Harvard Medical School, USA

Currently, Youmna Kfoury is a senior scientist at Moderna, Tx leading a team focused on developing mRNA therapeutics for hematological diseases. Dr. Kfoury’s research focused on the role of the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment in maintaining hematopoeisis in addition to being a critical player in hematological malignancies and solid tumor bone metastases. Dr. Kfoury’s work identified the role of extra cellular vesicles as mediators of cellular communication within the BM microenvironment, highlighting the role of stress induced tRNA fragments (tiRNA) in orchestrating the response of myeloid progenitors to genotoxic and infectious stress independent of classical receptor ligand interaction. In the context of malignancy, Dr. Kfoury’s work mapped molecular perturbations within the non-hematipoietic stromal compartment of the BM in AML and MDS using bulk and single cell RNA sequencing. Her work demonstrated the ability of specific molecular perturbations to impact disease progression in chimeric animal models. Dr. Kfoury is a member of the Boston bone metastases consortium that mapped the immune microenvironment in bone and BM samples from patients with bone metastatic prostate cancer identifying drivers of the disease. Finally, Dr. Kfoury is the recipient of the Dubai Harvard medical research foundation fellowship and the Aplastic anemia and MDS foundation research award.