Hagemann, A.R., Leskowitz, R., Mick, R., Garrabrant, T., Czerniecki, B.J., Kandalaft, L.E., Powell, D.J. Jr. and Coukos G.: Day-4 Myeloid Dendritic Cells Pulsed With Whole Tumor Lysate Are Highly Immunogenic and Elicit Potent Anti-Tumor Responses. PloS ONE 6(12): e28732, December 2011.

Dangaj, D., Abbott, K., Mookerjee, A., Zhao, A., Kirby, P.S., Sandaltzopoulos, R., Powell, D.J. Jr, Lamazière, A., Siegel, D.L., Wolf, C. and Scholler, N.: Mannose receptor (MR) engagement by mesothelin GPI anchor polarizes tumor-associated macrophages and is blocked by anti-MR human recombinant antibody. PLoS One 6(12): e28386, December 2011.

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Last updated: 12/12/2014
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