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Esma Yolcu, Ph.D.

by Eaves JR,Baxter Slaten last modified Nov 03, 2010 10:56 AM


Esma S. Yolcu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine

Research Interests

Immunomodulation using bone marrow cells engineered under clinically applicable conditions to display on their surface exogenous novel immunoregulatory proteins with particular emphasis on:

  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Graft-vs-Host Disease Professional Bio
  • Type I Diabetes

Professional Bio

2003 - present
 Assistant Professor, Dept of Microbiology&Immunology, University of Louisville,  Louisville, KY
 2000 - 2003
Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Cellular Therapeutics , School of Medicine , University of Louisville , Louisville , KY.
 1999 - 2000
Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Cellular Therapeutics , School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.
 1998 - 1999
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Bilkent University, Ankara , Turkey 
 1995 - 1997
Visiting Research Assistant, Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute, Gebze , Turkey
 1992 - 1997
Teaching Assistant, Ankara University , Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Section of Molecular Biology, Ankara , Turkey


Schabowsky RH, Elpek KG, Madireddi S, Sharma RK, Yolcu ES, Bandura-Morgan L, Miller R, MacLeod KJ, Mittler RS, Shirwan H.      A novel form of 4-1BBL has better immunomodulatory activity than an agonistic anti-4-1BB Ab without Ab-associated severe toxicity. Vaccine. 2009 Dec 11;28(2):512-22. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

Schabowsky R-H, Sharma RK, Madireddi S, Srivastava A, Yolcu ES, Shirwan H.
ProtEx™ technology for the generation of novel therapeutic cancer vaccines.
Exp Mol Path June 2009 June;86 (3):139-234.

Sharma RK, Elpek KG, Yolcu ES, Schabowsky RH, Zhao H, Bandura-Morgan L, Shirwan H.
Costimulation as a Platform for the Development of Vaccines: A Peptide-Based Vaccine Containing a Novel form of 4-1BB Ligand Eradicates Established Tumors. Cancer Res. 2009 May 15;69(10):4319-26. Epub 2009 May 12.

Enzmann V, Yolcu E, Kaplan HJ, Ildstad ST.
Stem cells as tools in regenerative therapy for retinal degeneration.
Arch Ophthalmol. 2009 Apr;127(4):563-71.

Yolcu ES, Ash S, Kaminitz A, Sagiv Y, Askenasy N, Yarkoni S.
Apoptosis as a mechanism of T-regulatory cell homeostasis and suppression.
Immunol Cell Biol. 2008 Nov-Dec;86(8):650-8.

Yolcu ES, Gu X, Lacelle C, Zhao H, Bandura-Morgan L, Askenasy N, Shirwan H.
Induction of tolerance to cardiac allografts using donor splenocytes engineered to display on their surface an exogenous Fas ligand protein.
J Immunol. 2008 Jul 15;181(2):931-9.

Schabowsky RH, Madireddi S, Sharma R, Yolcu ES, Shirwan H.
Targeting CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ regulatory T-cells for the augmentation of cancer immunotherapy.
Curr Opin Investig Drugs. 2007 Dec;8(12):1002-8.

Elpek KG, Yolcu ES, Franke DD, Lacelle C, Schabowsky RH, Shirwan H.
Ex vivo expansion of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ T regulatory cells based on synergy between IL-2 and 4-1BB signaling.
J Immunol. 2007 Dec 1;179(11):7295-304.

Pearl-Yafe M, Yolcu ES, Stein J, Kaplan O, Shirwan H, Yaniv I, Askenasy N.
Expression of Fas and Fas-ligand in donor hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells is dissociated from the sensitivity to apoptosis.
Exp Hematol. 2007 Oct;35(10):1601-12.

Pearl-Yafe M, Stein J, Yolcu ES, Farkas DL, Shirwan H, Yaniv I, Askenasy N.
Fas transduces dual apoptotic and trophic signals in hematopoietic progenitors.
Stem Cells. 2007 Dec;25(12):3194-203. Epub 2007 Sep 13.

Elpek KG, Lacelle C, Singh NP, Yolcu ES, Shirwan H.
CD4+CD25+ T regulatory cells dominate multiple immune evasion mechanisms in early but not late phases of tumor development in a B cell lymphoma model.
J Immunol. 2007 Jun 1;178(11):6840-8.

Pearl-Yafe M, Yolcu ES, Stein J, Kaplan O, Yaniv I, Shirwan H, Askenasy N.
Fas ligand enhances hematopoietic cell engraftment through abrogation of alloimmune responses and nonimmunogenic interactions.
Stem Cells. 2007 Jun;25(6):1448-55. Epub 2007 Mar 15.

Pearl-Yafe M, Kaminitz A, Yolcu ES, Yaniv I, Stein J, Askenasy N.
Pancreatic islets under attack: cellular and molecular effectors.
Curr Pharm Des. 2007;13(7):749-60. Review.

Franke DD, Yolcu ES, Alard P, Kosiewicz MM, Shirwan H.
A novel multimeric form of FasL modulates the ability of diabetogenic T cells to mediate type 1 diabetes in an adoptive transfer model.
Mol Immunol. 2007 Apr;44(11):2884-92. Epub 2007 Feb 26.

Singh NP, Miller RW, Yolcu ES, Kilinc MO, Oechsli M, Huseby R, Taylor DD, Perry MT, Larocca RV, Shirwan H.
Primary tumor cells resected from cancer patients and decorated with a novel form of CD80 protein serve as effective antigen-presenting cells for the induction of autologous T cell immune responses ex vivo.
Hum Gene Ther. 2006 Mar;17(3):334-46.

Kilinc MO, Mukundan L, Yolcu ES, Singh NP, Suttles J, Shirwan H.
Generation of a multimeric form of CD40L with potent immunostimulatory activity using streptavidin as a chaperon.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2006 Jun;80(3):252-61. Epub 2006 Feb 17.

Pearl-Yafe M, Yolcu ES, Yaniv I, Stein J, Shirwan H, Askenasy N.
The dual role of Fas-ligand as an injury effector and defense strategy in diabetes and islet transplantation.
Bioessays. 2006 Feb;28(2):211-22.

Singh NP, Yolcu ES, Askenasy N, Shirwan H.
ProtEx: a novel technology to display exogenous proteins on the cell surface for immunomodulation.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Nov;1056:344-58.

Köksoy S, Elpek KG, Yolcu ES, Shirwan H.
Tolerance to rat heart grafts induced by intrathymic immunomodulation is mediated by indirect recognition primed CD4+CD25+ Treg cells.
Transplantation. 2005 Jun 15;79(11):1492-7.

Askenasy N, Yolcu ES, Yaniv I, Shirwan H.
Induction of tolerance using Fas ligand: a double-edged immunomodulator.
Blood. 2005 Feb 15;105(4):1396-404. Epub 2004 Oct 14. Review.

Askenasy N, Yolcu ES, Shirwan H, Stein J, Yaniv I, Farkas DL.
Characterization of adhesion and viability of early seeding hematopoietic cells in the host bone marrow in vivo and in situ.
Exp Hematol. 2003 Dec;31(12):1292-300.

Singh NP, Yolcu ES, Taylor DD, Gercel-Taylor C, Metzinger DS, Dreisbach SK, Shirwan H.
A novel approach to cancer immunotherapy: tumor cells decorated with CD80 generate effective antitumor immunity.
Cancer Res. 2003 Jul 15;63(14):4067-73.

Shirwan H, Mhoyan A, Yolcu ES, Que X, Ibrahim S.
Chronic cardiac allograft rejection in a rat model disparate for one single class I MHC molecule is associated with indirect recognition by CD4(+) T cells.
Transpl Immunol. 2003 Apr-Jun;11(2):179-85.

Shirwan H, Mhoyan A, Kakoulidis TP, Yolcu ES, Ibrahim S.
Prevention of chronic rejection with immunoregulatory cells induced by intrathymic immune modulation with class I allopeptides.
Am J Transplant. 2003 May;3(5):581-9.

Mhoyan A, Wu GD, Kakoulidis TP, Que X, Yolcu ES, Cramer DV, Shirwan H.
Predominant expression of the Th2 response in chronic cardiac allograft rejection.
Transpl Int. 2003 Aug;16(8):464-73. Epub 2003 Apr 24.

Askenasy N, Yolcu ES, Wang Z, Shirwan H.
Display of Fas ligand protein on cardiac vasculature as a novel means of regulating allograft rejection.
Circulation. 2003 Mar 25;107(11):1525-31.

Askenasy N, Yolcu ES, Shirwan H, Wang Z, Farkas DL.
Cardiac allograft acceptance after localized bone marrow transplantation by isolated limb perfusion in nonmyeloablated recipients.
Stem Cells. 2003;21(2):200-7.

Yolcu ES, Askenasy N, Singh NP, Cherradi SE, Shirwan H.
Cell membrane modification for rapid display of proteins as a novel means of immunomodulation: FasL-decorated cells prevent islet graft rejection.
Immunity. 2002 Dec;17(6):795-808.


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