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

Cancer, Medicine

Clinical Interests

Hematologic Oncology; Leukemia, Myeloma, Blood & Marrow Transplant

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 275-5823

Administrative: (585) 275-4099

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentAccepting New Patients

Biography

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.

Research

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.

Credentials

Faculty Appointments

Specialties

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

Education

1999
MBBS | Jordan-Univ of Jordan Sch of Medicine
Medicine

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

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

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

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

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

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

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Awards

2014
Faculty Travel Award to present Abstract Poster
Sponsor: 12th International Cord Blood Symposium

2011
Faculty Travel Award to Present Abstract
Sponsor: American Society of Oncology

2010
2010 Best Abstract Award
Sponsor: 2011 BMT Tandem Meetings

2006
Karl & Irene Eisemann Fellowship Award for best Hematology Paper

2004
Caduceus Award Nominee
Sponsor: ETSU Students
Location: East Tennessee State University

2002
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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Publications

Journal Articles

2017
Aljitawi, O. "Erythropoietin in umbilical cord blood transplantation: Defining the role and implications". Expert Review of Hematology. 2017; .

2017
Jadalannagari S, Converse G, McFall C, Buse E, Filla M, Villar MT, Artigues A, Mellot AJ, Wang J, Detamore MS, Hopkins RA, Aljitawi OS. "Decellularized Wharton's Jelly from human umbilical cord as a novel 3D scaffolding material for tissue engineering applications." PloS one. 2017 12(2):e0172098. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

12/22/2016
Aljitawi OS, Paul S, Ganguly A, Lin TL, Ganguly S, Vielhauer G, Capitano ML, Cantilena A, Lipe B, Mahnken JD, Wise A, Berry A, Singh AK, Shune L, Lominska C, Abhyankar S, Allin D, Laughlin M, McGuirk JP, Broxmeyer HE. "Erythropoietin modulation is associated with improved homing and engraftment after umbilical cord blood transplantation." Blood.. 2016 Dec 22; 128(25):3000-3010. Epub 2016 Oct 19.

Books & Chapters

2017
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 Protocols2017

2005
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 Press2005

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