Pediatric Blood & Marrow Transplantation Center
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John E. Wagner, M.D.

Executive Medical Director, BMT Program, University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital
Professor, Department of Pediatrics

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“I am proud to lead a team of very talented physicians and researchers who are singularly focused on finding ways to cure incurable diseases.   We are so fortunate to have a community that supports our efforts, recognizing that it takes a village to save a child. Together, we create breakthrough treatments for patients who come to us from around the world because we offer hope…a chance for life.”

Dr. Wagner is internationally recognized as an expert in the field of stem cells and umbilical cord blood transplantation. Dr. Wagner was the first to use umbilical cord blood to treat a child with leukemia in 1990 with more than 1,300 umbilical cord blood transplants performed at the University of Minnesota today.


Medical School: Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia
Residency: Duke University, Durham, NC
Fellowship: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Baltimore (Hematology/Oncology)

Clinical & Research Interests

Dr. Wagner's research has focused on the development of new treatment approaches for life-threatening diseases for which conventional treatments are unsatisfactory. Dr. Wagner is recognized for pioneering the use of double umbilical cord blood transplantation in adults and embryo selection to insure an HLA matched, healthy child (‘savior sibling’) for another child in need of transplant. He is also a leader in the use of regulatory T cells to prevent rejection and graft versus host disease, expanded blood forming stem cells to speed blood and marrow recovery, novel conditioning regimens to dramatically increase the chance of cure of patients with Fanconi anemia and bone marrow derived stem cells to repair the skin in severely affected children with Epidermolysis Bullosa.

Publications & Awards

​Selection of Publications

  • Preimplantation testing to produce an HLA matched donor infant. Wagner JE, Kahn JP, Wolf SM, Lipton FM. J Amer Med Assoc 2004; 292:803-4
  • Effect of graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis on 3-year disease free survival in recipients of unrelated donor bone marrow transplantation: results of a multi-center, randomized phase II-III trial. Wagner JE, Thompson JS, Carter SL, Kernan NA. Lancet 2005; 366:733-41.
  • Outcomes of transplantation of unrelated donor umbilical cord blood and bone marrow in children with acute leukemia: a comparison study. Eapen M, Rubinstein P, Zhang MJ, Stevens C, Kurtzberg J, Scaradavou A, Loberiza FR, Chaplin RE, Klein JP, Horowitz MM, Wagner JE. Lancet 2007; 369:1947-54.
  • Bone marrow transplantation for recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Wagner JE, Ishida-Yamamoto A, McGrath JA, Hordinsky M, Keane DR, Woodley DT, Chen M, Riddle MJ, Osborn MJ, Lund T, Dolan M, Blazar BR, Tolar J. New Engl J Med 2010; 363:629-39. [Associated Editorial: Systemic therapy for a genetic skin disease. Bruckner-Tuderman L.  New Engl J Med 2010; 363: 680-682.]
  • Infusion of ex vivo expanded T regulatory cells in adults transplanted with umbilical cord blood: safety profile and detection kinetics. Brunstein CG, Miller JS, Cao Q, McKenna DH, Hipen KL, Curtsinger J, Defor T, Levine BL, June CH, Rubenstein P, McGlave PB, Blazar BR, Wagner JE. Blood 2011; 117:1061-70.
  • Current clinical management of Fanconi anemia. Smith AR, Wagner JE. Expert Rev Hematol 2012; 5:513-22.
  • Click here to see a complete list of Dr. Wagner’s studies which have been published by academic and research journals. 


  • Best Doctors in America 2006 – present
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine’s Top Doctor 2010 – present
  • Leukemia Lymphoma Society Life Blood Award
  • Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Pioneer Award
  • Election into the American Society of Clinical Investigation and American Association of Physicians

Other BMT Specialists

Dr. Tolar focuses on using hematopoietic stem cell transplant as a treatment for rare genetic... Read More

Dr. Stefanski’s clinical interests include transplant for patients with leukemias, solid tumors... Read More

Dr. Smith’s clinical interests include transplant for leukemia and MDS and non-cancerous... Read More

Dr. Orchard is interested in the use of blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) and potentially... Read More

Dr. MacMillan’s research focuses on developing new therapeutic strategies to reduce the early... Read More

Dr. Lund is interested in the use of blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) primarily for... Read More

Dr. Blazar is an international leader in the development of novel, immune-based stem cell... Read More

Dr. Miller is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation... Read More

Journey Clinic - Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Center

2450 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454
612-365-1000 TTY: 612-672-7300

For information about the Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation program, click here:

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We have been providing innovative care to children in need of a blood and bone marrow transplant for over 40 years. Call us, we're here to help.

(888) 601-0787 or (612) 273-2800

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