Natasha Kekre profile picture

Contact Information

Natasha Kekre, BSc, MD, MPH, FRCPC
6137378899 x.71064

501 Smyth Road
CPCR Box 201A
Ottawa, ON
K1H 8L6

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Natasha Kekre

Scientist, Cancer Research
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Hematologist, Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program
The Ottawa Hospital
Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine
University of Ottawa

Research Interests

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Cellular immunotherapy (CAR-T cells) - see Canadian-Led Immunotherapies in Cancer (CLIC)
Clinical Epidemiology 

Brief Biography

Dr. Natasha Kekre has been appointed to the Department of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, within the Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program at The Ottawa Hospital, effective October 2015. She is also an associate scientist within the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa. She completed her Bachelor’s in Science at the University of Windsor then obtained her medical degree from the University of Ottawa. She then trained at the University of Ottawa in Internal Medicine and Hematology. She went on to do a fellowship in stem cell transplantation at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA with a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University.

Her research is focused on developing early phase clinical trials and moving home grown therapeutic strategies into patients. She collaborates with a number of local investigators and scientists in Ottawa, studying hematologic malignancies and blood and marrow transplant recipients more specifically. She collaborates with scientists and physicians across Canada to build a Canadian CAR-T cell platform (chimeric antigen receptor T cells are immune cells engineered to kill cancer cells), bringing this exciting new therapy to Canadian patients. Her other clinical research interests include improving transplant related outcomes and projects with an epidemiologic focus, including but not limited to decision modeling and meta-analyses.

She also participates with a number of cooperative groups in North America including the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, the Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group, the American Society of Hematology and the American Society for Transplant and Cellular Therapy.

Selected Publications

Castillo G, Lalu M, Asad S, Foster M, Kekre N, Fergusson D, Hawrysh T, Atkins H, Thavorn K, Montroy J, Schwartz S, Holt R, Broady R, Presseau J. Hematologists' barriers and enablers to screening and recruiting patients to a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy trial: a theory-informed interview study. Trials. 2021 Mar 25;22(1):230.

Khalife R, Montroy J, Grigor E, Fergusson DA, Atkins H, Seftel M, Presseau J, Thavorn K, Holt RA, Hay K, Lalu MM, Kekre N. Building Canadian Capacity for CAR-T cells in Relapsed/Refractory Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A retrospective cohort study. British Journal of Hematology. Br J Haematol 2020 Oct;191(1):e14-e19.

Kekre N, Kim HT, Hofer JH, Ho VT, Koreth J, Armand P, Nikiforow S, Gooptu M, Romee R, Alyea EP, Nageshwar P, Glotzbecker B, El-Jawahri A, DeFilipp Z, Soiffer RJ, Antin JH, Chen YB, Cutler C. Phase II Trial of Natalizumab with Corticosteroids as Initial Treatment of Gastrointestinal Acute Graft Versus Host Disease. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2020 Sep 8. doi: 10.1038/s41409-020-01049-0.

Heelan F, Mallick R, Adam Bryant A, Radhwi O, Atkins H, Huebsch L, Bredeson C, Allan D, Kekre N. Does Lymphocyte Count Impact Dosing of Anti-Thymocyte Globulin in Unrelated Donor Stem Cell Transplantation? Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2020 Jul;26(7):1298-1302.

Grigor ELM, Fergusson D, Kekre N, Montroy J, Atkins H, Seftel M, Daugaard M, Presseau J, Thavorn K, Hutton B, Holt RA, and Lalu MM. Risks and Benefits of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell (CAR-T) Therapy in Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Transfus Med Rev. 2019 Apr;33(2):98-110.

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest

Research and clinical approaches