H. Trent Spencer, PhD


Titles and Roles

Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Emory University School of Medicine
Director, Gene and Cell Therapy
Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Research Program
Cancer Immunology


H. Trent Spencer, PhD, is Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Gene and Cell Therapy Program in the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. He is a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar, and his areas of interest include gene therapy, stem cell biology, blood and marrow transplantation and immunotherapy. He is President and Co-founder of Expression Therapeutics, a privately owned biotechnology company that is developing therapies for hemophilia A patients. His laboratory has a significant interest in translational research focused on cancer and bleeding disorders, and he has been involved in the submission of several projects leading to investigational new drug applications.

Dr. Spencer is a member of the Cancer Immunology Research Program at Winship. He is a member of the American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy and is a member of several committees within the society.


Dr. Spencer received his PhD from Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. He completed his postdoctoral research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.


The development of gene therapy treatments for childhood cancer and inherited diseases is the major focus of Dr. Spencer's laboratory. His group has pioneered an approach to treat cancer using novel immunotherapies, termed Drug Resistance Immunotherapy (DRI). His lab is testing if immunocompetent cells can be genetically engineered to withstand the toxic effects of chemotherapy, and if so, whether the genetic modification can allow for the combined use of chemotherapy and cell-based immunotherapy, which may result in increased survival with reduced chemotherapy administration compared to individual chemotherapy or immunotherapy treatments. His group has also developed novel chimeric antigen receptors that can be used to direct immunocompetent cells to tumors, which results in anti-tumor immunity. In addition, gene therapy treatments for the bleeding disorder, hemophilia, have been developed and are advancing to clinical trials, with a hope of curing the disease.


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