Ghady Haidar MD, has been awarded funding in the amount of $203,205 for a three-year study through the Hillman Cancer Center to develop a Hematological Malignancy Infectious Diseases (HMID) Biorepository.

The goal of the HMID Biorepository is to create a large, prospective, non-interventional clinical database and specimen biorepository of patients with hematological malignancies at UPMC. All patients with hematological malignancies will be considered for enrollment including acute and chronic leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients, chimeric antigen modified T-cell (CAR-T-cell) therapy recipients, and recipients of other cellular and immune therapies for hematological malignancies. This comprehensive database will become a resource for clinical, basic, and translational scientists to conduct studies in hematological malignancy patients with or at risk for infections.

The initial 3-year pilot study will focus on enrolling CAR-T-cell therapy candidates and recipients. Dr. Haidar’s work will determine whether pre-CAR-T-cell plasma and gut microbiota signatures predict future infections. He will also study the microbiome in different biological compartments when these patients develop CRS and established infections. Over time, Dr. Haidar plans to seek additional extramural funding for expanded specimen collection and processing to begin enrolling other patients with hematological malignancies.