Transplant Biology and Therapy
About the Transplant Biology and Therapy Program
John Wagner, M.D.
Daniel Weisdorf, M.D.
The Transplant Biology and Therapy Research Program has 41 members representing five departments and three schools within the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota.
Members of this program seek to reduce or eliminate factors limiting hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, such as regimen-related toxicities, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and delayed reconstitution of immunity. These scientific goals are accomplished through the development of novel treatment strategies from preclinical studies to early clinical testing in the following themes:
- Hematopoietic reconstitution
- Immunological reconstitution -GVHD prevention and treatment
- Immunological reconstitution - Thymus
- Relapse prevention and treatment
Lawrence Afrin, M.D.
Chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms, especially the mast cell activation diseases and in particular the newly recognized mast cell activation syndrome; expertise in medical informatics.
Mukta Arora, M.D.
Development of novel strategies for preventing chronic GVHD and identification of risk factors
Veronika Bachanova, M.D., Ph.D.
Immune-based therapies for lymphoma and other related malignancies
Nelli Bejanyan, M.D.
Development of novel clinical trials for reducing the early complications of allogeneic HCT and limiting myeloid leukemia recurrence.
Bruce Blazar, M.D.
Regulation of the immune response after allogeneic HCT using murine model systems, development of immune-based therapies (e.g., use of Treg cells to modulate engraftment and GVHCO, and development of stem cell-based therapies for tissue repair after chemoradiotherapy.
Claudio Brunstein, M.D., Ph.D.
The application of unrelated cord blood transplantation in adults; clinical trials evaluating a) complement fragment 3a (C3a) as a method for enhancing the home of UCB HSC to the hematopoietic niche, b) UCB-derived Treg as a strategy to reduce or prevent acute GVHD, and c) CTN trials exporting the use of the double UCB platform in the context of non-myeloablative conditioning
Frank Cichocki, Ph.D.
Adaptive natural killer (NK) cell responses to viral infection and how these responses can be translated into novel therapies for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients; NK cell signaling and primary immunodeficiences that impact NK cell function
Sarah Cooley, M.D.
Development of NK cell-based immunotherapies to treat leukemia and breast cancer
Craig Eckfeldt, M.D., Ph.D.
Understanding the role of RAS signaling pathways in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) to provide a foundation for the rational development of novel targeted therapies for human AML.
Martin Felices, Ph.D.
Natural killer (NK) cell biology, with a particular interest on NK cell education, signaling, and metabolism. The ultimate goal is to manipulate these pathways to enhance NK cell survival, expansion and anti-tumor function.
Mellisa Geller, M.D., M.S.
Ovarian cancer and the treatment of uterine sarcomas, identification early in the course of treatment of the alterations in biomarker and gene profiles that will predict response to chemotherapy
Pankaj Gupta, M.D.
The role of proteoglycans in hematopoiesis and interactions between normal and leukemic stem cells with the microenvironment
Keli Hippen, Ph.D.
Translational development of nTreg and iTreg from adult peripheral blood and UCB, T progenitors from UCB and large scael manufacture of UCB CD19 T-CAR as a strategy for eradicating residual CD19+ malignancies
Shernan Holtan, M.D.
Graft versus host disease; Immune reconstitttion post-hematopoietic cell transplant; immune-based cancer therapies; melanoma
Susanta Hui, Ph.D.
Development of a radioactive calcium (41Ca) tracer for early detection of bone remodeling; development of quantitative computed tomorgraphy; quality of life of cancer survivors; anatomical image-guided conformal targeted radiation and confirmal avoidance of critical organs and real-time intra-fraction body motion tracking and impact on targeted radiation therapy
Pamala Jacobson, PharmD.
Pharmacokinetics/pharacodynamics of chemotherapeutic and immunosuppressive agents for prevention of therapy-related complications
L'Aurelle Johnson, Ph.D.
Effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients and how responses differ depending on genetics and other factors
Nobuaki Kikyo, M.D., Ph.D.
Mechanisms of nuclear reprogramming and how differentiated somatic nuclei are de-differentiated in egg cytoplasm and re-differentiated during subsequent embryogenesis
Michael Kyba, Ph.D.
The differentiation of embryonic and induced pluirpotential stem cells into muscle and hematopoietic stem cells
Chap Le, Ph.D.
Data-driven and include epidemiological methods, cross-over designs, survival analysis, ordered alternatives, ROC curves, and methods for the analysis of in vitro experiments—especially chemo-combination therapy
Troy Lund, M.D., Ph.D.
Understanding the pathophysiological processes underlying metabolic storages diseases (ALD, MLD, MPSI, ETC) and improving the outcomes for metabolic storage disease hematopoietic cell transplantation using the zebrafish model; hematopoietic cell engraftment process during bone marrow transplantation and improving the efficiency and time to engraftment
Margaret MacMillan, M.D.
Prevention and treatment of acute GVHD; clincial trials using iTreg for prevention of acute GVHD in recipients of HLA-matched peripheral blood stem cells
Brian McClune, D.O.
Clinical trials in hematologic malignancy using stem cell transplantation
Jeffrey McCullough, M.D.
Transfusion medicine as it relates to cancer and HCT patients (e.g. leukocyte infusions in sepsis, platelet alloimmunization); development of novel therapies
Phillip McGlave, M.D.
Treatment of malignant and nonmalignant hematologic disorders including aplastic anemia, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, myelodysplasia, and blood and marrow transplantation; experimental therapy for malignant and non-malignant hematologic disorders including stem cell transplantation, immunotherapy, and gene transfer
Rohtesh Mehta, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
Hematological malignancies, specifically in acute leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Weston Miller, M.D.
Development of novel clinical HCT trials in patients with metabolic disease; understanding the impact of high resolution HLA matching of UCB
Mark Osborn, Ph.D.
Biology of homologous recombination as a strategy for gene transfer into HSC of patients with various genetic diseases, including Fanconi anemia
The pathophysiology of acute lung injury in the setting of allogeneic HCT and GVHD and leads studies in pulmonary regenerative medicine
Arne Slungaard, M.D.
Inflammatory mediators of coagulation and vascular integrity with direct relevance to tumor vascularity and thrombosis in patients with cancer
Angela Smith, M.D., M.S.
Early and late effects of HCT, with a focus on venoocclusive disease of the liver and infertility
Heather Stefanski, M.D., Ph.D.
Thymic epithelial cell protection and expansion of T progenitors (Tprog) extrapolated from the murine model
Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D.
Development of non-hematopoietic stem cells for use in tissue repair particularly precancerous genetic diseases like epidermolysis bullosa, dykeratosis congentia and Fanconi anemia.
Celalettin Ustun, M.D.
Clinical trials for acute myeloid leukemia and related myeloid malignancies
Gregory Vercellotti, M.D.
Inflammation, oxidative stress and endothelial integrity
Michael Verneris, M.D.
NK cell development and therapies; biology of immune reconstitution after allogenic BMT; clinical studies using total marrow irradiation
John Wagner, M.D.
Development of UCB as a source of hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic stem cells for treatment of malignancy; pathophysiology of Fanconi anemia and Epidermolysis bullosa predisposition to malignancy
Erica Warlick, M.D.
The development of new strategies utilizing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, traditional chemotherapeutics, as well as novel biologic modifiers to treat this diverse group of diseases
Brenda Weigel, M.D.
Testing new pharmacological and cellular therapeutic agents in preclinical mouse models and phase 1 testing in children