Megan Sykes, United States

Columbia Center for Translational Immunology
Columbia University Medical Center

Megan Sykes, MD

Dr. Sykes is the Michael J. Friedlander Professor of Medicine and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and Surgical Sciences (in Surgery), Columbia University. She is Director of the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She also serves as Director of Research for the Transplant Initiative and Director of Bone Marrow Transplantation Research at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Sykes joined Columbia University in April, 2010 after spending 19 years at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where she was the Harold and Ellen Danser Professor of Surgery and Professor of Medicine (Immunology) and Associate Director of the Transplantation Biology Research Center.


Dr. Sykes’ research career, during which she has published over 420 papers and book chapters, has been in the areas of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), achievement of graft-versus-leukemia effects without graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), organ allograft tolerance induction and xenotransplantation. Dr. Sykes has developed novel strategies for achieving graft-versus-tumor effects without graft-versus-host disease following hematopoietic cell transplantation.  She developed an approach that has been evaluated in clinical trials of non-myeloablative haploidentical HCT whose safety and efficacy allowed trials of HCT for the induction of organ allograft tolerance, with the first intentional achievements of this outcome. Dr. Sykes has dissected the tolerance mechanisms and pioneered minimal conditioning approaches for using HCT to achieve allograft and xenograft tolerance. Her work on xenogeneic thymic transplantation for tolerance induction has led, for the first time, to long-term kidney xenograft survival in non-human primates. More recently, she has extended the HCT approach to the problem of reversing autoimmunity while replacing destroyed islets of Langerhans in Type 1 diabetes. She has developed novel “humanized mouse” models that allow personalized analysis of human immune disorders and therapies. She developed a method of tracking alloreactive T cells in human transplant recipients, and has used it along with other techniques to investigate T lymphocyte dynamics in the graft and the periphery of human transplant recipients. 


Dr. Sykes is Past President of the International Xenotransplantation Association and was Vice President of The Transplantation Society.  She has received numerous honors and awards, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and of the Association of American Physicians. 


Awards at TTS 2018 for Megan Sykes

TTS International Transplantation Science Mentee-Mentor Awards


Committee Role Section
Scientific Program Committee Member

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