John E. Wagner, MD

Lead, Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program

Administrative support contact for Dr. Wagner: Joyce Selle

John E Wagner, MD, is a Professor in the Division of Transplant and Cell Therapy in the Department of Pediatrics. He is also the McKnight-Presidential Endowed Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation & Cellular Therapy. He received his MD at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, completed his residency at Duke University Medical School and post-doctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he focused his clinical and research efforts in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and graft engineering. Dr. Wagner’s primary research is focused on the development of novel cellular therapies to reduce the risks of graft failure, prolonged immune deficiency and relapse in recipients of blood and marrow transplantation and relapsed/refractory leukemia. He is the principal investigator of a recently renewed NCI-sponsored program project grant currently in its 26th year (as of 5/2023) supporting work on the development of engineered off-the-shelf allogeneic cancer immune effector cell therapies. In addition, he co-leads the Fanconi Anemia Comprehensive Care Center focused on the development of safer strategies for the treatment of marrow failure and cancer common to FA patients with this DNA-repair disorder. Dr. Wagner is the co-Director of Transplant and Cell Therapies Program at the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center as well as the co-Leader of the Translational Therapies Laboratory Core.


MD, Jefferson Medical College

Awards and Honors

McKnight Presidential Chair in Cancer Research (2007) Children’s Cancer Research Fund/Hageboeck Family Endowed Chair in Childhood Cancer (2005) Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium Lifetime Achievement Award (2017) Simon Gratz Research Prize – Jefferson Medical College (2009) Election – Association of American Physicians (2006) Fanconi Anemia Pioneer Award for Therapeutic Advancements (2002) Election – American Society of Clinical Investigation (2000)


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Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Wagner's research is focused on the development of novel cell therapies for treatment of life threatening diseases. Examples include the development of regulatory T cells that could be used in the treatment of autoimmunity, organ graft rejection as well as prevention of graft-versus-host disease, thymic progenitors to repair damaged immune systems, skeletal myoblasts to repair dystrophic muscle fibers in muscular dystrophy, and expansion of the blood-forming stem cell to speed blood and marrow recovery after high doses of chemotherapy and radiation. Dr. Wagner is best known for his pioneering work on the use of placental/cord blood as a source of stem cells for transplantation – a procedure that has now been performed in more than 50,000 patients worldwide.


Board Certifications

  • Diplomat, Subspecialty American Board of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (1987)
  • Diplomat, American Board of Pediatrics(1986)
  • Diplomat, National Board of Medical Examiners (1981)

Clincal Interests

Acute Leukemia Myelodysplastic Syndrome Congenital Marrow Failure Syndromes (e.g., Fanconi anemia)

Hospital Privileges

University of Minnesota Medical Center - Fairview Health Systems

Where Dr. Wagner Sees Patients:

Masonic Children's Hospital, Journey Clinic