PROJECT
SUPERVISORS

Project Supervisor

Polina Stepensky

Background

I was born in Ukraine and immigrated to Israel in 1990. I graduated my MD from the Hebrew University Medical School in Jerusalem in 1998. After the completion my paediatrics residency and paediatric hemato-oncology fellowship at Hadassah Hebrew University Medical centre, I focused on the field of stem cell transplantation and gained international research and clinical experience in the University of Minnesota and Great Ormond Street Hospitals. Upon my return, I established a program of paediatric stem cell transplantation with a focus on transplantation of non-malignant disorders, such as inherited immune/hematopoietic system abnormalities.

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During the next few years, I established a centre of excellence in the field of clinical immunology and genetics, and have collaborated with many researchers and clinicians both locally and worldwide on the treatment and research of patients with rare forms of immune deficiency. In 2017 I was appointed to head of the Department of BMT and Cancer immunotherapy at Hadassah. Since then, I have established and developed an advanced immunodiagnostic research and clinical facility focused on transplantation and advanced cellular therapy.

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Research

Based on our clinical experience, as a group, our research efforts are focused on a few major areas:
1) Identification of novel forms of inherited immune deficiencies and elucidation of the underlying molecular and cellular mechanism of these disorders.
2) The approach to stem cell transplantation in pediatric non-malignant disorders, with emphasis on transplant-related issues including conditioning regimens and amelioration of transplant-related toxicity.
3) The development of novel advanced cellular therapy approached, such as CART cell therapy for various conditions.

Publications

Stepensky, P., Saada, A., Cowan, M., Tabib, A., Fischer, U., Berkun, Y., Saleh, H., Simanovsky, N., Kogot-Levin, A., Weintraub, M., Ganaiem, H., Shaag, A., Zenvirt, S., Borkhardt, A., Elpeleg, O., Bryant, NJ., Mevorach, D. (2013) The Thr224Asn mutation in the VPS45 gene is associated with the congenital neutropenia and primary myelofibrosis of infancy. Blood. 20, 5078-87.

Stepensky, P., Keller, B., Abuzaitoun, O., Shaag, A., Yaacov, B., Unger, S., Seidl, M., Rizzi, M., Weintraub, M., Elpeleg, O., Warnatz, K. (2015) Extending the clinical and immunological phenotype of human Interleukin-21 receptor deficiency. Haematologica. 100:e72-6.

Stepensky, P., Rensing-Ehl, A., Gather, R., Vilk, SR., Fischer, U., Nabhani, S., Beier, F., Brümmendorf, TH., Fuchs, S., Zenke, S., Firat, E., Pessach, VM., Borkhardt, A., Rakhmanov, M., Keller, B., Warnatz, K., Eibel, H., Niedermann, G., Elpeleg, O., Ehl, S.(2015) Early-onset Evans syndrome, immunodeficiency and premature immunosenescence associated with tripeptidyl-peptidase II deficiency. Blood. 125:753-61.

Kfir-Erenfeld, S., Asherie, N., Grisariu, S., Avni, B., Zimran, E., Assayag, M., Sharon, TD., Pick, M., Lebel, E., Shaulov, A., Cohen, YC., Avivi, I., Cohen, CJ., Stepensky, P., Gatt, ME. (2022) Feasibility of a Novel Academic BCMA-CART (HBI0101) for the Treatment of Relapsed and Refractory AL Amyloidosis. Clin Cancer Res. 28:5156-5166

Asherie, N., Kfir-Erenfeld, S., Avni, B., Assayag, M., Dubnikov, T., Zalcman, N., Lebel, E., Zimran, E., Shaulov, A., Pick, M., Cohen, Y., Avivi, I., Cohen, C., Gatt, ME., Grisariu, S., Stepensky, P. (2022) Development and manufacturing of novel locally produced anti-BCMA CART cells for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma: phase I clinical results. Haematologica. e. 36200421