Sara Deola, MD, PhD

Principal Investigator – Assistant Level
Advanced Cell Therapy Core

Email: sdeola (@) sidra.org
Phone: +974 4003 7563

  • Biography

    Dr. Deola is a clinical scientist with a Board Certification in Hematology-Oncology from University San Raffaele Vita-Salute, Milan, Italy and a PhD in Experimental Hematology from the University of Milan Bicocca, Italy (training at Telethon Institute for GenE Therapy, TIGET). She completed a post-doc fellowship at NIH, Bethesda USA at the Clinical Center, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Section of Immunogenetics.

    Her clinical training was at the BMT Unit of Hospital San Raffaele, and she worked 5 years as staff physician in the Hematology and BMT Department of the General Hospital of Bolzano, Italy, mostly following allogeneic HSCT patients.

    She joined Sidra Medical and Research Center in 2014, as Bone Marrow Transplant Program Manager in Translational Medicine/Research, and she is holding a PI position since June 2017.
  • Our Research and Approach

    Sidra ACTC is an integrated core facility that hosts a Stem Cell Program for cell, gene therapy and regenerative medicine entailing facilities, clinical grade equipment, laboratories for Research & Development, clean rooms and laboratories for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) to scale up to clinical production. Clean rooms and GMPs are based on non-conventional high-tech modular systems unique in the Gulf and can dynamically adapt to new future requirements.

    Activities currently range from Hematopoietic Stem Cells processing, as part of the Bone Marrow Transplantation clinical program, to several projects of cell therapy (i.e. production of mesenchymal stromal cell from different sources), gene therapy (i.e. anti-tumor engineered Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells) and regenerative medicine (i.e. production of platelet rich plasma, platelet rich fibrin, adipose-derived stem cells and cell-drug codelivery). ACTC aims to follow international standards and guidelines (ISO9001, GMP, JACIE-FACT) for the safe delivery of ACTs to patients.  

    My specific research interests are focused on:
    • Graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (immunology and transcriptomics);
    • B-T cell lymphocyte interactions and immunobiology of lymphocytes; 
    • Gene therapy of Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Hemophilia;
    • Acute leukemias (genetics, epigenetics, proteomics)
  • Lab Members

    Muhammad Elnaggar, MD
    Post-Doctoral Fellow
    Email: melnaggar (@) sidra.org

    Dhanya Kizhakayil, PhD
    Research Specialist
    Email: dkizhakayil (@) sidra.org

    Anjud Al-Mohannadi, MSc
    Research Specialist
    Email: aalmohannadi2 (@) sidra.org

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS(equal contribution, *corresponding):

  • Deola S, Guerrouahen BS, Sidahmed H, Al-Mohannadi A, Elnaggar M, Elsadig R, Abdelalim EM, Petrovski G, Gadina M, Thrasher A, Wels W, Hunger SP, Wang E, Marincola FM, ATH Consortium, Maccalli C, Cugno C. “Tailoring cells for clinical needs. Meeting report from the Advanced Therapy in Health Care Symposium (October 28-29 2017, Doha, Qatar)”. J Transl Med (2018) 16(1):276.
  • Deola S*, Cugno C, Comoli P, Guido I, Rubert L, Zecca M, Zanolini D, Follenzi A, Langes M, Negri G, Tauber M, Pusceddu I, Cavattoni I, Svaldi M, Wang E, Rutella S, and Marincola FM. “Evidence for CD19B-CD8T Cell Interactions in Blood and Tissues from Patients with Graft-Versus-Host Disease.” Bone Marrow Transplant (2017) 52(3):459-462.
  • Introna M, Lussana F, Algarotti A, Gotti E, Valgardsdottir R, Micò C, Grassi A, Pavoni C, Ferrari ML, Delaini F, Todisco E, Cavattoni I, Deola S, Biagi E, Balduzzi A, Rovelli A, Parma M, Napolitano S, Sgroi G, Marrocco E, Perseghin P, Belotti D, Cabiati B, Gaipa G, Golay J, Biondi A, Rambaldi A. “Phase II Study of Sequential Infusion of Donor Lymphocyte Infusion and Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells for Patients Relapsed after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation”. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. (2017) 23(12):2070-2078.
  • Mori A, Deola S, Xumerle L, Mijatovic V, Malerba G, Monsurrò V. “Next generation sequencing: new tools in immunology and hematology”. Blood Res. (2013) 48(4):242-9.
  • Introna M, Lucchini G, Dander E, Galimberti S, Rovelli A, Balduzzi A, Longoni D, Pavan F, Masciocchi F, Algarotti A, Micò C, Grassi A, Deola S, Cavattoni I, Gaipa G, Belotti D, Perseghin P, Parma M, Pogliani E, Golay J, Pedrini O, Capelli C, Cortelazzo S, D'Amico G, Biondi A, Rambaldi A, Biagi E. “Treatment of graft versus host disease with mesenchymal stromal cells: a phase I study on 40 adult and pediatric patients”. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. (2014) 20(3):375-81.
  • Selleri S, Deola S, Pos Z, Jin P, Worschech A, Slezak SL, Rumio C, Panelli MC, Maric D, Stroncek DF, Wang E, Marincola FM.”GM-CSF/IL-3/IL-5 receptor common beta chain (CD131) expression as a biomarker of antigen-stimulated CD8+ T cells”. J Transl Med. (2008) 6:17.
  • Deola S, Panelli MC, Maric D, Selleri S, Dmitrieva NI, Voss CY, Klein H, Stroncek D, Wang E, Marincola FM. “Helper B cells promote cytotoxic T cell survival and proliferation independently of antigen presentation through CD27/CD70 interactions”. J Immunol. (2008) 180(3):1362-72.
  • Deola S, Scaramuzza S, Birolo RS, Cergnul M, Ficara F, Dando J, Voena C, Vai S, Monari M, Pogliani E, Corneo G, Peccatori J, Selleri S, Bordignon C, Roncarolo MG, Aiuti A, Bregni M “Molecular purging of multiple myeloma cells by ex-vivo culture and retroviral transduction of mobilized-blood CD34+ cells”. J Transl Med. (2007) 5:35.
  • Deola S, Scaramuzza S, Birolo RS, Carballido-Perrig N, Ficara F, Mocchetti C, Dando J, Carballido JM, Bordignon C, Roncarolo MG, Bregni M, Aiuti A. “Mobilized Blood CD34+ Cells Transduced and Selected with a Clinically Applicable Protocol Reconstitute Lymphopoiesis in SCID-Hu Mice”. Hum Gene Ther (2004)15(3):305-11.
  • Aiuti A, Slavin S, Aker M, Ficara F, Deola S, Mortellaro A, Morecki S, Andolfi G, Tabucchi A, Carlucci F, Marinello E, Cattaneo F, Vai S, Servida P, Miniero R, Roncarolo MG, Bordignon C. "Correction of ADA-SCID by stem cell gene therapy combined with nonmyeloablative conditioning". Science (2002) 296 (5577):2410-3.