Sarwish Rafiq, PhD


Titles and Roles

Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Program Leader for CAR T Basic/Translational Research, Winship Center for Cancer Immunology
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Research Program
Cancer Immunology


Sarwish Rafiq, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. Prior to joining Emory in 2019, Dr. Rafiq was a post-doctoral researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York.


Dr. Sarwish earned her PhD in Immunology/Cancer Biology from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She completed her post-doctoral training in cellular immunotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York.


Harnessing the power of the immune system to treat cancer has proven to be a promising therapeutic option for patients. The overall goal of Dr. Rafiq's research is to use mechanistic insight of immune effector cell function and interaction with cancer cells in the tumor microenvironment to inform the development and translation of novel engineered cellular immunotherapies. In particular, her work focuses on the genetic engineering of synthetic receptors known as Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR). Despite the transformative effect CAR T cells have had on the treatment of some types of leukemias and lymphoma in recent years, obstacles remain in expanding this technology for more widespread use in cancer.

As a translational cancer researcher, Dr. Rafiq's studies aim to engineer novel CARs to target both solid and hematological malignancies as well as deliver immune-modulating or toxic agents locally to the tumor microenvironment.


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