Welcome to the Riddell Lab


In the 1990s, Dr. Riddell and colleagues performed studies designed to block life-threatening reactivation of cytomegalovirus after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT). They provided the first proof-of-principle that antigen-specific T cells can be used to boost T cell immunity to a virus. Subsequent work focused on developing techniques to express genes in T cells that regulated their survival and redirected their specificity to cancer cells.

Dr. Riddell led the first human trial of adoptively transferred T cell clones to prevent cytomegalovirus infection after allogeneic HCT, and developed four subsequent trials of T cell therapy, including the first efforts to treat relapsed leukemia post-HCT and to use synthetic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells of defined subset composition.


The Riddell Laboratory continues to focus on:

  • understanding the contributions of distinct T cell subsets to protective immunity against pathogens and tumors;
  • identifying antigenic determinants on diseased cells and designing receptors to recognize them;
  • the development of adoptive T cell therapies for viral diseases and cancers using unmodified and genetically modified antigen-specific T cells of defined compositions; and
  • the development of preclinical models for evaluating principles of safe and effective T cell therapy.

Dr. Riddell’s team has developed new techniques for isolation, expansion, genetic modification and reinfusion of T cells, and for monitoring safety, persistence, migration and function after transfer. Many of these innovative methods are now widely used. Demonstrations that naïve and memory T cell subsets can have superior persistence and efficacy after adoptive transfer informed new methods to rapidly isolate defined cell populations for clinical trials using T cells modified with specific CARs or T cell receptors (TCRs).