Bruce Blazar, MD

Regents Professor, Children’s Cancer Research Fund Land Grant Chair in Pediatric Oncology, Department of Pediatrics

Bruce Blazar

Contact Info

[email protected]

Office Phone 612-626-2961

Fax 612-626-4074

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

Additional Locations

Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Center

Regents Professor, Children’s Cancer Research Fund Land Grant Chair in Pediatric Oncology, Department of Pediatrics

Faculty Member, Division of Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Program

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

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

Preceptor, Medical Scientist Training Program (Combined MD/PhD Training Program)

Pediatric Hematologist Oncologist

MD, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY

Residency in Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN

Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN

BS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Biology), Troy, NY

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


Dr. Blazar is a Regents Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapy and attends on the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) service. Dr. Blazar is the recipient of the Children’s Cancer Research Fund Land Grant Chair in Pediatric Oncology to recognize his pioneering work in the development of novel immune-based therapies. He is the Founding Director of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and the Founding Director of the Center for Translational Medicine.

Dr. Blazar received his MD 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 is the recipient of National Institutes of Health (NIH) MERIT Awards from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as well as the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He is the Principal Investigator of the UMN Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (U54), NIH funded R01 grants, P01 Projects, a U19 grant subcontract and Leukemia and Lymphoma Translational Research grants focusing on BMT immunological studies. Dr. Blazar is the author of more than 725 manuscripts, which have appeared in premier peer-reviewed publications.

Awards & Recognition

  • E Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize, American Society of Hematology (2022)
  • Minneapolis - St. Paul Magazine "Top Doctor" (2020, 2021)
  • Richard Schiff Lectureship, Clinical Immunology Society (2018)
  • Keystone Symposium: Co-organizer, Chair and Speaker, Symposium on Cell Therapy (2018)
  • 4th annual University of Minnesota Dean’s Distinguished Research Lectureship (2016)
  • 25th Annual Mark E. Nesbit Lectureship in Pediatric Oncology, University of Minnesota (2016)
  • Innovator in Basic Science Award, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota (2016)
  • Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium, Lifetime Achievement Award and Lecture (2015)
  • California Institute for Regeneration Medicine grant review committee member, 2010; Clinical Advisory Board Member (3 Trials) (2015-present)
  • Richard O’Reilly Stem Cell Transplant Lectureship, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute (2014)
  • Children's Cancer Research Fund (CCRF) Land Grant Chair in Pediatric Oncology (2013-present)
  • Member and co-chair, NCI Intramural Site Visit Teams (2008-2015)
  • Co-Chair, NHLBI Panel Strategic Planning for Cellular Therapies (2005-present)
  • Member, American Society of Gene Therapy, Immunology Committee (2003-2009)
  • Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (2003-present)
  • Immune Tolerance Network, Member, Scientific Review and Network Steering Committee (2001-2009)
  • Andersen Chair in Transplantation Immunology (1999-2013)
  • 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 (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, 2009Chair, 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 (2005-2007)
  • 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)
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Albany Medical College (2005)
  • 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, active reserve (2001, 2005)
  • 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, 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, Children’s 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, 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 Society for Stem Cell Research
  • National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) (elected 2012)


Research Summary/Interests

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 that regulate these responses at the level of the GVHD target organ. We are examining cell-based therapies such as regulatory T cells (see below) in mice and in patients and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (see below). 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. We have tested drugs and cell populations that affect this interaction, many of which have been brought into the clinic, one of which has received FDA approval. For approaches that reduce acute or chronic GVHD in mice, we are assessing their immune competency to malignant cells (to assess graft-versus-leukemia, GVL) and to pathogens.

2. Regulatory cells. A) regulatory T cells (Treg). Using phosphoproteomics, metabolomics, micro-RNA/mRNA binding partners and flow cytometry, we have identified pathways that can be targeted to upregulate Treg potency in mice and humans. Proof-of-principle has been demonstrated in allogeneic and xenogeneic mouse models . Other studies are focused on genome engineering approaches that should optimize GVHD and autoimmune disease treatment. Knockout, transgenic and conditional inducible strains of mice are utilized along with 2-photon microscopy to identify mechanisms of in vivo suppression. B) Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). We have developed techniques to differentiation and active MDSCs from normal hematopoietic sources in mice and humans. Our studies have shown in murine allogeneic GVHD systems that inflammasome activation converts MDSCs into immune stimulatory cells. Knockout of inflammasome components or inflammasome inducers have ameliorated this loss of function. Ongoing studies are examining the production of human MDSCs from inducible pluriopotent stem cells, with or without genome engineering approaches, for mechanistic purposes and potential future clinical trials.

3. T cell generation from induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs). In order to understand the optimal requirements for T cell anti-cancer or anti-pathogen responses, we have focused on reprogramming various human cell populations into thymic progenitor cells and mature T cells. Transcriptomics and epigenetics are investigated. Genome modification of IPSCs readily induces chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) expression that directs T cells to lymphoma cells. Using a model that incorporates a CAR used in the clinic for treating B cell malignancies and a transgenic strain that expresses human B cell antigens, cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity have been shown. Studies are being examined to explore different approaches to mitigate these side-effects.


Dr. Blazar is the author of more than 725 manuscripts, which have appeared in premier peer-reviewed publications. Following are selected peer-reviewed papers, 2017 - present:

McKenna DH, Sumstad D, Kadidlo D, Batdorf B, Merckel SC, Koellner C, Tennis NC, June CH, Riley JL, Levine BL, Miller JS, Wagner JE, Blazar BR, Hippen KL. Optimization of cGMP Purification and Expansion of Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived T-Regulatory Cells in Support of First-in-Human Clinical Trials. Cytotherapy 19: 250-62, 2017.

Kean LS, Turka LA*, Blazar BR* (equal contributors). Advances in targeting co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory pathways in transplantation settings: The Yin and Yang of cancer immunotherapy. For: Checkpoint inhibitors and cancer immunotherapy. Immunol Rev 276:192-212, 2017.

Bunting MD, Varelias A, Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes F, Schuster  IS, Lineburg KE, Kuns RD, Fleming P, Locke KR, Huntington ND, Blazar BR, Lane SW, Tey SK, MacDonald KP, Smyth MJ, Edgli-Esposti MA, Hill GR. GVHD prevents NK cell-dependent leukemia and virus-specific innate immunity. Blood 129:630-42, 2017.

Astuti Y, Kramer A, Hanson TM. Carter ML, Blazar BR, Tolar J, Taisto ME, Lund TC. A functional bioluminescent zebrafish screen for enhancing hematopoietic engraftment. Stem Cell Reports 8:177-190, 2017.

Chung J, Ebens CL, Perkey E, Radojcic V, Koch U, Scarpellino L, Tong A, Allen F, Wood S, Feng J, Friedman A, Granadier D, Tran IT, Chai Q, Onder L, Yan M, Reddy P, Blazar, BR, Huang AY, Brennan TV, Bishop DK, Ludewig B, Siebel CW, Radtke F, Luther SA, Maillard I. Fibroblastic niches prime T cell allommunity through Delta-like Notch ligands. J. Clin Invest 127:1574-88, 2017 [commentary: Amsen D. T cells take directions from supporting cast in graft-versus-host disease. J. Clin. Invest 127:1215-7, 2017.

Koehn BH, Blazar BR. Myeloid-derived suppressor cell differentiation and function in the inflammatory environment of graft-versus-host disease (mini-review). J. Leukocyte Biology (review) (epub Feb 1), 2017 

MacDonald KP, Blazar BR*, Hill GR* (*co-last authors).  Cytokine mediators in chronic GVHD. J. Clin. Invest (review) 127:2452-2463, 2017.

Ranganathan P, Ngankeu A, Zitzer NC, Leoncini P, Yu X, Casadei L, Challagundla K, Reichenbach DK, Garman S, Ruppert AS, Volinia S, Hofstetter J, Efebera YA, Devine SM, Blazar BR, Fabbri M, Garzon R. Serum miR-29a is upregulated in acute Graft versus Host Disease and activates host dendritic cells through TLR binding. J. Immunol. 198:2500-12, 2017

Kamphorst AO, Wieland A, Nasti T, Yang S, Zhang R, Barber DL, Konieczny BT, Daugherty CZ, Koenig L, Yu K, Sica G, Sharpe AH, Freeman GJ, Blazar BR, Turka LA, Owonikoko TK, Pillai R, Ramalingam SS, Araki K, Ahmed R. Rescue of exhausted CD8 T cells by PD-1 targeted therapies is CD28-dependent. Science 355:1423-7, 2017 [Perspective: Clouthier DL, Ohashi PS. Costimulation, a surprising connection for immunotherapy. Science 355:1373-4, 2017].

Varelias A, Ormerod KL, Bunding MD, Koyama M, Gartlan KH, Kuns RD, Lachner N, Locke KR, Lim CY, Hendren AS, Zhang P, Clouston AD, Hasnain S, McGuckin M, MacDonald KPA, Blazar BR, Hugenholtz P, Hill GR. Acute graft-versus-host disease is regulated by an IL-17-sensitive microbiome. Blood 129:2172-2185, 2017.

Purroy C, Fairchild R. Tanaka T, Baldwin WM 3rd, Manrique J, Madsen JC, Colvin RB, Alessandrini A, Blazar BR, Fribourg M, Donadei C, Maggiore U, Heeger PS, Cravedi P. Erythropoietin receptor- mediated molecular cross talk promotes T cell immunoregulation and transplant tolerance. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 28:2377-92, 2017.

Bruce D, Stefanski HE, Vincent BG, Dant T, Reisdorf S, Bommiassamy H, Serody DA, Wilson JE, McKinnon KM, Shlomchik WD, Armistead PM, Ting JP, Woosley JT, Blazar BR, Zaiss DMW, MacKenzie ANJ, Coghill JM, Serody JS.Type 2 innate lymphoid cells treat and prevent GI GVHD through enhanced accumulation of myeloid derived suppressor cells. J. Clinical Investigation 127:1813-1825, 2017

Zhang P, Lee JS, Gartlan KH, Comerford I, Varelias A, Ullah A, Vuckovic S, Koyzma M, Kuns RD, Locke KR, Beckett KJ, Olver SD, Samson LD, Montes de Oca, Rivera F, Clouston AD, Belz GT, Blazar BR, MacDonald KP, McColl SR, Thomas R, Engwerda CR, Degli-Esposti MA, Kallies A Tey SK, Hill GR. Eomesodermin promotes the development of type 1 regulatory T cells. Science Immunology 2:eaah7152, 2017 [Cover photograph].

Du J, Flynn RP, Paz K, Vulic A, Robinson RM, Lineburg KE, Meng J, Roy S, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Loschi M, Hill GR, Serody JS, Maillard I, Miklos DB, Koreth J, Culter CS, Antin JH, Ritz J, MacDonald KPA, Schacker TW, Luznik L, Blazar BR. Pirfenidone Ameliorates Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease in Mouse Models Through Inhibition of Macrophage Infiltration and TGF-? Production. Blood  129:2570-80, 2017. [Inside Blood Commentary. Ranganathan P. Pirfenidone: a breath of fresh air for cGVHD. Blood 129:2463-4, 2017]

Forcade E*, Paz K*, Flynn RP, Briesenauer B, Amet T, Li W, Liu L, Bakoyonnis G, Jiang D, Chu HW, Lobera M, Yang J, Wilkes DS, Du J, Gartlan K, Hill GR, MacDonald KAP, Espada EL, Blanco P, Serody JS, Koreth J, Antin JH, Soiffer RJ, Ritz J, Paczesny S#, Blazar BR# (*equal first and #last authors). An Activated Th17-Prone T cell subset involved in Chronic Graft versus Host Disease Sensitive to Pharmacological Inhibition. J. Clin. Invest. Insight 2:e9211 (p.1-15), 2017

Sckisel GD, Mirosian A, Mall CI, Crittenden M, Chen JQ, Blazar BR, Borowsky AD, Monjazeb A, Murphy WJ. Differential phenotypes of memory CD4 and CD8 T cells in the spleen and peripheral tissues following immunotherapy. J Immunotherapy of Cancer5:33 (p.1-11), 2017.

Du J, Paz K, Thangavelu G, Schneidawind D, Flynn RP, Feser C, Panoskaltis-Mortari A, Negrin RS, Blazar BR. Invariant Natural Killer T cells ameliorate chronic graft versus host disease by expanding donor regulatory T cells. Blood129:3121-5, 2017 [Cover photograph]

Hippen KL, Tennis NK, Merkel SC, Bearl AM, Schirm DK, Riley JL, June CH, Turka LA, Kean LS, MacMillan ML, Miller JS, Wagner JE, Munn DH, Blazar BR. In vitro induction of Human regulatory T-cells (iTregs) using conditions of low Tryptophan/kyneurinines.  American Journal of Transplantation17:3098-3113, 2017.

Smith MJ, Reichenbach DK, Parker SL, Riddle MB, Mitchell J, Mohtashami M, Stefanski HE, Fife BT, Hogquist KA, Hollander GA, Zuniga-Pflucker JC, Tolar J, Blazar BR. The increase in thymopoiesis following T cell progenitor therapy is dependent upon the input population and continued interaction between developing T cells and the thymic microenvironment. J. Clin Invest Insight 2(10): e92056 (p1-14), 2017

Holtan SG, Newell LF, Culter C, Verneris MR, DeFor TE, Wu J, Howard A, Antin JH, Blazar BR, Weisdorf DJ, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A. Low Epidermal Growth Factors in Myeloablative Allotransplantation: Association with severe acute GVHD in BMT CTN 0402. Bone Marrow Transplant 52:301-303, 2017.

Zamora AE, Aguillar EG, Sungur CM, Khuat L, Dunai C, Lochhead GR, Du J, Tepper CG, Pomeroy C, Blazar BR, Longo DL, Venstrom JM, Baumgarth N, Murphy WJ: Licensing delineates helper and effector NK cell subsets during viral infection. JCI Insight 2(10): e87032 (p.1-15), 2017

Haverkos BM, Abbott D, Hamadani M, Merryman R, Armand P, Kamdar M, Kanate AS, Saad A, Mehta A, Ganguly S, Flowers M, Fenske TS, Hari P, Lowsky R, Andritsos L, Jagasia M, Brown S, Bachanova V, Stephens D, Nakamura R, Chen YB, Blazar BR, Gutman J, Devine SM. Anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies for lymphoma relapsing after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation: High response rates often complicated by graft-versus-host disease. Blood 131:221-8, 2017 [Commentary: Little RF, Streicher H. Checking up on checkpoint inhibitors. Blood 131:107-8, 2017]

Zanin-Zhorov A, Kumari S, Hippen KL, Blazar BR, Dustin ML. Human in vitro-inducedregulatory T cells display Dlgh1-dependent and PKC-theta restrained suppressive activity. Scientific Reports 7:4258 (1-8), 2017

Dant TA, Lin KL, Bruce DW, Kolupaev OV, Bommiasamy H, Bixby LM, Woosley JT, McKinnon KP, Gonzaley FJ, Blazar BR, Vincent BG, Coghill JH, Serody JS. T-cell expression of AhR inhibits the maintenance of pTreg cells in the gastrointestinal tract in acute GVHD. Blood 130:348-59, 2017.

Cichocki F, Valamehr B, Bjordahl R, Zhang B, Rezner B, Rogers P, Gaidarova S, Tuininga K, Dougherty P, McCullar V, Howard P, Sarhan D, Taras E, Schlums H, Abbot S, Shoemaker D, Bryceson YT, Blazar BR, Wolchko S, Cooley S, Miller JS. Glycogen synthetase kinase 3 Inhibition Drives Natural Killer Cell Maturation and Enhances Anti-Tumor Function. Cancer Research77:5664-75, 2017

Xiong Y, Brinkman CC, Mongodin E, Lord CJ, Hippen KL, Blazar BR, Bromberg JS, A robust in vitro model for trans-lymphatic endothelial migration. Scientific Reports 7:1633 (p.1-13), 2017

Trachev V, Furlan SN, Watkins B, Hunt DJ, Zheng H, Hoglund V, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Betz K, Brown M, Schell JB, Yu A, Kirby I, Blazar BR, Casson D, Bland-Ward P, Kean LS. Successfully achieving immune balance after transplant: Combined OX40L and mTOR blockade controls effector T cell activation while preserving Treg reconstitution, leading to striking control of alloreactivity. Science Translational Medicine 9:eaan (p.1-14), 2017

Zeiser R, Blazar BR. Acute graft-versus-host disease biological process, prevention and therapy. N. Engl. J. Med 377:2167-79, 2017

Zeiser R, Blazar BR. Chronic graft-versus-host disease biological process, prevention and therapy. N. Engl. J. Med 377:2565-79, 2017

Spanier JA, Sahli NL, Wilson JC, Martinov T, Dileepan T, Burrack A, Finger EB, Blazar BR, Michels AW, Moran A, Jenkins MK, Fife BT. Increased effector memory insulin-specific CD4+ T cells correlate with insulin autoantibodies in recent-onset type 1 diabetic patients. Diabetes (epub Aug 25), 2017.

Gartlan K, Bommiasamy H, Paz K, Wilkinson AN, Owen M, Reichenbach D, Banovic T, Wehner K, Buchanan F, Varelias A, Kuns RD, Chang K, Shea T, Coghill JM, Zaiken M, Plank MW, Foster PS, Clouston AD, Blazar BR*, Hill GR*, Serody JS* (*co-last authors). A critical role for Th22 cells and IL-22 in cutaneous chronic GVHD. American Journal of Transplantation (in press), 2017

Poe JC, Jia W, Su H, Anand S, Rose JJ, Tata PV, Suthers AN, Jones CD, Kuan PK, Vincent BG, Serody JS, Horwitz ME, Ho VT, Pavletic SZ, Hakim FT, Owzar K, Zhang D, Blazar BR, Siebel CW, Chao NJ, Maillard I, Sarantouplous S. An aberrant NOTCH2-BCR signaling axis in B cells from patients with chronic GVHD. Blood 130:231-45, 2017 [Commentary. Radojic V, Luznik L. Notching up B-cell pathology in chronic GVHD. Blood 130:2053-4, 2017].

Turcotte LM, DeFor TE, Newell LF, Cutler C, Verneris MR, Wu J, Howard A,
MacMillan ML, Antin JH, Vercellotti GM, Slungaard A, Blazar BR, Weisdorf DJ, Panokaltsis-Mortari A, Holtan SG. Donor and Recipient Plasma Follistatin Levels are Associated with Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease in Blood and Marrow Clinical Trials Network 0402. Bone Marrow Transplant 53:64-8, 2018.

Smith AR, Rota IA, Maio s, Massaad MJ, Lund TC, Notarangelo LD, Hollander GA, Blazar BR. Cadherin 17 mutation associated with severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) is corrected by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Blood Advances, Blood Adv 1:2083-2087, 2017

Zhang R, Sage PT, Finn K, Huynh A, Blazar BR, Marangoni F, Mempel TR, Sharpe AH, Turka LA. B Cells Drive Autoimmunity in Mice with CD28-Deficient Tregs. J. Immunol.199:3972-80, 2017.
Williams RL, Cooley S, Bachanova V, Blazar BR, Weisdorf DJ, Miller JS, Verneris MR. Recipient T cell exhaustion and successful adoptive transfer of haploidentical natural killer cells. Biol Blood and Marrow Transplant (epub Nov 29), 2017.

Wang KS, Cutler CS, Kim HT, Nikiforow S, Heubeck AT, Ho VT, Koreth J, Alyea EP, Armand P, Blazar BR, Soiffer RJ, Antin JH, Ritz J. Detection and Identification of Antibodies Targeting Surface Membrane Antigens in Patients with Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease. Blood 130:2889-2899, 2017.

Sharma MD, Rodruiguez P, Koehn BH, Baban B, Cui Y, Guo G, Shimoda M, Pacholczyk R, Shi H, Lee EJ, Xu H, Johnson TS, He Y, Mergoub T, Venable C, Bronte V, Wolchok JD, Blazar BR, Munn DH. Activation of p53 in myeloid precursor cells controls differentiation into immunogenic Ly6c+CD103+ monocytic cells in tumors. Immunity 48:91-106, 2018 [Preview: Gardner A, Ruffell B: moDCs, Less Problems. Immunity 48:6-8, 2018.

Bachanova V, Sarhan D, Defor T, Cooley S, Panoskaltis-Mortari A, Blazar BR, Curtsinger J, Burns L, Weisdorf DJ. Miller JS. Hapoloidentical natural killer cells induce remissions in non-hodgkin’s lymphoma in patients with low levels of immune-suppressor cells. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy 67:483-494, 2018.

Miklos D, Cutler CS, Arora M, Waller EK, Jagasia M, Pusic I, Flowers ME, Logan AC, Nakamura R, Blazar BR, Li Y, Chang S, Lal I, Dubovsky JA, James DF, Styles L, Jaglowski S. Ibrutinib for Chronic Graft vs Host Disease After Failure of Prior Therapy. Blood (Plenary Paper) 130:2243-50, 2017. [Commentary. Greinix HT. Chronic GVHD: progress in salvage treatment? Blood 130:2237-8, 2017]

Koreth J, Kim HT, Lange PB, Poryanda S, Reynolds CG, Armand P, Cutler CS, Ho VT, Glotzbecker B, Yusuf R, Nikiforow S, Chen YB, Dey B, McMasters M, Ritz J, Blazar BR, Soiffer RJ, Antin JH, Alyea EP. Bortezomib-based immunosuppression after reduced-Intensity conditioning hematopoietic cell transplantation: Phase 2 Randomized Results. Hematologica 103:522-30, 2018 [Editorial. Martin PJ. Bortezomib for prevention of acute graft-versus-host disease: a conclusion reached. Hematologica 103:377-9, 2018]

Fuchs A, Gliwinski M, Grageda N, Spiering R, Abbas A, Appel SH, Berglund D, Blazar BR, Bluestone JA, ten Brinke A, Brusko T, Cuturi MC, Geissler E, Giannoukakis N, Golab K, Hafler D, Hester J, Hippen K, Di Ianni M, Llic N, Issac B, Iwaszkiewicz-Grzes D, Jaeckel E, Joosten I, Klatzmann D, Koenen H, Van Kooten C, Korsgren O, Kretschmer K, Levings M, Marek-Trzonkowska N, Martinez-Llordella M, Miljkovic D, Mills K, Miranda D, Piccirillo C, Putnam A, Ritter T, Sakaguchi S, Sanchez-Ramon S, Sawitzki B, Sofronic-Milosavljevic L, Sykes M, Tang Q, Vives-Pi M, Waldmann T, Wood K, Gregori S, Hilkens CMU, Lombardi G, Lord P, Martinez-Caceres E, Trzonkowski P. Minimum information about T regulatory cells (MITREG): a step towards reproducibility and standardization. Front. Immunol. 8:1844 (p1-7), 2018.

Mathew NR, Baumgartner F, Braun L, Waterhouse M, Muller TA, Hanke K, Apostolova P, Illert L, Schmitt-Graff A, Osswald L, Yan KL, Weber A, Solsona ST, Spath S, Pfeifer D, Follo M, Claus R, Lubbert M, Rummelt C, Bertz H, Wasch R, von Bubnoff N, Haag J, Taromi S, Bettinger D, Thimme R, Ullrich E, Klose C, Tanriver Y, Jung M, Vuong GL, Arnold R, van der Velden W, Wolf D, Ditschkowski M, Jilg C, Wilhelm K, Gerull S, Halter J, Pabst T, Schroeder T, Kobbe G, Rosler W, Thomas S, Doostkam S, Eid K, Meckel S, Metzelder SK, Brummer T, Dengjel J, Hackanson B, Schmid C, Holtick U, Scheid C, Spyridonidis A, Stoelzel F, Ordemann R, Muller L, Sicre-de-Fontbrune F, Ilhorst G, Kuball J, Ehlert JE, Feger D, Wagner EM, Cahn JY, Kuchenbauer F, Bunjes D, Chakraverty R, Richardson S, Gill S, Kroeger N, Ayuk F, Vago L, Ruggiero E, Bonini C, Ciceri F, Muller AM, Kondo T, Teshima T, Kuster B, Kim D, Weisdorf D, Dorfel D, Bethge W, Hilgendor I, Hochhaus A, Andrieux G, Borries M, Busch H, Magenau J, Reddy P, Labopin M, Antin JH, Hendon AS, Hill G, Kennedy GA, Bar M, Sarma A, McLornan D, Mufti G, Oran B, Rezvani K, Sha O, Negrin RS, Nagler A, Prinz M, Burchert A, Neubauer A, Beelen D, Mackensen A, Herr W, Becher B, Socie G, Caliguiri MA, Hacker G, Duyster J, Finke J, Blazar BR, Pearce E, Zeiser R. Sorafenib promotes graft-versus-leukemia activity in mice and humans through IL-15 production in FLT3-ITD mutant leukemia cells. Nat. Med. 24:282-291, 2018

Hippen KL, Loschi M, Nicholls J, MacDonald KAP, Blazar BR. Non-Coding RNAs and regulatory T cell mediated suppression of GVHD. Frontiers in Immunology (Mini-Review) (in press), 2018.

Prestipino A, Emhardt A, Aumann K, O’Sullivan D, Gorantla SP, Duquesne S, Melchinger W, Braun L, Vuckovic S, Borries M, Busch H, Halbach S, Pennisi S, Poggio T, Apostolova P, Veratti P, Hettich M, Niedermann G, Bartholoma M, Shoumariyeh K, Jutzi J, Wehrle J, Dierks C, Becker H, Schmitt-Graff A, Follo M, Pfeifer D, Rohr J, Fuchs S, Ehl S, HartlF, Minguet S, Miething C, Heidel F, Kruger N, Triviai J Brjmmer T, Finke J Illert L, Ruggiero E, Bonini C, Duyster J, Pahl F, Lane SW, Hill GR, Blazar BR, von Bubnoff N, Pearce EL, Zeiser R. Oncogenic JAK2 activation causes PD-L1 expression via STAT3/STAT5-phosphorylation mediating immune escape in myeloproliferative neoplasms. Science Translational Medicine 10 (eaam7729): 1-12, 2018.

Blazar BR*, MacDonald KL, Hill GR* [*equal contributors]. Cellular infusions for GVHD prevention and therapy. Blood (review) (in press), 2018.

Rashidi A, Shanley R, Yohe SL, Thyagarajan B, Curtsinger J, Anasetti C, Waller EK, Miller JS, Blazar BR, Weisdorf DJ. Association between recipient TNF rs361525 and acute GVHD: Results from analysis of BMT-CTN 0201 samples. Bone Marrow Transplantation (epub Mar 7), 2018.

Felices M, Lenvik AJ, McElmurry R, Chu S, Hinderlie P, Bendzick L, Geller MS, Tolar J, Blazar BR, Miller JS. Continuous IL-15 treatment results in unresponsive NK cell phenotype through a metabolic defect in fatty acid oxidation. J. Clinical Investigation (Insight) (epub Feb 8), 2018.

Lu Y, Gao J, Zhang S, Gu J, Lu H, Zia Y, Zhu Q, Qian X, Zhang F, Hippen KL, Blazar BR, Lu L*, Wang X* (*co-last authors). miR-142-3p regulates autophagy by targeting ATG16L1 in thymic-derived regulatory T cell (tTreg). Cell Death and Disease (epub Feb 19), 2018.

Du J, Flynn RO, Paz K, Ren H, Ogata Y, Zhang Q, Gafken PR, Storer BE, Roy NH, Burkhardt JK, Matthews W, Tolar J, Lee SJ, Blazar BR*, Paczesny S* (co-last authors). Murine chronic graft-versus-host disease proteome profiling discovers CCL15 as a novel biomarker in patients and potential therapeutic target. Blood (epub Jan 18), 2018

Zeiser R, Sarantopoulos S, Blazar BR. B-cell targeting in chronic graft-versus-Host disease. Blood (Spotlight) (epub Feb 1), 2018.

Bejanyan N, Brunstein CB, Cao Q, Lazaryan A, Mehta RS, Luo X, Curtsinger J, Cooley S, Blazar BR, Miller JS, Weisdorf DJ, Wagner JE, Verneris MR. Delayed Immune Reconstitution After Umbilical Cord Blood or Matched Sibling Donors is Associated with Infections, Mortality and Chronic GVHD. Blood Advances (in press), 2018.

Stefanski HE, Jonart L, Goren E, Mule JJ*, Blazar BR* (*co-last authors). A novel approach to improve immune effector responses post transplant by restoration of CCL21 expression. PLoS One (in press), 2018.

Hulsdunker J, Ottmuller KJ, Neeff H, Koyama M, Gao Z, Thomas OS, Follo M, Al-Ahmad A, Prinz G, Duquesne S, Dierbach H, Kirschnek S, Lammermann T, Blaser MJ, Blazar BR, Beilhack A, Hill GR, Hacker G, Zeiser R. Neutrophils provide cellular communication between ileum and mesenteric lymph nodes at graft-versus-host-disease onset. Blood (epub Feb 20), 2018.

Zeiser R, Blazar BR. Reply to Acute graft-versus-host disease biological process, prevention and therapy. N. Engl. J. Med 9:290, 2018

Romee R, Cooley S, Berrien-Elliott MM, Westervelt P, Verneris MR, Wagner JE, Weisdorf DJ, Blazar BR, De For TE, Peck L, DiPersio JF, Cashen AF, Kyllo R, Musiek A, Schafer A, Anadkat M, Rosman I, Jeng E, Rock A, Wong HC, Fehniger TA, Miller JS. First-in-human phase 1 clinical study of the IL-15 super-agonist complex ALT-803 for patients with hematologic malignancy relapsed after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Blood (epub Feb 20), 2018.

Wu Y, Schutt S, Paz K, Zhang M, Flynn RP, Bastian D, Sofi M, Nguyen H, Dai M, Liu C, Chang YJ, Blazar BR, Yu XZ. MicroRNA-17-92 is required for T-cell and B-cell in chronic graft-versus-host disease in mice. Blood (epub March 12), 2018

Osborn M, Lees c, McElroy A, Merkel S, Eide C, Mathews W, Feser C, McElmurry R, Webber B, Kim CJ, Blazar BR, Tolar J. CRISPR/Cas9-based Cellular Engineering for Targeted Gene Overexpression. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (epub March 22), 2018.

Borges da Silva H, Wang H, Beura LK, Hanse E, Gore R, Block KE, Fonseca R, Hippen K, Blazar BR, Masopust D, Kelekar A, Vulchanova L, Hoquist KA, Jameson SC. The purinergic receptor P2RX7 directs metabolic fitness of long-lived memory CD8+ T cells. Nature (in press), 2018.

Tarasevicute A, Tkachev V, Ponce R, Turtle C, Snyder JM, Liggitt HD, Myerson DH, Gonzalez-Cuyar L, Baldessari A, English C, Yu A, Zheng B, Furlan S, Hunt DJ, Hoglund V, Finney O, Brakke H, Blazar BR, Berger C, Riddell SR, Gardner R, Kean LS, Jensen MC.  A Non-Human Primate model of CAR T Cell-mediated neurotoxicity reveals a complex program of cellular and soluble inflammatory mediators leading to encephalitis. Cancer Discovery (epub March 21), 2018.

Pennell CA, Barnum J, McDonald-Hyman CS, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Riddle MJ, Xiong Z, Loschi M, Thangavelu G, Campbell HM, Refaeli Y, Furlan SN, Jensen MC, Kean LS, Miller JS, Tolar J, Osborn MJ, Blazar BR. Human CD19-targeted T-cells induce B-cell aplasia and toxicity in CD19 transgenic mice. Molecular Therapy (in press),2018.



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

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pediatrics
  • American Board of Pediatrics - Pediatric Hematology/Oncology




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