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A. Sasha Krupnick, M.D.

Sasha Krupnick is a general thoracic surgeon who specializes in the treatment of lung cancer, esophageal cancer, lung transplantation as well as benign thoracic disorders. He immigrated with his family to the United States in 1979 from the former USSR and grew up in the Midwest, receiving his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Michigan. He then pursued general surgery training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia followed by a lung transplantation and thoracic surgery fellowship in Washington University in St Louis. He remained on faculty at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in Washington University for 10 years after completing training.

Dr. Krupnick has dedicated his career to advancing the field of lung transplantation and minimally invasive resection of thoracic malignancies. He was recruited as the chief of thoracic surgery and surgical director of the University of Maryland lung transplant program. His laboratory focuses on the development of new and novel mechanisms of immunosuppression for the lung allograft. He, along with his colleagues, developed the world’s first mouse model of vascularized lung transplantation that mirrors human physiology. This model has allowed for multiple avenues of investigation into both tolerance induction and rejection and has facilitated the development of novel immunosuppression therapies. His laboratory has made several seminal discoveries regarding the role of the gut microbiome in chronic rejection, the role of previously unrecognized cell types (such as the eosinophil) in tolerance induction as well as mechanisms of early immunologic intervention that can induce long-term graft survival.

Over the last several years the Krupnick laboratory has also developed an interest in lung cancer immunotherapy. He has specifically made the discovery that immunologic control of lung cancer depends on the inherent function of a cell population known as the natural killer cell. His laboratory went on to describe biologic reasons why individuals with poor natural killer cell function are susceptible and those with robust natural killer cell function are resistant to the development of lung cancer. In addition Dr. Krupnick’s laboratory has developed a drug specially designed to improve natural killer cell function which is expected to begin human clinical trials within a year. Dr. Krupnick will be providing the full range of thoracic surgery services, including minimally invasive lung and esophageal resections, on the University of Maryland Medical School main campus and affiliated hospitals.