Dr. med. Andrea Schmidts

Emmy Noether Junior Research Group

Engineering resilient CAR-T against resistant cancer cells
Department of Medicine III - Hematology / Oncology

Academic Career and Research Areas

Dr. Schmidts studied medicine in Freiburg and Aberdeen. In 2013, she started her clinical training in internal medicine with a focus on hematology, oncology, and stem cell transplantation at the University Medical Center Freiburg. From 2017-2022, she worked on adoptive cell therapies for cancer treatment in Prof. Marcela Maus's lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In 2022, she moved to the Technical University of Munich to start her own Emmy Noether research group at TranslaTUM and the Department of Medicine III.

Dr. Schmidts develops engineered T cell therapies for cancer treatment. The focus of her laboratory is to understand and combat cancer cell resistance to CAR-T cell therapy. Dr. Schmidts has established a high-throughput CRISPR platform that allows for the functional characterization of tumor antigen variants, and she uses the newest gene editing technologies to engineer CAR-T cells with improved resilience. Ultimately, she aims to translate resilient CAR-T cell therapies into early-phase clinical trials for cancer patients.


    • Emmy Noether-Program, German Research Foundation (2022)
    • John Hansen Research Grant, DKMS (2020)
    • Research Fellowship, German Cancer Aid (2018 - 2020)
    • Scholar, German National Academic Foundation (2008 - 2012)

    Larson RC, Kann MC, Bailey SR, Haradhvala NJ, Llopis PM, Bouffard AA, Scarfó I, Leick MB, Grauwet K, Berger TR, Stewart K, Anekal PV, Jan M, Joung J, Schmidts A, Ouspenskaia T, Law T, Regev A, Getz G, Maus MV. CAR T cell killing requires the IFNγR pathway in solid but not liquid tumours. Nature 2022 Apr;604(7906):563-570.


    Petri K*, Zhang W*, Ma J*, Schmidts A*, Lee H, Horng YE, Kim DY, Kurt IC, Clement K, Hsu JY, Pinello L, Maus MV, Joung JK, Yeh JR. CRISPR prime editing with ribonucleoprotein complexes in zebrafish and primary human cells. Nature Biotechnology 2022 Feb;40(2):189-193.  *co-first author


    Schmidts A, Marsh LC, Srivastava AA, Bouffard AA, Boroughs AC, Scarfò I, Larson RC, Bedoya F, Choi BD, Frigault MJ, Bailey SR, Leick MB, Vatsa S, Kann MC, Prew MS, Kleinstiver BP, Joung JK, Maus MV. Cell-based artificial APC resistant to lentiviral transduction for efficient generation of CAR-T cells from various cell sources. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2020 Sep;8(2):e000990.


    Schmidts A, Ormhoj M, Choi BD, Taylor AO, Bouffard AA, Scarfo I, Larson RC, Frigault MJ, Gallagher K, Castano AP, Riley LS, Cabral ML, Boroughs AC, Velasco Cardenas RM, Schamel W, Zhou J, Mackay S, Tai YT, Anderson KC, Maus MV. Rational design of a trimeric APRIL-based CAR-binding domain enables efficient targeting of multiple myeloma. Blood Advances 2019 Nov 12;3(21):3248-3260.


    Choi BD, Yu X, Castano AP, Bouffard AA, Schmidts A, Larson RC, Bailey SR, Boroughs AC, Frigault MJ, Leick MB, Scarfò I, Cetrulo CL, Demehri S, Nahed BV, Cahill DP, Wakimoto H, Curry WT, Carter BS, Maus MV. CAR-T cells secreting BiTEs circumvent antigen escape without detectable toxicity. Nature Biotechnology 2019 Sep;37(9):1049-1058.