Alexander Sasha Krupnick, MD
Department of Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Dr. Krupnick is a general thoracic surgeon with clinical expertise in thoracic oncology, including lung and esophageal cancer, as well as benign foregut disease and lung transplantation. He currently operates at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville VA and directs their lung transplant program. His academic mission has been to advance the understanding of pulmonary-specific immune responses. The lung presents an exceptionally unique immunologic environment since, as a mucosal barrier organ, antigen delivery to the airway under steady-state conditions results in the downregulation of both systemic and local immune responses. Such mechanisms are most likely responsible for the abrogation of tumor-specific immune responses and failure of lung cancer immunotherapy. Interestingly pulmonary allografts are rejected more vigorously than any other solid organ, suggesting that in certain circumstances the tolerogenic properties of the lung can be reversed. His goal is to understand and eventually apply immunologic principles contributing to the vigorous process of lung allograft rejection toward tumor immunotherapy and the tolerogenic properties of thoracic malignancies toward protocols for lung allograft acceptance.