Dan S. Kaufman

Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego

Research in the Kaufman lab focuses on use of stem cells to better understand development of human hematopoietic cells. This work is now largely focused on natural killer (NK) cell development from human pluripotent stem cells. Post-doctoral studies in the lab of Dr. James (Jamie) Thomson at the University of Wisconsin-Madison were the first to derive hematopoietic cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). I have continued in this field to utilize both hESCs and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to study normal and abnormal human hematopoietic development and possible therapeutic applications. This area closely connects with my clinical practice in Hematology/BMT. Our studies to produce engineered iPSC-derived natural killer (NK) cells for improved anti-tumor activity allows me to move full-circle to incorporate my background in immunology, stem cell biology, and clinical medicine/BMT to move novel stem cell-based immunotherapy into clinical treatments for refractory malignancies. We have also developed NK cells to target chronic viral infections such as HIV. I have enjoyed the opportunity to mentor and train many outstanding junior investigators at all stages of their career (undergraduate, pre-doctoral student, post-doctoral fellow, and clinical trainees) that have gone onto successful medical and research careers. Research publications (from 100+) are noted in sections below.