UHealth - University of Miami Health System

Cara Benjamin, PhD

General Information

Cara  Benjamin, PhD


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  • English


Research Interests

The immunological response of T cells in allogenic stem cell transplants (SCT) plays a critical role in the success or failure of the hematological graft. Using data generated by 10+ color flow cytometry in Dr. Komanduri’s lab to define cytokine and chemokine production of the subsets of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells we have a better understanding of which maturation stage of cells are participating in the engraftment or rejection process. Understanding how the fine subsets of T cells participate in immunologic function in human disease will support our goal of developing more selective strategies of immunosuppression and T cell targeting to improve the outcomes in the setting of SCT in humans.


U.T. M.D. Anderson Trainee Spotlight
American Society for Photobiology – Urbach Memorial Travel Award –
American Society for Photobiology – Urbach Memorial Travel Award –
American Society for Photobiology – Urbach Memorial Travel Award
American Association for Cancer Research – Scholar-In-Training Award – Presented at AACR Special Conference
U.T. M.D Anderson Cancer Center Trainee Excellence Award Recipient
NIH Postdoctoral Training Grant
American Society for Photobiology – Urbach Memorial Travel Award – Presented at 11th European Society of Photobiology Congress
Montagna Symposium on the Biology of the Skin Travel Award Recipient
Texas A&M Graduate Student Travel Award, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Operation Enterprise Scholarship recipient


Texas A&M University
Purdue University
University of Missouri


  • Parikh, S.H., Mendizabal, A., Benjamin, C.L., Komanduri, K.V., Antony, J., Petrovic, A., Hale, G., Driscoll, T.A., Martin, P.L., Page, K.M., Flickinger, K., Moffet, J., Niedwiecki, F., Kurtzberg, J., and Szabolcs, P. A Novel Reduced-Intensity Conditioning Regimen for Unrelated Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantatiopn in Children with Nonmalignant Diseases. Biol Blood Marrow Tranplant. 2013 Dec 1. doi; 10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.11.021.
  • Komanduri, K.V., Wieder, E.D., Benjamin, C.L., and Levy, RB. The evolving art of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: translational research in post-transplant immune reconstitution and immunosuppression. Immunol Res. 2013 Dec;57(1-3):140-50
  • Shindo, T., Kim, T.K., Benjamin. C.L., Wieder, E.D., Levy, R.B., and Komanduri, K.V. MEK inhibitors selectively suppress alloreactivity and graft-versus-host disease in a memory stage-dependent manner. Blood. Jun 6;121(23):4617-26. 2013.
  • Vence L.M., Wang C., Pappu H., Patel T.A., Miller P., Bassett R., Lizee G., Overwijk W.W., Komanduri, K., Benjamin. C., Alvarado, G., Patel, S.P., Kim, K., Papadopoulos, N.E., Bedikian, A.Y., Homsi, J., Hwu, W.J., Boyd, R., Radvanyi, L., and Hwu, P. Chemical Castration of Melanoma Patients Does Not Increase the Frequency of Tumor-specific CD4 and CD8 T Cells After Peptide Vaccination. J. Immunother. May;36(4):276-286, 2013
  • Bayraktar, U.D., Kim, T.K., Drews-Elger, K., Benjamin. C., El-Ashry, D., Wieder, E., and Komanduri, K.V. Simultaneous Measurement of ER?, HER2, and PhophoERK1/2 in Breast Cancer Cell Lines by Flow Cytometry. Breast Cancer Res. Treat. Sep;129(2):623-8. 2011.
  • Tavana,* O., Benjamin,* C.L., Puebla-Osorio, N., Sang, M., Ullrich, S.E., Ananthaswamy, H.N., and Zhu, C. Absence of p53-dependent apoptosis leads to UV radiation hypersensitivity, enhanced immunosuppression and cellular senescence. Cell Cycle. Aug 15; 9(16):3328-3336, 2010.