Fathima is an MD/PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota enrolled in the Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology graduate program.
She earned her B.S. in Biology and B.A in English from Hamline University. She is currently working in the laboratory of Dr. Bruce Blazar studying chronic graft versus host disease. Chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD) which occurs in 30-70% of patients who undergo allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation results in a reduced quality of life and increased risk of morbidity and mortality. During cGVHD, donor-derived B and T cell interactions can produce antibodies that attack host tissues, causing organ damage. Unfortunately, cGVHD is often refractory to current drugs requiring novel treatment approaches. Her thesis work aims to elucidate and target the metabolic pathways fueling the pathogenic B and T cells that mediate cGVHD. Her long-term career goal is to run a research lab dedicated to investigating immune cell modulation as a therapeutic approach to pediatric diseases while maintaining a clinical practice as a physician scientist in pediatric hematology/oncology and bone marrow transplantation.