P. Brent Ferrell, Jr., M.D.

Assistant Professor

Faculty Appointments
Assistant Professor of Medicine
M.D., University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North CarolinaB.A., Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina
Research Description
The primary goal of our lab’s research is to improve our understanding of clonal hematopoiesis and myeloid malignancies, by using single cell approaches for therapeutic discovery. A focus of our research has been to use clinical samples collected at different time points during therapy to understand contributors to disease relapse and therapy resistance. We use a multimodal approach to understand how single cell and bulk leukemia signaling, epigenetics and gene expression affect these outcomes. Other projects in the lab include investigation novel natural products in AML, dissection of immune signaling in CHIP and MDS, and characterization of cellular changes in MDS and AML progression.
Clinical Description
I care for patients with hematologic malignancies at the Nashville Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). I also participate and lead clinical trials in our Hematology Early Therapeutics Program at VUMC.
Research Keywords
acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, clonal hematopoiesis, cell signaling, systems biology, mass cytometry, flow cytometry, single cell biology, immuno-oncology, anti-leukemic immunity
Clinical Research Keywords
hematologic malignancies, acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, phase I clinical trials
von Beck K, von Beck T, Ferrell PB, Bick AG, Kishtagari A. Lymphoid clonal hematopoiesis: implications for malignancy, immunity, and treatment. Blood Cancer J. 2023 Jan 1/4/2023; 13(1): 5. PMID: 36599826, PMCID: PMC9813350, PII: 10.1038/s41408-022-00773-8, DOI: 10.1038/s41408-022-00773-8, ISSN: 2044-5385.

Watts JM, Baer MR, Yang J, Prebet T, Lee S, Schiller GJ, Dinner SN, Pigneux A, Montesinos P, Wang ES, Seiter KP, Wei AH, De Botton S, Arnan M, Donnellan W, Schwarer AP, Récher C, Jonas BA, Ferrell PB, Marzac C, Kelly P, Sweeney J, Forsyth S, Guichard SM, Brevard J, Henrick P, Mohamed H, Cortes JE. Olutasidenib alone or with azacitidine in IDH1-mutated acute myeloid leukaemia and myelodysplastic syndrome: phase 1 results of a phase 1/2 trial. Lancet Haematol [print-electronic]. 2023 Jan; 10(1): e46-e58-e58. PMID: 36370742, PII: S2352-3026(22)00292-7, DOI: 10.1016/S2352-3026(22)00292-7, ISSN: 2352-3026.

Greenwood DL, Ramsey HE, Nguyen PTT, Patterson AR, Voss K, Bader JE, Sugiura A, Bacigalupa ZA, Schaefer S, Ye X, Dahunsi DO, Madden MZ, Wellen KE, Savona MR, Ferrell PB, Rathmell JC. Acly Deficiency Enhances Myelopoiesis through Acetyl Coenzyme A and Metabolic-Epigenetic Cross-Talk. Immunohorizons. 2022 Dec 12/1/2022; 6(12): 837-50. PMID: 36547387, PII: 237588, DOI: 10.4049/immunohorizons.2200086, ISSN: 2573-7732.

Axelrod ML, Meijers WC, Screever EM, Qin J, Carroll MG, Sun X, Tannous E, Zhang Y, Sugiura A, Taylor BC, Hanna A, Zhang S, Amancherla K, Tai W, Wright JJ, Wei SC, Opalenik SR, Toren AL, Rathmell JC, Ferrell PB, Phillips EJ, Mallal S, Johnson DB, Allison JP, Moslehi JJ, Balko JM. T cells specific for a-myosin drive immunotherapy-related myocarditis. Nature [print-electronic]. 2022 Nov; 611(7937): 818-26. PMID: 36385524, PII: 10.1038/s41586-022-05432-3, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05432-3, ISSN: 1476-4687.

Ferrell PB, Kordasti S. Hostile Takeover: Tregs Expand in IFN¿-Rich AML Microenvironment [editorial]. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Jul 7/15/2022; 28(14): 2986-8. PMID: 35587792, PII: 699067, DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-22-1030, ISSN: 1557-3265.

Guess T, Potts CR, Bhat P, Cartailler JA, Brooks A, Holt C, Yenamandra A, Wheeler FC, Savona MR, Cartailler JP, Ferrell PB. Distinct Patterns of Clonal Evolution Drive Myelodysplastic Syndrome Progression to Secondary Acute Myeloid Leukemia [editorial]. Blood Cancer Discov. 2022 Jul 7/6/2022; 3(4): 316-29. PMID: 35522837, PII: 696465, DOI: 10.1158/2643-3230.BCD-21-0128, ISSN: 2643-3249.

Reisman BJ, Guo H, Ramsey HE, Wright MT, Reinfeld BI, Ferrell PB, Sulikowski GA, Rathmell WK, Savona MR, Plate L, Rubinstein JL, Bachmann BO. Apoptolidin family glycomacrolides target leukemia through inhibition of ATP synthase. Nat Chem Biol [print-electronic]. 2022 Apr; 18(4): 360-7. PMID: 34857958, PMCID: PMC8967781, PII: 10.1038/s41589-021-00900-9, DOI: 10.1038/s41589-021-00900-9, ISSN: 1552-4469.

Sunthankar KI, Jenkins MT, Cote CH, Patel SB, Welner RS, Ferrell PB. Isocitrate dehydrogenase mutations are associated with altered IL-1ß responses in acute myeloid leukemia. Leukemia [print-electronic]. 2022 Apr; 36(4): 923-34. PMID: 34857894, PMCID: PMC9066619, PII: 10.1038/s41375-021-01487-9, DOI: 10.1038/s41375-021-01487-9, ISSN: 1476-5551.

Patel SB, Nemkov T, Stefanoni D, Benavides GA, Bassal MA, Crown BL, Matkins VR, Camacho V, Kuznetsova V, Hoang AT, Tenen DE, Wolock SL, Park J, Ying L, Yue Z, Chen JY, Yang H, Tenen DG, Ferrell PB, Lu R, Darley-Usmar V, D'Alessandro A, Bhatia R, Welner RS. Metabolic alterations mediated by STAT3 promotes drug persistence in CML. Leukemia [print-electronic]. 2021 Dec; 35(12): 3371-82. PMID: 34120146, PMCID: PMC8632690, PII: 10.1038/s41375-021-01315-0, DOI: 10.1038/s41375-021-01315-0, ISSN: 1476-5551.

Rasche A, Mason EF, Strickland SA, Byrne M, Ferrell PB. Isocitrate dehydrogenase inhibitor-driven differentiation may resemble secondary graft failure in post-allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation relapsed acute myeloid leukaemia. Br J Haematol [print-electronic]. 2021 Sep; 194(5): 927-31. PMID: 34096047, PMCID: PMC8936480, DOI: 10.1111/bjh.17573, ISSN: 1365-2141.

Ramsey HE, Stengel K, Pino JC, Johnston G, Childress M, Gorska AE, Arrate PM, Fuller L, Villaume M, Fischer MA, Ferrell PB, Roe CE, Zou J, Lubbock ALR, Stubbs M, Zinkel S, Irish JM, Lopez CF, Hiebert S, Savona MR. Selective Inhibition of JAK1 Primes STAT5-Driven Human Leukemia Cells for ATRA-Induced Differentiation. Target Oncol [print-electronic]. 2021 Sep; 16(5): 663-74. PMID: 34324169, PMCID: PMC8667588, PII: 10.1007/s11523-021-00830-5, DOI: 10.1007/s11523-021-00830-5, ISSN: 1776-260X.

Villaume MT, Arrate MP, Ramsey HE, Sunthankar KI, Jenkins MT, Moyo TK, Smith BN, Fischer MA, Childress MA, Gorska AE, Ferrell PB, Savona MR. The delta isoform of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase predominates in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia and can be targeted effectively with umbralisib and ruxolitinib. Exp Hematol [print-electronic]. 2021 May; 97: 57-65.e5-65.e5. PMID: 33617893, PMCID: PMC9059134, PII: S0301-472X(21)00089-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.exphem.2021.02.008, ISSN: 1873-2399.

Mason EF, Pozdnyakova O, Roshal M, Fathi AT, Stein EM, Ferrell PB, Shaver AC, Frattini M, Wang H, Hua L, Mu J, Choe S, Xu R, Almon C, Cooper M, Stone RM, Hasserjian RP, Savona MR. A novel differentiation response with combination IDH inhibitor and intensive induction therapy for AML. Blood Adv. 2021 Apr 4/27/2021; 5(8): 2279-83. PMID: 33904894, PMCID: PMC8095142, PII: S2473-9529(21)00289-5, DOI: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003685, ISSN: 2473-9537.

Camacho V, Matkins VR, Patel SB, Lever JM, Yang Z, Ying L, Landuyt AE, Dean EC, George JF, Yang H, Ferrell PB, Maynard CL, Weaver CT, Turnquist HR, Welner RS. Bone marrow Tregs mediate stromal cell function and support hematopoiesis via IL-10. JCI Insight. 2020 Nov 11/19/2020; 5(22): PMID: 33208555, PMCID: PMC7710301, PII: 135681, DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.135681, ISSN: 2379-3708.

Byrne M, Danielson N, Sengsayadeth S, Rasche A, Culos K, Gatwood K, Wyatt H, Chinratanalab W, Dholaria B, Ferrell PB, Fogo K, Goodman S, Jagasia M, Jayani R, Kassim A, Mohan SR, Savani BN, Strickland SA, Engelhardt BG, Savona M. The use of venetoclax-based salvage therapy for post-hematopoietic cell transplantation relapse of acute myeloid leukemia. Am J Hematol [print-electronic]. 2020 Sep; 95(9): 1006-14. PMID: 32390196, DOI: 10.1002/ajh.25859, ISSN: 1096-8652.

Li Z, Philip M, Ferrell PB. Alterations of T-cell-mediated immunity in acute myeloid leukemia. Oncogene [print-electronic]. 2020 Apr; 39(18): 3611-9. PMID: 32127646, PMCID: PMC7234277, PII: 10.1038/s41388-020-1239-y, DOI: 10.1038/s41388-020-1239-y, ISSN: 1476-5594.

Davis EJ, Salem JE, Young A, Green JR, Ferrell PB, Ancell KK, Lebrun-Vignes B, Moslehi JJ, Johnson DB. Hematologic Complications of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors. Oncologist [print-electronic]. 2019 Feb 2/28/2019; PMID: 30819785, PII: theoncologist.2018-0574, DOI: 10.1634/theoncologist.2018-0574, ISSN: 1549-490X.

Greenplate AR, McClanahan DD, Oberholtzer BK, Doxie DB, Roe CE, Diggins KE, Leelatian N, Rasmussen ML, Kelley MC, Gama V, Siska PJ, Rathmell JC, Ferrell PB, Johnson DB, Irish JM. Computational Immune Monitoring Reveals Abnormal Double-Negative T Cells Present across Human Tumor Types. Cancer Immunol Res [print-electronic]. 2019 Jan; 7(1): 86-99. PMID: 30413431, PMCID: PMC6318034, PII: 2326-6066.CIR-17-0692, DOI: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-17-0692, ISSN: 2326-6074.

Johnson DB, Nixon MJ, Wang Y, Wang DY, Castellanos E, Estrada MV, Ericsson-Gonzalez PI, Cote CH, Salgado R, Sanchez V, Dean PT, Opalenik SR, Schreeder DM, Rimm DL, Kim JY, Bordeaux J, Loi S, Horn L, Sanders ME, Ferrell PB, Xu Y, Sosman JA, Davis RS, Balko JM. Tumor-specific MHC-II expression drives a unique pattern of resistance to immunotherapy via LAG-3/FCRL6 engagement. JCI Insight. 2018 Dec 12/20/2018; 3(24): PMID: 30568030, PMCID: PMC6338319, PII: 120360, DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.120360, ISSN: 2379-3708.

Ivy KS, Brent Ferrell P. Disordered Immune Regulation and its Therapeutic Targeting in Myelodysplastic Syndromes. Curr Hematol Malig Rep [print-electronic]. 2018 Jun 6/22/2018; PMID: 29934935, PII: 10.1007/s11899-018-0463-9, DOI: 10.1007/s11899-018-0463-9, ISSN: 1558-822X.

Earl DC, Ferrell PB Jr., Leelatian N, Froese JT, Reisman BJ, Irish JM, Bachmann BO. Discovery of human cell selective effector molecules using single cell multiplexed activity metabolomics. Nat Comm. c2018 Jan 1/2/2018; 9(1): 39. PMID: 29295987.

Roussel M, Ferrell PB, Greenplate AR, Lhomme F, Le Gallou S, Diggins KE, Johnson DB, Irish JM. Mass cytometry deep phenotyping of human mononuclear phagocytes and myeloid-derived suppressor cells from human blood and bone marrow. J. Leukoc. Biol [print-electronic]. 2017 Apr 4/11/2017; PMID: 28400539, PII: jlb.5MA1116-457R, DOI: 10.1189/jlb.5MA1116-457R, ISSN: 1938-3673.

Greenplate AR, Johnson DB, Ferrell PB, Irish JM. Systems immune monitoring in cancer therapy. Eur. J. Cancer [print-electronic]. 2016 Jul; 61: 77-84. PMID: 27155446, PMCID: PMC4885747, PII: S0959-8049(16)32047-0, DOI: 10.1016/j.ejca.2016.03.085, ISSN: 1879-0852.

Greenplate AR, Johnson DB, Roussel M, Savona MR, Sosman JA, Puzanov I, Ferrell PB, Irish JM. Myelodysplastic Syndrome Revealed by Systems Immunology in a Melanoma Patient Undergoing Anti-PD-1 Therapy. Cancer Immunol Res [print-electronic]. 2016 Jun; 4(6): 474-80. PMID: 26966176, PMCID: PMC4891280, PII: 2326-6066.CIR-15-0213, DOI: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-15-0213, ISSN: 2326-6074.

Ferrell PB, Diggins KE, Polikowsky HG, Mohan SR, Seegmiller AC, Irish JM. High-Dimensional Analysis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Reveals Phenotypic Changes in Persistent Cells during Induction Therapy. PLoS ONE. 2016; 11(4): e0153207. PMID: 27074138, PMCID: PMC4830605, PII: PONE-D-15-20447, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153207, ISSN: 1932-6203.

Diggins KE, Ferrell PB, Irish JM. Methods for discovery and characterization of cell subsets in high dimensional mass cytometry data. Methods [print-electronic]. 2015 Jul 7/1/2015; 82: 55-63. PMID: 25979346, PMCID: PMC4468028, PII: S1046-2023(15)00199-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2015.05.008, ISSN: 1095-9130.

Ferrell PB, McLeod HL. Carbamazepine, HLA-B*1502 and risk of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis: US FDA recommendations. Pharmacogenomics. 2008 Oct; 9(10): 1543-6. PMID: 18855540, PMCID: PMC2586963, DOI: 10.2217/14622416.9.10.1543, ISSN: 1744-8042.

Available Postdoctoral Position Details
Posted: 10/4/2018

Postdoctoral opportunities in Leukemia and Bone Marrow Inflammation:

Position: The Ferrell Lab (https://medsites.mc.vanderbilt.edu/ferrelllab) is seeking a highly skilled, motivated and energetic post-doctoral fellow to conduct disease-focused research in myelodysplastic syndromes, acute myeloid leukemia and bone marrow immunology/inflammation. The position comes with competitive salary and excellent potential for career development. 

Requirements: Qualified candidates should have strong fund of knowledge in cancer biology and/or immunology and have experience in several (but not all) of the following areas: single cell experimentation and data analysis (e.g., RNAseq, CyTOF), computational biology (including experience with R), in vitro immunology assays, and xenograft models of primary human leukemia. The qualified applicant should have a doctoral degree in biomedical science (PhD or MD/PhD), a strong publication record (primary peer-reviewed publications) and excellent writing/communication skills. Successful applicants will have opportunity to tailor project related to above to individual interests and skills.

Environment: Candidates will receive focused and personalized mentoring from the PI, the Division of Hematology/Oncology, and the School of Medicine. Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a large, collaborative environment for biomedical research with many opportunities for career development, funding, and education for postdoctoral researchers. Our lab is a member of the renowned Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which brings together clinicians, basic scientists, engineers and statisticians in close collaboration due to its interdisciplinary research and close physical proximity. The PI also conducts early phase clinical trials for AML and MDS which serve as a source of patient samples and collaborative studies.

Interested applicants should contact the PI at: brent.ferrell at vumc.org.