Asha B. Pillai, MD
Asha B. Pillai, MD

Asha B. Pillai, MD

Assistant Member, St. Jude Faculty



BS – Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University
MD – Indiana University School of Medicine
Internship/Residency (Pediatric)– Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine
Fellowship (Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant) – Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University
Internship/Residency (Internal Medicine) – Baylor College of Medicine
Fellowship (Adult Hematology/Bone Marrow Transplant) – Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford University

Honors & Awards

  • 2012-14 V Scholar, V Foundation for Cancer Research
  • 2012 Patients' Choice Outstanding Clinician, National Registry
  • 2011-12 Hyundai Scholar, Hyundai Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research
  • 2011 Outstanding Pediatric Abstract, ASBMT/CIBMTR Tandem Meetings
  • 2009-present TED Member
  • 2008-13 K08 Career Development Award, NHLBI
  • 2007, 2010 Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) Travel Awards
  • 2005-08 National Research Service Award, NHLBI
  • 1992 Alpha Omega Alpha
  • 1989 Firestone Research Medal, Stanford University

Research Interests

Lab research foci:

  • murine and human regulatory T cells
  • immunobiology of GVHD, engraftment
  • non-myeloablative versus myeloablative conditioning effects on immunoregulation

Translational and clinical research foci:

  • Regulatory T cells in transplantation tolerance and immunotherapy
  • Clinical prevention of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), and application to HCT for non-malignant disorders
  • International development of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and related fields through research, teaching, collaboration, and outreach

Selected Publications

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. Epub ahead of print. doi:10.1177/0883073814560628. PMID: 25564483. *corresponding author

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. *corresponding author

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. TSW Hematology 11:2620-2634, 2011.doi:10.1100/2011/768948. Invited review*corresponding author

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. *corresponding author

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

*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. *corresponding author

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 update: February 2015