Kapoor Laboratory

Research Topics

  • Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)
  • Partial Matched Donors

Research Overview

Dr. Kapoor’s research focuses on patients with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) -- a genetic disorder characterized by the disturbed development of functional T cells and B cells caused by numerous genetic mutations that result in heterogeneous clinical presentations. SCID involves defective antibody response due to either direct involvement with B lymphocytes or through improper B lymphocyte activation due to non-functional T-helper cells. Consequently, both the B cells and T cells of the adaptive immune system are impaired due to a defect in one of several possible genes. SCID is the most severe form of primary immunodeficiency, and there are now at least nine different known genes in which mutations lead to a form of SCID. It is also known as the bubble baby disease and bubble boy disease because its victims are extremely vulnerable to infectious diseases.

These infections are usually serious, and may even be life threatening, they may include pneumonia, meningitis or bloodstream infections. Children affected by SCID can also become ill from live viruses present in some vaccines. These vaccines (such as Chickenpox, Measles, Rotavirus, oral polio and BCG, etc.) contain viruses and bacteria that are weakened and don’t harm children with a healthy immune system. In patients with SCID however, these viruses and bacteria may cause severe, life-threatening infections.

Dr. Kapoor is also conducting clinical research on Haploidentical Transplantation – a half-matched bone marrow transplant that has been successful for patients of some cancers and blood disorders other lethal and sub lethal blood disorders for patients have suitable matched related or unrelated donors. The major advantage of pediatrics is that almost always a child will have a parent who is half match and can be a donor for their child and is readily available.

Dr. Kapoor has been working on evaluation of reconstruction of the immune system after allogenic transplantations and management of severely immunocompromised patients. Research efforts are being made to reconstruct the immune system in a systematic fashion to reconstruct the immunity without causing graft-vs-host disease.  This is accomplished by giving the patient genetically modified immune cells. These immune cells while capable of imparting immunity against infection and provide immune surveillance against cancer, can be completely destroyed in the event they attempt to cause graft-vs-host disease by turning on the safety switch with the help of small molecular agent.

Dr. Kapoor is the Director of the Blood and Transplantation Laboratory which is responsible for processing all autologous and allogenic blood and marrow stem cell products, cord blood products, all cell therapy products including genetically modified cells. The laboratory is also responsible for processing all clinical research related cell therapy products.

Dr. Kapoor participates in Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) in which she sits as a co-chair on the committee for Primary Immune Deficiencies, Inborn Errors of Metabolism and other Non-Malignant Marrow Disorders. As a co-chair of the committee she is responsible for numerous scientific project reviews and facilitates undertaking research projects.

Dr. Kapoor works with the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, Foundation for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases, IACA Fellowship Program and is a member of Indian Society of Primary Immuno-deficiency Diseases. Dr. Kapoor visited Armenia in 2015 to help lay the foundation for the Stem Cell Processing Laboratory and facilitated the training of the technical and medical staff. Dr. Kapoor also gave lectures and instructed courses at the Medical School of Yerevan. Dr. Kapoor visits India annually and gives courses on Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases, Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cell Therapy. During these visits, she assures that the programs that have been established by the Foundation for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases are providing the best quality of care to the patients, development of diagnostic procedures and continuing education to the medical staff.