Advanced Cell Therapy Core — A.C.T.C.

Chiara Cugno, MD
Director – Advanced Cell Therapy Core (ACTC)
Attending Physician – Pediatric Oncology and Hematology
Biography and Contact Details

  • 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.
    Research interests on:
    • Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (deep phenotyping, secretome, lipidomics and metabolomics, etc);
    • Anti-tumor engineered Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells;
    • Pediatric leukemia (phosphoFlow cytometry, epigenetics and pharmacogenomics);
    • Inherited Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes (genetic and epigenetic make-up);
    • Graft-versus-host disease.
  • Lab Members

    Sara Deola, MD, PhD
    Principal Investigator
    Email: sdeola (@) sidra.org

    Cristina Maccalli, PhD
    Principal Investigator
    Email: cmaccalli (@) sidra.org

    Massimino Miele, BSc
    Lab Manager
    Email: mmiele (@) sidra.org

    Rita Calzone, MSc
    Research Specialist
    Email: rcalzone (@) sidra.org

    Che-Ann Lachica, BSc
    Research Specialist
    Email: clachica (@) sidra.org

    Sheanna Marie Herrera, MSc
    Research Specialist
    Email: sherrera (@) sidra.org

    Asma Al-Sulaiti, BSc
    Research Specialist
    Email: aalsuilaiti1 (@) sidra.org

    Moza Al- Khulaifi, BSc
    Research Specialist
    Email: malkhulaifi (@) sidra.org

    Heba Sidahmed, MBBs,MRCs
    Post-Doctoral fellow
    Email: hsidahmed (@) sidra.org

    Giusy Gentilcore, PhD
    Research Specialist
    Email: ggentilcore (@) sidra.org

    Bella Guerrouahen, PhD
    Post-Doctoral Fellow (grant-funded position)
    Email: bguerrouahen (@) sidra.org

    Saad Rasool, BSc
    Research Specialist (grant-funded position)
    Email: srasool(@) sidra.org

    Shilpa Ravindran, MSc
    Research Specialist (grant-funded position)
    Email: sravindran(@) sidra.org

    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