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Esma S. Yolcu

Esma S. Yolcu

Associate Professor
University of Louisville


Esma S. Yolcu is Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and the Director of Imaging Facility at the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics and member of James Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. Dr. Yolcu received her Ph.D. degree from University of Ankara, Ankara, Turkey and joined the University Of Louisville School Of Medicine in Louisville, KY, to pursue her postdoctoral training. Dr. Yolcus research focuses on novel immunomodulatory approaches for the induction of tolerance to auto and alloantigens for the purpose of treating rejection and autoimmunty. Dr. Yolcu is the recipient of several awards, member of various national and international societies, serves on Editorial Board of scientific journals, and published over 67 peer-reviewed papers, abstracts, and review articles in high ranking journals, such as Immunity, Circulation, Blood, and the Journal of Immunology.

Research Interest

Dr. Yolcu’s research interests include developing strategies to induce tolerance to auto and alloantigens for the purpose of treating autoimmune diseases and preventing allograft rejection. She co-pioneered a novel technology described as ProtEx™ with Dr. Shirwan as a practical alternative to gene therapy to display immunoregulatory molecules on the surface of bone marrow cells and use such engineered cells as a means of immunomodulation to establish mixed allogeneic hematopoietic chimerism under non-myeloablative conditions without graft-related toxicity such as graft versus host disease.