Graft-versus-host disease, also known as GVHD, is a life-threatening condition that can occur after an allogeneic stem cell transplant, or the transfer of stem cells from a donor, where the donated cells initiate an immune response and attack the transplant recipient’s organs, leading to significant morbidity and mortality. To help support those living with GVHD, Incyte created the Incyte Ingenuity Awards in GVHD, which aims to support the GVHD community in the U.S. by funding two novel initiatives that address challenges faced by people impacted by GVHD, including patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers.
In 2022, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital School Services and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital MediaLab for Advanced Improvement Methods received the $100,000 Incyte Ingenuity Award in GVHD. The award-winning project aims to evaluate the academic performance of children and young adults with chronic GVHD and generate targeted interventions to address gaps in educational resources.
Hear from Dr. Pooja Khandelwal, MD, a member of the Division of Bone Marrow Transplant and Immune Deficiency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and an Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics, as she discusses GVHD and her winning its project, “Addressing the Gaps in Education for Children and Young Adults with Chronic GVHD.”
Dr. Khandelwal is a member of the Division of Bone Marrow Transplant and Immune Deficiency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and an Associate Professor at University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics. In patient care, she specializes in bone marrow transplantation for hemoglobinopathies, malignancies and metabolic disorders. Dr. Khandelwal also runs a multidisciplinary clinic focused on taking care of children with chronic graft versus host disease (GVHD). Through her research, she works to restore and maintain intestinal homeostasis in patients during the peri-transplant period. Dr. Khandelwal’s goal is to reduce the incidence of GVHD by using a variety of approaches, such as administration of specific nutritional compounds and modification of the intestinal microbiome. Since GVHD can be a life-threatening complication after bone marrow transplants, Dr. Khandelwal is interested in improving outcomes for patients by reducing its occurrence.