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Blumberg Lab

Neil Blumberg, M.D.

M.D. 1975, Yale University School of Medicine
Professor, University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Research Overview

At the University of Rochester Medical Center, Dr. Blumberg's research includes collection of blood from donors, processing, as well as preparation and storage of red cells, platelets and plasma.

The main objective of the laboratory is to understand the immunobiology of red cell and platelet transfusion and to devise strategies for reducing the toxicity of blood transfusions to patients. Our cutting edge laboratory investigation program is helping redefine the immunobiology of blood transfusion while also innovating in the area of platelet biology research. Our research is highly translational, involving clinicians and basic scientists from multiple specialties and backgrounds, including hematology, immunology, transfusion medicine, lung biology and cell biology.

The Blumberg Laboratory works in close collaboration with the laboratory of Richard P. Phipps in the Environmental Medicine/Lung Biology and Disease Program. The two labs jointly hold two NIH grants related to platelet biology and red cell storage/transfusion that are under the day-to-day supervision of Dr. Sherry Spinelli, Research Associate Professor. These two laboratories have pioneered work on the immunomodulatory and inflammatory effects of blood transfusion, both in vitro and clinically. They were also the first to describe a role for transcription factors such as PPARγ and NF-κB in non-genomic regulation of platelet function.

Drs. Blumberg and Refaai are leading investigations into the biology and clinical significance of interactions of ABO antibodies with platelets possessing those antigens, because of the potential vital clinical significance of transfusing ABO non-identical antigens and or antibodies to critically ill and/or bleeding patients.

Drs. Blumberg and Cholette are leading investigations into the immunobiology of transfusion in critically ill children, including interventional randomized trials of washed red cells, and salvaged blood from the operating room.

The lab is also equipped for ELISA immunoassays, stem cell processing and cryopreservation.

Recent Publications

  1. Platelet Activation Following Exposure to Anti-ABO Antibodies-An In Vitro Study. Refaai MA, Henrichs KF, Spinelli SL, Phipps RP, Masel E, Smith BH, Francis CW, Blumberg N. US Oncol Hematol. 2011 Jan 1;7(1):72-74.
  2. An association of ABO non-identical platelet and cryoprecipitate transfusions with altered red cell transfusion needs in surgical patients. Refaai MA, Fialkow LB, Heal JM, Henrichs KF, Spinelli SL, Phipps RP, Masel E, Smith BH, Corsetti JP, Francis CW, Bankey PE, Blumberg N. Vox Sang. 2011 Jul;101(1):55-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010.01464.x. Epub 2011 Mar 18.
  3. Washing red blood cells and platelets transfused in cardiac surgery reduces postoperative inflammation and number of transfusions: Results of a prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Cholette JM, Henrichs KF, Alfieris GM, Powers KS, Phipps R, Spinelli SL, Swartz M, Gensini F, Daugherty LE, Nazarian E, Rubenstein JS, Sweeney D, Eaton M, Lerner NB, Blumberg N. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2011 Sep 15. [Epub ahead of print]
  4. An association between decreased cardiopulmonary complications (transfusion-related acute lung injury and transfusion-associated circulatory overload) and implementation of universal leukoreduction of blood transfusions. Blumberg N, Heal JM, Gettings KF, Phipps RP, Masel D, Refaai MA, Kirkley SA, Fialkow LB. Transfusion. 2010 Jun 18. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 20561296
  5. Platelets and megakaryocytes contain functional nuclear factor-kappaB. Spinelli SL, Casey AE, Pollock SJ, Gertz JM, McMillan DH, Narasipura SD, Mody NA, King MR, Maggirwar SB, Francis CW, Taubman MB, Blumberg N, Phipps RP.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010 Mar;30(3):591-8. Epub 2009 Dec 30.PMID: 20042710
  6. Foxp3 regulates megakaryopoiesis and platelet function. Bernard JJ, Seweryniak KE, Koniski AD, Spinelli SL, Blumberg N, Francis CW, Taubman MB, Palis J, Phipps RP. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2009 Nov;29(11):1874-82. Epub 2009 Aug 6.PMID: 19661482
  7. The platelet as an immune cell-CD40 ligand and transfusion immunomodulation. Blumberg N, Spinelli SL, Francis CW, Taubman MB, Phipps RP. Immunol Res. 2009 Jan 29. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 19184537
  8. 15-deoxy-delta12,14-PGJ2 enhances platelet production from megakaryocytes. O'Brien JJ, Spinelli SL, Tober J, Blumberg N, Francis CW, Taubman MB, Palis J, Seweryniak KE, Gertz JM, Phipps RP. Blood. 2008 Nov 15;112(10):4051-60. Epub 2008 Aug 28.
  9. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and retinoid X receptor transcription factors are released from activated human platelets and shed in microparticles. Ray DM, Spinelli SL, Pollock SJ, Murant TI, O'Brien JJ, Blumberg N, Francis CW, Taubman MB, Phipps RP. Thromb Haemost. 2008 Jan;99(1):86-95.

Available Positions

Graduate students and post-doctoral fellowship candidates should contact Dr. Richard P. Phipps for further information about positions in the laboratory.