Bruce Blazar, MD

Regents Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Bruce Blazar

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-2734

Fax 612-624-3913

Office Address:
Pediatric BMT
425 E River Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Mailing Address:
Pediatrics BMT
MMC 366 Mayo
8366A (Campus Delivery Code)
420 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Regents Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Regents Professor, Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Center

Vice Dean for Clinical Investigation, Medical School

Associate Vice President for Clinical and Translational Science, Academic Health Center

Director, Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)

Director, Center for Translational Medicine

Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology (MICaB) Ph.D. Graduate Program

Pediatric Hematologist Oncologist

MD, Albany Medical College, 1974 - 1978

Residency in Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, 1978 - 1981

Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, University of Minnesota, 1982 - 1984

B.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Biology), Troy, NY, 1972 - 1978

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, 1985


Dr. Blazar is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and attends on the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) service. Dr. Blazar is the recipient of the Andersen Chair in Transplantation Immunology to recognize his pioneering work in the development of novel immune-based therapies.

Dr. Blazar received his M.D. from Albany Medical College. He completed a residency in Pediatrics and a fellowship in hematology/oncology and bone marrow transplantation at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Blazar joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 1985. He is board certified in Pediatrics and Hematology/Oncology.

Dr. Blazar serves as Chair of the National Institutes of Health Cancer Immunopathology and Immunotherapy Study Section and as a member of the Immune Tolerance Network Executive Committee, Food and Drug Administration Biological Response Modifiers Advisory Committee, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Translational Research Award Committee. Dr. Blazar is the recipient of an NIH MERIT Award and is the principal investigator of several other NIH funded studies focusing on BMT immunological studies. Dr. Blazar is the author of more than 500 manuscripts which have appeared in premier peer-reviewed publications.

Awards & Recognition

  • Children's Cancer Research Fund (CCRF) Land Grant Chair in Pediatric Oncology, 2013-present
  • Member and co-chair, NCI Intramural Site Visit Teams, 2008 - present
  • Co-Chair, NHLBI Panel Strategic Planning for Cellular Therapies, 2005-present
  • Member, American Society of Gene Therapy, Immunology Committee, 2003 - present
  • Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, 2003 - present
  • Immune Tolerance Network, Member, Scientific Review and Network Steering Committee, 2001 - present
  • Andersen Chair in Transplantation Immunology, 1999-present
  • NIH reviewer: Immunobiology; Medicine; Surgery and Bioengineering; Transplantation Biology; Experimental Therapeutics-1; Experimental Therapeutics-2 Study Sections
  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Inaugural Award for Innovator in Basic Science, 2015
    Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium, Lifetime Achievement Award and Lecture, 2015
  • Till and McCullough Lecture and Award, Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group, 2013
  • Co-Chair, American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, 2012
    Member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, elected 2012
  • Ernest Beutler Prize and Lectureship, American Society of Hematology (for basic science research contributions to cell therapy; shared with Dr. Carl June for clinical/translation science contributions, 2012
  • Chair, American Society of Hematology Scientific Committee on Transplantation Biology, 2009
    Chair, NHLBI Working Group: Unanswered Questions in Acute GVHD and Future Directions to Advance the Field, 2009
    California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell Therapies and the Immune Response Workshop Speaker/Panel Member, 2009
  • Consulting advisor, NHLBI Working Group, “Enhancing Translational Research and Clinical Trials for Cellular Therapies, including Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, 2008
  • Board of Scientific Counselors, NCI for Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology, Center for Cancer Research, November 2007 - July 2012
  • Member, Academic Health Center’s Academy for Excellence in Health Research, 2007
  • Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2008
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society (Theta Chapter), Albany Medical College, elected 2006
  • Co-Chair, NHLBI Panel Strategic Planning for Cellular Therapies, 2005 - 2006
  • NIH Expert Panel Member, Transplantation Research, 2005
  • NIH symposium on Translational Immunology as related to Cancer, Co-Chair Transplantation and anti-tumor therapies, 2005
  • E. Donnell Thomas Lecture, 2005
  • Recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award, Albany Medical College
  • Chair, NIH Cancer Immunopathology and Immunotherapy Study Section, 2003-2006
  • Member, American Transplant Society, Cellular Transplant Committee (ad hoc member, 2002 - 2003)
  • Elected to the Association of American Physicians, 2002
  • Member, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Translational Grant study section, 2001 - 2007; 2009
  • Member, Food and Drug Administration Biological Response Modifiers Advisory Committee, 2001 and 2005; active reserve, Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Committee, 2005 - 2009
  • MERIT Award, National Heart Lung Blood Institute, 1998-2008
  • Member, American Society of Hematology Scientific Committee on Transplantation Biology, 1997 and 2002; 2004 - 2009
  • Member, Experimental Therapeutics-2 Study Section; ad hoc 1996 - 1998, full member 1998 - 2002
  • Elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, 1996
  • Chair, American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation annual scientific meeting, 1996
  • Member, Immunobiology Study Section, July 1990 - June 1994
  • Vice-Chair New Agents, BMT, Childrens Cancer Group, 1992-1996
  • Edward Mallinckrodt Foundation Scholar Award, 1992-1995
  • Joan Soskin Award (Diabetes Res.) American Diabetes Association - Minn. Affiliate, 1991
  • Elected to the Society for Pediatric Research, 1988
  • Member and Chair, NIH P01 and R01 Site Visit Teams, 1986 - present
  • National Institutes of Health-National Institute Clinical Investigator Award, 1985-1990
  • Leukemia Society of America Fellowship Award, 1985-1987
  • NIH Clinical Investigator Award, 1985 and 1990
  • NIH-NCI National Research Service Award, 1982-1984
  • American Cancer Society Clinical Fellowship Award, 1981-1983
  • Albany Medical College Research Award, 1975
  • BS-Cum Laude, Albany Medical College Research Award, 1975

Professional Associations

  • Society for Pediatric Research (elected 1988)
  • American Society of Clinical Investigation (elected 1996)
  • Association of American Physicians (elected 2002)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (elected 2008)
  • American Association of Immunologists
  • Transplantation Society
  • International Society of Experimental Hematology
  • American Society of Hematology
  • American Association of Cancer Research
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Children's Cancer Study Group
  • American Society of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • American Society of Gene Therapy
  • International Soci


Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Blazar's laboratory is focused upon the immunobiology of transplantation. There are five basic project areas:

1. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD is a multi-organ system disorder in which donor T cells recognize host alloantigens present on antigen-presenting cells and tissues in the context of an inflammatory response. Studies are directed toward identifying and modifying signals that drive or inhibit acute and chronic GVHD generation. These include the analysis of positive costimulatory molecules and negative regulators of the immune response that counterbalance positive costimulation as well as intracellular signaling and metabolic pathways along with pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines that regulate these responses at the level of the GVHD target organ. We have analyzed the biochemical events associated with tolerance induction and have applied these findings to the development of new approaches to induce tolerance via the use of inhibitors of signal transduction or cell cycle progression. We are also examining cell based therapies such as regulatory T cells (see below) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. We have also used a newly developed model of chronic GVHD that results from T:B cooperativity, leading to alloantibody and subsequently, collagen deposition, culminating in multi-organ system injury and pulmonary and liver fibrosis.

2. Regulatory T cells. We have developed new approaches to propagate and expand CD4+25+ T regulatory cells that can suppress alloresponses and GVHD . We are analyzing the biochemical, molecular, cytokine and cell surface factors that regulate murine and human CD4+25+ T cell development, expansion and function in vitro and in vivo. We are also investigating how CD4+25+ T cells affect hematopoiesis and immune function in mice including models of human lymphohematopoiesis.The in vivo biological effects of our immune manipulations are being monitored using whole-body imaging techniques to track donor effector or regulatory T cells using transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein and firefly luciferase. Some of these studies have been translated into the clinic.

3. Immune post-transplant. Because GVHD and the conditioning regimens used for bone marrow transplantation induce severe thymic injury, we also are exploring new approaches to protect the thymic epithelial cells (TEC) against injury including the use of cytokines that stimulate TEC proliferation/repair, agents that protect against genotoxic stress, and those that repair stromal cell injury in the thymus and periphery. The mechanism(s) responsible for the protective effects of these biological agents are being explored in wild-type and in transgenic mice with disruptions of various signaling pathways. Within TECs, we are examining the thymocyte signals that regulate TEC function and characterizing the effects of micro-RNA regulation on TEC regeneration and function. In complimentary studies, we are developing strategies to induce pluriopotent progenitor cells to differentiate into TECs, which will be used as a cellular therapy to replace damaged TEC. We also are analyzing the mature T cell response to foreign antigens in transplanted mice to better understand the qualitative defects associated with post-transplant T cell reconstitution and applying those to novel strategies to repair injury stromal cells in peripheral lymphoid organs.

4. Graft-versus-leukemia (GVL). Projects are ongoing to identify the host mechanisms responsible for tumor-mediated immune suppression of endogenous T effector cells, focusing on negative regulators of immune response expressed on the cell surface or via intracellular pathways. Adoptive T cell immunotherapy is being tested using new approaches to generate T effector cells that have superior in vivo cytolytic potential and/or result in increased persistence of transferred T cells. T cell immune therapy is used in combination with approaches that dampen the host immune suppressive response , cause homeostatic expansion of T cells via the induction of lymphopenia, target tumor cells or support T cell recruitment and survival within secondary lymphoid organs.

5. Gene therapy/repair. As an alternative to transplantation, we are using molecular strategies to correct congenital disorders. To treat immune deficiency disorders, studies are being performed to achieve homologous recombination or site-directed integration for gene replacement using zinc finger nucleases or TALENS in hematopoietic stem cells. Recipients are analyzed for molecular and phenotypic correction. 


Dr. Blazar is the author of more than 500 manuscripts which have appeared in premier peer-reviewed publications. Following are selected peer-reviewed papers, 2014 - 2015:

Sawitzki B, Brunstein C, Meisel C, Schumann, J, Vogt K, Appelt C, Curtsinger JM, Verneris MR, Miller JS, Wagner JE, Blazar BR. Prevention of graft-versus-host disease by adoptive Tregulatory therapy is associated with active repression of peripheral blood toll-like receptor-5 mRNA expression. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 20:173-82, 2014. PMID: 24184334.

Tolar J, McGrath JA, Xia L, Riddle MJ, Lees CJ, Eide C, Keene DR, Liu L, Osborn MJ, Lund TC, Blazar BR, Wagner, JE. Patient-specific naturally gene-reverted induced pluriopotent stem cells in recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. J Invest Dermatol, 134:1246-54, 2014. PMID: 24317394.

Lin KL, Berginski M, West ML, Fulton LM, Coghill JM, Blazar BR, Bear JE, Serody JS. Intravital imaging of donor allogeneic effector and regulatory T cells with host dendritic cells during GvHD.Blood 123:1604-14, 2014. PMID: 24415540.

Olin MR, Low WC, McKenna DH, Haines SJ, Dahlheimer TR, Nacene DR, Gustafson MP, Dietz AB, Clark HB, Blazar B, Ohlfest JR, Mortel CL. Vaccination with dendritic cells loaded with allogeneic brain tumor cells for recurrent malignant brain tumors induces a CD4+IL17+ response. J. Immunotherapy of Cancer 2:4, 1-11, 2014.

Jacobson, CA, Kim JT, Sun L, McDonough SM, Reynolds CG, Herrera MI, Schowalter M, Koreth J, Cutler CS, Ho VT, Alyea EP, Armand P, Blazar BR, Soiffer RJ, Antin JH, Ritz J, Sarantopoulos S. Potential factors influencing BAFF levels in patients before chronic GVHD development. Biol Blood and Marrow Transplant 20:668-75, 2014.

Kaliyaperumal S, Watkins B, Sharma P, Furlan S, Ramakrishnan S, Giver C, Garcia A, Courtney C, Knight H, Hamby K, Garrett A, Deane T, Storbert E, Jenkins J, Elder E, Eishiavielli N, Crenshaw T, Blazar BR, Waller EK, Wsestmorland S, Kean LS, CD8-predominant T cell meningitis accompanied GVHD in primates and is improved with immunoprophylaxis. Blood (letter to the editor) 123:1967-9, 2014.

Miller JS, Rooney CM, Curtsinger J, McElmurry R, McCullar V, Verneris MR, Lapteva N, Wagner JE, Blazar BR*, Tolar J* (*co-last authors). Expansion and homing of adoptively transferred human natural killer cells in immunodeficient mice varies with product production and in vivo cytokine administration: implications for clinical therapy. Biol Blood and Marrow Transplant 20: 1252-7, 2014. PMID: 24816582 PMCID: PMC4099265.

MacDonald KPA, Le Texier L, Zhang P, Morris H, Kuns RD, Lineburg KE, Leveque L, Don AL, Markey KA, Vuckovic S, Bagger FO, Boyle G, Blazar BR, Hill GR. Modification of T cell responses by stem cell mobilization requires direct signaling of the T cell by G-CSF and IL-10. J. Immunol 192:3180-9, 2014.

Felices M, Lenvik TR, Ankarlo DEM, Foley B, Curtsinger J, Blazar BR, Anderson SK, Miller JS. Functional NK cell repertoires are maintained through IL2R? and FasL to enhance survival. J. Imunol192:3180-9, 2014

Gleason MK, Ross JA, Warlick ED, Lund TC, Verneris MR, Wiernik A, Spellman S, Haagenson MD, Lenvik AJ, Litzow MR, Peling-Burnette, Blazar BR, Weiner LM, Weisdorf DJ, Vallera DA, Miller JS. CD16xCD33 bispecific killer cell engager (BiKE) activates NK cells from MDS patients against primary MDS and MDSC CD33+ targets. Blood 123:3016-26, 2014. PMID: 24652987 PMCID: PMC4014844

Bachanova V, Cooley S, Defor T, Verneris MR, Zhang B, McKenna D, Curtsinger J, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Lewis D, Hippen K, McGlave P, Weisdorf D, Blazar BR, Miller JS. IL-2 Diphteria Toxin fusion protein enhances clearance of acute myeloid leukemia by haploidentical natural killer Cells.Blood (plenary paper) 123:3855-63, 2014

Flynn R, Du J, Veenstra R, Reichenbach DK, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Taylor PA, Freeman GJ, Serody JS, Murphy WJ, Munn DH, Sarantopoulos S, Luznik L, Maillard I, Koreth J, Cutler C, Soiffer RJ, Antin JH, Ritz J, Dubovsky JA, Byrd JC, MacDonald KKP, Hill GR, Blazar BR. Increased Tfollicular helper cells and germinal center B cells are required for chronic GVHD (cGVHD) and bronchiolitis obliterans.Blood 123:3988-98, 2014. PMID: 24820310 PMCID: PMC4064335.

Ding ZC, Lu X, Yu M, Lemos H, Huang L, Mack M, Blazar BR, Mellor AL, Munn DH, Zhou G. Chemotherapy-induced monocytic myeloid cells attenuate antitumor CD4+ T-cell responses via the PD-1/PD-L1 axis. Cancer Research 74:3441-53, 2014. PMID:24780756

Lund TC, Glass TJ, Sadem P, Higgins L, Markowski TW, Wroblewski MS, Lidke DS, Tolar J, Blazar BR. Sdf-1 experssion reveals a source of perivascular-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Stem Cells32:2767-79, 2014. PMID: 24905975 PMCID: PMC4165765

Zhang SL, Wang X, Manna S, Zlotoff DA, Bryson JL, Blazar BR, Bhandoola A. Chemokine treatment rescues profound T-lineage progenitor homing defect after bone marrow transplant conditioning in mice. Blood 124: 296-304, 2014. PMID 24876562.

May SL, Zhou Q, Lewellen M, Carter CM, Coffey D, Highfill SL, Bucher CM, Matise I, Morse H, O’Sullivan MG, Schutten M, Johnson C, Bellgrau D, Blazar BR, Modiano JF. NFATc2 and Tob-1 have non-overlapping function in T cell negative regulation and tumorigenesis. PLoS One 9: e100629, 2014. PMID: 24945807 PMCID: PMC4063948.

Murase K, Kim HT, Bascug ORG, Kawano Y, Ryan J, Matsuoka K, Davids MS, Koreth J, Ho VT, Cutler C, Armand P, Alyea EP, Blazar BR, Antin JH, Soiffer RJ, Letai A, Ritz J. Increased mitochondrial apoptotic priming of human regulatory T cells after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Hematologica 99:1499-508, 2014. PMID: 24859877

Singh K, Stempora L, Kirk AD, Larsen CP, Blazar BR, Kean LS. Superiority of Rapamycin over Tacrolimus in preserving non-human primate Treg half-life and phenotype after adoptive transfer.Amer J. Transplant 14:2691-703, 2014.

Herrera A, Kim HT, Bindra B, Alyea EP, Armand P, Cutler CS, Ho VT, Nikiforow S, Ritz J, Blazar BR, Antin JH, Soiffer RJ, Koreth J. A Phase II Study of Proteasome-Inhibition Plus Prednisone for Initial Therapy of Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease. Biol Blood and Marrow Transplant 20:1737-43, 2014. PMID: 25017765

Pai CC, Chen M, Mirsoian A, Grossenbacher SK, Tellez J, Ames E, Sun K, Blazar BR, Murphy WJ, Abedi M. Treatment of Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease and Maintenance of Graft-Versus Tumor Effects with Bortezomib. Blood (epub July 9), 2014. [Commentary: Magenau JM, Reddy P. Proteosome: target for acute and chronic GVHD. Blood 124:1677-88, 2014. PMID: 25009225 PMCID: PMC4155274]

Alexander KA, Flynn R, Lineburg KE, Kuns RD, Janela B, Teal B, Olver SD, Lor M, Raffelt NC, Koyama M, Leveque L, Le Texier L, Melino M, Markey KA, Varelias A, Engwerda CR, Serody JS, Janela B, Ginhoux F, Clouston AD, Blazar BR, Hill GR, MacDonald KPA. CSF-1-Dependent M2 macrophages mediate chronic graft-versus-host disease. J. Clin Invest 124:4266-80, 2014.

Mirsoian A, Bouchlaka MN, Sckisel GD, Chen M, Pai CCS, Maverakis E, Spencer R, Fishbein K, Siddiqui S, Monjazeb AM, Martin B, Maudsley S, Hesdorffer C, Ferrucci L, Longo D, Blazar BR, Wiltrout RH, Taub DD, Murphy WJ. Adiposity induces lethal cytokine Storm after systemic administration of stimulatory immunotherapy regimens in aged Mice. Journal of Experimental Medicine 211:2373-83, 2014.

Pai CC, Hsiao HH, Sun K, Chen M, Hagino T, Tellez J, Mall C, Blazar BR, Monjazeb A, Abedi M, Murphy WJ. Therapeutic benefit of bortezomib on acute GVHD is tissue specific and associated with IL6 levels. Biol Blood and Marrow Transplant Jul 23. Pii:S1083-8791(14)00448-0, 2014. PMID: 25064746

Felicies M, Ankarlo DEM, Lenvik TR, Nelson HR, Blazar BR, Verneris MR, Miller JS. Notch signaling at later stages of natural killer cell development enhances KIR expression and functional maturation. J. Immunol. 193:3344-54, 2014.

Ganguly S, Ross DB, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Blazar BR, Levy RB, Luznik L. Donor CD4+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells are necessary for posttransplantation cyclophosphamide-mediated protection against GVHD in mice. Blood 124:2131-41, 2014.

Matta BM, Lott J, Mathew LR, Liu Q, Rosborough BR, Blazar BR, Turnquist HR. IL-33 is an unconventional alarmin that stimulates IL-2 secretion by immature murine dendritic cells to selectively expand IL-33R/ST2+ regulatory T cells. J. Immunol 193:4010-20, 2014. PMID: 25217167 PMCID: PMC4185240

Monjazeb AM, Tietze JK, Grossenbacher SK, Hsiao HH, Zamora AE, Mirsoian A, Koehn B, Blazar BR, Weiss JM, Wiltrout RH, Sckisel GD, Murphy WJ. Bystander Activation and Anti-Tumor effects of CD8+ T cells Following Interleukin-2 Based Immunotherapy is Independent of CD4+ T cell Help. Plos One9:e102709, 2014. PMID: 2511934. PMCID: PMC4131875

Dubovsky JA*, Flynn R*, Du J, Harrington BK, Zhong Y, Yang C, Towns WH, Lehman A, Johnson AJ, Muthusamy N, Devine SM, Jaglowshi S, Serody JS, Murphy WJ, Munn DH, Luznik L, Hill GR, Wong HK, MacDonald KKP, Maillard I, Koreth J, Cutler C, Soiffer RJ, Antin JH, Ritz J, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Byrd JC*, Blazar BR* (*equal co-authors). Ibrutinib treatment ameliorates murine chronic graft-versus-host disease. J. Clin. Invest. 124:4867-76, 2014.

Hechinger AK*, Smith BA*, Flynn R*, Hanke K, McDonald-Hyman C, Taylor PA, Pfeifer D, Hackanson B, Leonhardt F, Prinz G, Dierbach H, Schmimitt-Graff A, Kovarik J, Blazar BR#, Zeiser R#. (*, #equal authors). Therapeutic activity of multiple common gamma chain cytokine inhibition in acute and chronic GvHD. Blood 125:570-80, 2015

Blazar BR, Flynn R, Lee R, Marcucci G, Caliguiri MA, Heeger PS. Strategies to Inhibit Alloantibody (AlloAb) Production in Alloprimed Murine Recipients of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Grafts. Amer. J. Transplant 15:931-4, 2015 [editorial: Ramaswami B, Chalasan G: The end is in sight: Targeting sensitization in hematopoietic cell transplantation. Amer J. Transplant 15:857-8, 2015]

Zanin-Zhorov A, Weiss J, Nyuydzefe M, Chen W, Scher J, Mo R, Depoil D, Rao N, Liu B, Wei J, Lukas S, Koslow M, Roche M, Schueller O, Weiss S, Poyurovsky M, Tonra J, Hippen KL, Blazar BR, Liu CH, Waksal SD. Selective oral ROCK2 inhibitor down-regulates IL-21 and IL-17 secretion in human T cells via STAT3-dependent mechanism. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111:16814-9, 2014. PMID: 2538560

Parmar S, Liu X, Najjar A, Shah N, Yang H, Yvon E, Rezvani K, McNiece I, Zweidler-Mckay, Blazar BR, Shpall EJ. Ex vivo fucosylation enhances regulatory T cell anti-graft-versus-host disease potency in mice. Blood 125:1502-6, 2015. [Inside Blood. Mohty M, Gaugler B. A bit of sweetness for GVHD prevention. Blood 125: 1364-5, 2015].

Li Y, Chen HL, Bannick N, Henry M, Holm AN, Metwali A, Urban JF, Weiner GJ, Rothman PB, Blazar BR, Elliott DE, Ince N. Intestinal helminthes protect mice from lethal acute graft-versus-host disease through the induction of regulatory T cells and in a TGFb dependent manner. J. Immunol 194:1011-20, 2015.

Osborn MJ, DeFeo AP, Webber BR, Starker CG, McElroy AN, Wagner JE, Joung JK, Voytas DF, Blazar BR*, Tolar J* (*equal contributors): Fanconi anemia gene editing by CRISPR-Cas9 system. Human Gene Therapy 26:114-26, 2015.

MacMillan ML, Robin M, Harris AC, DeFor TE, Martin PJ, Alousi A, Ho VT, Bolanos-Meade J, Ferrara JLM, Jones R, Arora M, Blazar BR, Holtan SG, Jacobsohn D, Pasquini M, Socie G, Antin JH, Levine JE, Weisdorf DJ. A refined risk score for acute GVHD thera predicts response to initial therapy, survival and transplant-related mortality. Biol Blood and Marrow Transplant (epub Jan 10), 2015.

Holtan SG, DeFor TE, Lazaryan A, Bejanyan N, Arora M, Brunstein CG, Blazar BR, MacMillan ML, Weisdorf DJ. Composite endpoint of graft–versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Blood 125:1333-8, 2015

Hoseini SS, Hapke M, Herbst J, Wedekind D, Kratz C, Baumann R, Heinz N, Schiedlmeier B, Vignali D, van den Brink MR, Schambach A, Blazar BR, Sauer MG. Timely controlled T cell receptor expression of genetically engineered precursor T cells requires early transgene induction for leukemia control after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Leukemia (epub Feb 5), 2015

Varelias A, Gartlan KH, Krejiveld E, Over SD, Lor M, Kuns RD, Lineburg KE, Teal BE, Raffelt NC, Cheong M, Alexander KA, Koyama M, Karkey KA, Sturgeon E, Leach J, Reddy P, Kennedy G, Yanik G, Blazar BR, Tey SK, Clouston A, MacDonald KPA, Cooke KR, Hill GR. Lung parenchyma-derived IL-6 mediates acute lung injury after stem cell transplantation. Blood 125: 2435-44, 2015 [Inside Blood Commentary. Teshima T. The primary of IL6 in IPS? Blood 125: 2320-2, 2015].

Holtan SG, Verneris MR, Schultz KR, Newell LF, Meyers G, He F, DeFor TE, Vercelotti GM, Slungaard A, MacMillan ML, Cooley SA, Blazar BR, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Weisdorf DJ. Circulating angiogenic factors associated with response and survival in patients with acute graft-versus-host disease: Results from BMT CTN 0302 and 0802. Biol Blood and Marrow Transplant (epub March 7), 2015

Multhaup MM, Podetz-Pederen KM, Karlen AD, Gunther R, Somia NV, Blazar BR, Cowan MJ, McIvor RS: Role of transgene regulation in ex vivo lentiviral correction of Artemis deficiency. Human Gene Therapy (epub March 4), 2015.

Pauken KE, Nelson CE, Martinov T, Spanier JA, Heffernan JR, Schenkel JM, Quarnstrom CF, Sahli NL, Osum KC, Jenkins MK, Blazar BR, Vezys V*, Fife BT*. Identification of autoreactive CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets resistant to PD-1 blockade. J. Immunology194:3551-6, 2015

Flynn R, Allen JL, Goodman K, Du J, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Taylor PA, Serody JS, Murphy WJ, Hill GR, MacDonald KP, Luznik L, Maillard I, Koreth J, Cutler CS, Soiffer RJ, Antin JH, Ritz J, Chao NJ, Clynes RA*, Sarantopoulos S*, Blazar BR*. (*equal co-authors). Targeting of Syk in B-cells during murine and human chronic graft-versus-host disease. Blood (epub April 6), 2015.

McDonald-Hyman C, Turka LA*, Blazar BR* (*co-last authors). Advances and Challenges in Immunotherapy for Solid Organ and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. Science Translational Medicine (review) 7: 280rv2 (pp1-14), 2015

Veenstra RG, Flynn R, Kreymborg K, McDonald-Hyman C, Saha A, Taylor PA, Osborn M, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Schmitt-Graeff A, Lieberknect E, Allison JP, Mak TW, van den Brink M*, Zeiser R*, Blazar BR*. B7-H3 expression in donor T cells and host non-hematopoietic cells negatively regulates graft-versus-host disease lethality. Blood (epub March 26), 2015.

Reichenbach DK*, Schwarze V*, Matta BM*, Tkachev V, Lieberknecht E, Koehn B, Taylor PA, Pfeifer D, Prinz G, Dierbach H, Stickel N, Beck Y, Warncke M, Junt T, Schmitt-Graeff A, Nakae S, Follo M, Wertheimer T, Schwab L, Duyster J, Ferrara JLM, Turnquist H*, Zeiser R*, Blazar BR*. (*equal first authors; equal last authors). The IL-33/ST2 axis differentially regulates Th1 responses and tolerogenic monocytes during acute graft-versus-host disease. Blood (epub March 26), 2015.

MacMillan ML, DeFor TE, Young JH, Dusenbery KE, Blazar BR, Slungaard A, Zierhut H, Weisdorf DE, Wagner JE. Alternative donor hematopoietic cell transplantation for Fanconi Anemia. Blood (epub April 2), 2015

Suessmuth Y, Koura DT, Finstemeier K, Finstermeier K, Desmarais C, Stempora L, Horan JT, Langston A, Qayed M, Khoury HJ, Grizzle A, Cheeseman A, Conger JA, Robertson J, Garrett A, Watkins B, Robins HS, Mukherjee R, Blazar BR, Kirk AD, Waller EK, Kirk AD, Mehta AK, Kean LS. CMV reactivation drives post-transplant T cell reconstitution and results in defects in the underlying TCR repertoire. Blood (epub April 6), 2015

Sckisel GD, Bouchlaka MN, Monjazeb AM, Crittenden M, Curti BD, Wilkins DEC, Alderson KA, Sungur C, Eames E, Mirsoian A, Reddy A, Alexander W, Soulika A, Blazar BR, Longo DL, Wiltrout RH, Murphy WJ. Out-of-sequence signal 3 paralyzes primary CD4-dependent T cell immunity. Immunity (epub July 28), 2015.

Zhang J, Ramadan AM, Griesenauer B, Li W, Turner MJ, Liu C, Kapur R, Hanenberg H, Blazar BR, Tawara I, Paczesny S. ST2 blockade reduces soluble ST2-producing T cells while maintaining protective ST2L-expressing T cells during graft-versus-host disease. Science Translational Medicine7:308ra160, 1-12, 2015. [Editorial comment. Colmone A: Blocking a fatal punch. Science 350: 173-4, 2015]

Ince MN, Blazar BR, Edmond M, Tricot G, Wannemuehler M. Understanding luminal microbiota to treat intestinal inflammation. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (in press), 2015

Mall C, Sckisel G, Proia DA, Mirsoian A, Grossenbacher S, Pai CCS, Chen M, Monjazeb A, Kelly K, Blazar BR, Murphy WJ.Repeated PD-1/PD-L1 monoclonal antibody administration induces fatal hypersensitivity reactions in a murine model of breast cancer. Oncoimmunology (in press), 2015

Zeiser R, Burchert A, Lengerke C, Verbeek M, Maas-Bauer K, Metzelder S, Spoerl S, Ditschkowski M, Ecsedi M, Sockel K, Ayuk F, Aijib S, Sicre-de-Fontbrune F, Na IK, Penter L, Hotlick U, Wolf D, Schuler E, Meyer E, Apostolova P, Bertz H, Marks R, Lubbert M, Wasch R, Ihort G, Scheid C, Stolzel F, Ordemann R, Bug G, Kobbe G, Negrin R, Brune M, Spyridonidis Al, Schmitt-Graff A, van der Velden W, Huls G, Mielke S, Grigoleit GU, Kuball J, Flynn R, Du J, Blazar BR, Arnold R, Kroger N, Passweg J, Halter J, Socie G, Beelen D, Peschel C, Neubauer A, Finke J, Duyster J, von Bubnoff N. Ruxolitinib yields high response rates in corticosteroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease: analysis of 95 patients treated at multiple Medical Centers. Leukemia (epub July 31), 2015

Koehn BH, Apostolova P, Haverkamp JM, Miller JS, McCullar V, Tolar J, Munn DH, Murphy WJ, Brickley WJ, Serody JS, Gabrilovich DI, Bronte V, Murray PJ*, Ting JPY*, Zeiser R*, Blazar BR* (*equal last authors). GVHD-associated inflammasome-mediated loss of myeloid-derived suppressor function.Blood 126:1621-8, 2015

Sharma M, Shinde R, McGaha T, Huang L, Holmgaard R, Wolchok J, Mautino M, Celis E, Sharpe AH, Francisco LM, PowellJD, Yagita H, Mellor AL, Blazar BR, Munn DH. The PTEN pathway in Tregs is a critical driver of the supppresive tumor microenvironment. Science Advances (in press), 2015

Cichocki F, Cooley S, Davis Z, DeFor TE, Schlums H, Zang B, Brunstein C, Blazar BR, Wagner J, Diamon DJ, Verneris MR, Bryceson YT, Weisdorf DJ, Miller JS. CD56dimCD57+NKG2C+ NK expansion is associated with reduced leukemia relapse after reduced intensity HCT. Leukemia (epub Sept 29),2015

Lazaryan A, Weisdorf DJ, DeFor T, Brunstein CG, MacMillan ML, Bejanyan N, Holtan S, Blazar BR, Wagner JE, Arora M. Risk factors for acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation with umbilical cord blood and matched related donors. Biol Blood and Marrow Transplant (epub Sept 10), 2015

Sckisel GD, Mirosian A, Bouchlaka MN, Tietze JK, Chen JQ, Borowsky A, Hurwitz AA, Blazar BR, Murphy WJ. Late administration of CTLA-4 blockade to delay contraction prolongs CD8 mediated anti-tumor effects after stimulatory cancer immunotherapy. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy (epub Sept 30), 2015.

Furlan SN, Watkins B, Tkachev V, Flynn R, Cooley S, Ramakrishnan S, Singh K, Giver C, Hamby K, Stempora L, Garrett A, Chen J, Betz KM, Ziegler C, Tharp DK, Bosinger SE, Promislow DEL, Miller JS, Waller EK, Blazar BR, Kean LS. Defining the molecular signature of acute GVHD: Transcriptome analysis reveals Aurora Kinase A as a novel targetable pathway for disease prevention. Science Translational Medicine (in press), 2015.

Brunstein CG, Petersdorf EW, DeFor TE, Noreen H, Mauer D, MacMillan ML, Ustun C, Verneris MR, Miller JS, Blazar BR, McGlave PB, Weisdorf DJ, Wagner JE. Impact of Allele Level HLA Match on Outcomes in Recipients of Double Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation for Hematological Malignancy.Biol Blood and Marrow Transplant (epub Sept 29), 2015.

Wagner JE, Brunstein CG, Boitano AE, DeFor T, McKenna D, Sumstad D, Blazar BR, Tolar J, Le C, Jones J, Cooke MP, Bleul CC. Phase I/II Trial of StemRegenin-1 Expanded Umbilical Cord Blood Hematopoietic Stem Cells Supports Further Testing as aStand Alone Graft. Cell Stem Cell (in press),2015 



  • Pediatric hematology/oncology, Bone marrow transplants, Graft-versus-host disease, Graft-versus-leukemia, Tumor immunotherapy

Board Certifications

Pediatrics and Hematology/Oncology




Meet The Team: Bruce Blazar, M.D., U of M Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Center