Dalia Haydar, Pharm.D., Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She is also a research faculty at the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research at Children's National Hospital, where she leads efforts for developing CAR T cell immunotherapy for pediatric brain tumors. Dr. Haydar's primary interest is understanding host factors that limit responses to adoptive immunotherapies. Using mechanistic investigations and cutting-edge technologies, Dr. Haydar is trying to develop next-generation cellular immunotherapies that would advance outcomes in pediatric patients with brain tumors.


  • PharmD
  • PhD

The Haydar Lab works on designing effective, long-lasting, and safe cellular immunotherapies for childhood brain cancer. Our aim is to investigate mechanisms responsible for the lack of CAR T cell efficacy in pediatric brain tumors using cutting-edge technologies and novel animal models that recapitulate human disease and barriers for adoptive immunotherapies.

Current projects:

  • Using immune competent CAR T cell models to interrogate interactions with the tumor microenvironment for the identification of rational combination therapies.
  • Using novel engineering tools to develop unique CAR designs for optimal efficacy in different subtypes of pediatric brain tumors.
  • Developing next-generation CAR T cell products based on understanding intrinsic CAR T cell programs that control effector functions and long-term memory formation.
  • Proteogenomic discovery of tumor-specific antigens that could serve as new targets for T cell immunotherapy.

Disease focus:

High-grade glioma, group 3 medulloblastoma, group 4 medulloblastoma.

Research Methods
CAR T cell transduction
Cloning and other molecular techniques
Intra-cranial brain tumor implants
In vitro functional assays
Research Interests
CAR T cells
Pediatric brain tumors
Adoptive immunotherapy
Tumor microenvironment

Current Students

Former Students

Dr. Dalia Haydar
Children's National Hospital, 111 Michigan Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
dhaydar [at] childrensnational.org