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Omar S. Aljitawi, M.B.B.S.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 275-5823

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentAccepting New Patients

Faculty Appointments

Patient Care Setting



I am committed to providing my patients complete medical care that takes into account their physical and emotional wellbeing. When I approach my patients, I think of them as a whole, a person behind the story. I enjoy and cherish this special relationship and I always strive to give my patients the best care.

I believe that knowledge is power; I want my patients to be informed when they make decisions that involve their care and their lives. I achieve that by discussing the patient's case with the patient's referring oncologist and by consulting with my colleagues at Wilmot Cancer Center or at other institutions.

I am a firm believer that physician-patient trust is important to deliver effective and complete medical care. This trust develops based on the patient's own experience dealing with their medical team. My goal is to work closely with our medical team to help our patients deal with their illnesses.

My goal in choosing a career in treating cancer patients is to "make a difference" in their lives. I do that not only by doing my best to take care of my patients, but also by researching new ways to help our patients. Our current treatments are not optimal and certainly can be improved to help our patients have better outcomes, which is my ultimate goal in my research career.


Dr. Aljitawi's laboratory is primarily focused on studying the human hematopoietic stem cells and their interaction with their microenvironment. He utilizes this knowledge in studying translational research concepts that apply to patient care. Dr. Aljitawi's work has involved umbilical cord blood stem cells, Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stromal cells, Wharton's jelly matrix, and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. Dr. Aljitawi's main projects are:

1.Studying umbilical cord blood (UCB) CD34+ cell interaction with erythropoietin (EPO) as a soluble factor in UCB CD34+ microenvironment. Dr. Aljitawi has been investigating EPO signaling through EPO receptor (EPOR) effects on UCB CD34+ cell homing and engraftment. Dr. Aljitawi and his research team discovered that exposure to erythropoietin impairs UCB CD34+ cell homing to the bone marrow. To translate this finding to patient care, Dr. Aljitawi and his research team investigated the use of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) as a modality to lower systemic EPO with the aim of improving UCB CD34+ cell homing and engraftment. This work in its entirety was recently published in Blood.

2. Developing in vitro 3D leukemia and myeloma models for chemotherapy drug testing: Dr. Aljitawi's lab has developed a 3D stromal-based co-culture model to grow leukemia and myeloma cells with stromal cells and used it to test the sensitivity of these cancer cells to chemotherapy. More recently, his lab has focused on studying decellularized Wharton's jelly matrix to create an extracellular matrix-based model to test leukemia cell responses to chemotherapy.

3. Studying the interactions between Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stromal cells and Wharton's jelly decellularized matrix for tissue regenerative medicine applications. Dr. Aljitawi's has been studying decellularized Wharton's jelly matrix as a scaffolding material for tissue regenerative applications, including wound and bone healing.



  • Hematology - American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Internal Medicine - American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Medical Oncology


MBBS | Jordan-Univ of Jordan Sch of Medicine

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

07/01/2007 - 06/30/2008
Fellowship in Bone Marrow Transplant at City of Hope Medical Center

07/01/2004 - 06/03/2007
Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at University of Kansas Medical Center

07/01/2002 - 06/30/2004
Residency in Internal Medicine at East Tennessee State University

01/01/2001 - 06/30/2002
Internship in Internal Medicine at East Tennessee State University

01/01/1999 - 12/31/2000
Internship in Internal Medicine at Al-Bashir Hospital

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Faculty Travel Award to present Abstract Poster
Sponsor: 12th International Cord Blood Symposium

Faculty Travel Award to Present Abstract
Sponsor: American Society of Oncology

2010 Best Abstract Award
Sponsor: 2011 BMT Tandem Meetings

Karl & Irene Eisemann Fellowship Award for best Hematology Paper

Caduceus Award Nominee
Sponsor: ETSU Students
Location: East Tennessee State University

First Place Award, residents/fellows division, 18th Annual Student Research Forum, James H. Quillen College of Medicine
Location: East Tennessee State University

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Journal Articles

Lipe B, Divine C, Abhyankar S, Singh AK, Ganguly S, Lin TL, Baran A, Cantilena AR, Bhatti S, Shune L, Abdelhakim H, McGuirk J, Allin D, Aljitawi OS. "Results of the First Clinical Study in Humans That Combines Hyperbaric Oxygen Pretreatment with Autologous Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation." Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.. 2019 Sep 0; 25(9):1713-1719. Epub 2019 Jun 03.

Aljitawi OS, Chiu YG. "VCAM-1+ macrophages usher hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell to vascular niche "hotspots"." Annals of translational medicine.. 2019 Jul 0; 7(Suppl 3):S116.

Li D, Chiu G, Lipe B, Hopkins RA, Lillis J, Ashton JM, Paul S, Aljitawi OS. "Decellularized Wharton jelly matrix: a biomimetic scaffold for ex vivo hematopoietic stem cell culture." Blood advances.. 2019 Apr 9; 3(7):1011-1026.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Wharton's jelly matrix decellularization for tissue engineering applications
Book Title: Decellularized Scaffolds and Organogenesis
Author List: Converse, G.L; Li, D; E. Buse, E.E.; Hopkins, R.A.; and Aljitawi, O.S.
Published By: Springer Protocols 2017

Chapter Title: The human Mast Cell
Book Title: Mast Cells, Methods and Protocols
Author List: Guha Krishnaswamy, Omar Aljitawi, and David S. Chi.
Published By: Humana Press 2005