Asha Pillai, MD

Asha B. Pillai, MD

Assistant Member, St. Jude Faculty


Bone Marrow Transplantation & Cellular Therapy

Contact Information

Asha Pillai, MD
Bone Marrow Transplantation & Cellular Therapy
MS 310, Room I4303
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105-3678


BS – Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University
MD – Indiana University School of Medicine
Pediatric Internship/Residency – Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine
Pediatric Hem/Onc/BMT Fellowship – Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University
Internal Medicine Internship/Residency – Baylor College of Medicine
Adult Hematology/BMT Fellowship – Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford University

Honors & Awards

Research Interests

Lab research foci:

Translational and clinical research foci:

Research lab

Selected Publications

*corresponding author

Sadighi Z, Sabin ND, Hayden R, Stewart E, Pillai A. Diagnostic clues to Human Herpesvirus 6 Encephalitis and Wernicke Encephalopathy after pediatric hematopoietic cell transplantation. J Child Neurol Jan 6, 2015. doi:10.1177/0883073814560628. PMID: 25564483. [Epub ahead of print]

Srinivasan A, Panetta JC, Cross S, Pillai A, Triplett B, Shook D, Dallas M, Hartford C, Kang G, Jacobsen J, Choi J, Leung W. Phase I study of the safety and pharmacokinetics of plerixafor in children undergoing a second allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for relapsed or refractory leukemia. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 20(8):1224-1228, 2014. doi:10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.04.020. PMID: 24769325. PMCID: pending.

Martin J, Howard S, Pillai A, Vogel P, Naren AP, Davis S, Smith K, Buddington K, Buddington R. The weaned pig as a model for doxorubicin-induced mucositis. Chemotherapy 60:24-36, 2014. doi: 10.1159/000365725. PMID: 25341697.

van der Merwe M, Abdelsamed H, Seth A, Ong T, Vogel P, *Pillai A. Recipient myeloid-derived immunomodulatory cells induce PD-1 ligand-dependent donor CD4+Foxp3+ Treg proliferation and immune tolerance after murine non-myeloablative bone marrow transplantation. J Immunol 191(11):5764-76, 2013. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1302191. PMID: 24190658 PMCID: PMC3863612. Selected as feature article, December 1 edition.

Rujkijyanont P, Morris C, Kang G, Gan K, Hartford C, Triplett B, Dallas M, Srinivasan A, Shook D, Pillai A, Leung W. Risk-adapted donor lymphocyte infusion based on chimerism and donor source. Blood Cancer J Aug 3;3:e137, 2013. doi:10.1038/bcj.2013.39. PMID: 23995046.

Shook D, Triplett B, Srinivasan A, Hartford C, Dallas M, Pillai A, Laver J, Leung W. Successful allogeneic hematopoieticcell engraftment following a minimal conditioning regimen in children with relapsed or refractory solid tumors. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 19(2):291-297, 2012. PMID: 23063628.

Triplett B, Wang C, Yang J, Dallas M, Hartford C, Howard V, Pillai A, Shook D, Srinivasan A, Laver J, Leung W. Effects of conditioning regimens and T-cell depletion in hematopoietic cell transplantation for primary immune deficiency. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 18(8):1273-80, 2012. doi:10.1016/j.bbmt.2012.01.021. PMID: 22842333.

Leung W, Pui C, Coustan-Smith E, Yang J, Pei D, Gan K, Srinivasan A, Hartford C,Triplett B, Dallas M, Pillai A, Shook D, Rubnitz J, Sandlund J, Jeha S, Inaba H, Ribeiro R, Handgretinger R, Laver J, Campana D. Detectable minimal residual diseasebefore hematopoietic cell transplantation is prognostic but does not preclude cure for children with very- high-risk leukemia. Blood 120(2):468-72, 2012. PMID: 22517895.

Morales-Tirado V, Luszczek W,van der Merwe M,* Pillai A. Regulatory immunotherapy in bone marrow transplantation. (Invited review). TSW Hematology 11:2620-2634, 2011. doi:10.1100/2011/768948.

Leung W, Campana D, Yang J, Pei D, Coustan-Smith E, Gan K, Rubnitz J, Sandlund J, Ribeiro R, Srinivasan A, Hartford C, Triplett B, Dallas M, Pillai A, Handgretinger R, Laver J, Pui CH. High success of hematopoietic cell transplantation regardless of donor source in children with very-high-risk leukemia. Blood 118(2):223-30, 2011. PMID: 21613256.

*Pillai A, Hartford C, Srinivasan A, Triplett B, Dallas M, Wang C, Yang J, Leung W. Favorable preliminary results using TLI/ATG-based immunomodulatory conditioning for matched unrelated donor allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in pediatric severe aplastic anemia. Pediatric Transplantation 15(6):628-34, 2011. PMID: 21762328

Pillai AB, Kohrt HJ, Lowsky R, Strober S. NKT cells, Treg, and their interactions in bone marrow transplantation (Invited Review). Eur J Immunol 40(7):1862–9, 2010. PMID: 20583031

*Pillai A, George T, Dutt S, Strober S. Host natural killer T cells induce an IL-4 dependent expansion of donor CD4 CD25 Foxp3 Tregs that protects against graft-versus-host disease. Blood 113(18):4458-67, 2009. PMID: 19221040

Pillai A, Teo P, George T, Mukhopadhyay A, Dejhbahksh-Jones S, Strober S. Alloantigen recognition is required for CD8-mediated graft anti-tumor activity against murine BCL1 lymphoma after myeloablative bone marrow transplantation. Bone Marrow Transplant 40(5):487-97, 2007. PMID: 17603512.

Pillai A, George T, Dutt S, Teo P, Strober S. Natural killer T cells can prevent graft-versus host-disease and permit graft anti-tumor activity after bone marrow transplantation. J Immunol 178(10):6242-51, 2007. PMID: 17475852.

Clayberger C, Luna-Fineman S, Lee JE, Pillai A, Campbell M, Krensky AM. Interleukin-3 is a growth factor for human follicular B-cell lymphoma. J Exp Med 175(2):371-6, 1992. PMID: 1732410.

Last updated: February 2015