Carrie Kitko, MD, has joined Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt as Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program in the Division of Hematology/Oncology.
Dr. Kitko was previously Assistant Professor of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.
While at University of Michigan, her research focused on understanding graft-vs-host disease (GVHD). Dr. Kitko will continue her research at Vanderbilt and plans to start a clinic focused on GVHD treatment.
In her research, she studies biomarkers that can help determine which post-transplant patients are most likely to develop GVHD. She also looks at extracorporeal photopheresis for treatment and prevention of both acute and chronic GVHD.
During a photopheresis treatment, the patient is connected to the photopheresis machine and their white blood cells are collected. Within the machine, the collected cells are treated with medicine that is activated by brief exposure to ultraviolet-A (UVA) light. The treated blood cells are then returned to the patient.
Dr. Kitko will be the primary investigator on a national multicenter clinical trial investigating extracorporeal photopheresis for the treatment of pediatric acute GVHD, and plans to have the study open for patients at Vanderbilt.
Dr. Kitko earned her medical degree at Ohio State University. She was a resident and chief resident at Duke University Medical Center and then went on to fellowship at University of Michigan Medical Center. ■