Pediatric Blood & Marrow Transplantation Center
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Keli Hippen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Division of Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation

"We stand on the shoulders of our forefathers. The focus of the past two decades of research has been to identify new genes and cell types and then determine how they interact with one another.

Now, armed with a better understanding of the biology of disease, we can thoughtfully develop therapeutics that minimize BMT side effects like GVHD, while maximizing efficacy. However, this era of designer drugs is not without complications, and so I am also interested in developing the next wave of therapeutics that will minimize cost and product-to-product variability."

Dr. Hippen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. He is also a member of the Masonic Cancer Center and Center for Immunology. He was a faculty member in the division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Medicine from 2001 until joining the Department of Pediatrics in 2006. He is active in the American Association of Immunologists and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.

Education

PhD: from the Iowa State University Department of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
Fellowships: National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine and the University of Minnesota Medical Center

Research Interests

Dr. Hippen's is focused on inhibiting Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD), which is a frequent and severe complicating factor in bone marrow transplants. GVHD is a T cell mediated disease due to graft-derived immune cells recognizing recipient cells as non-self. Activation of autoreactive T cells (and those that induce GVHD) is normally prevented by a subset of T cells termed regulatory T cells (Treg). Transplant of donor Treg has been shown to improve disease in mouse models of both GVHD and autoimmunity. Dr. Hippen's specific interest is defining the mechanisms that control human regulatory T cell proliferation and function with the goal of generating large numbers of very active cells that can be co-transferred at the time of bone marrow transplantation and reduce or completely abolish GVHD.

Publications and Awards

A Selection of Dr. Hippen's Recent Publications

Adoptive transfer of umbilical cord blood-derived regulatory T cells and early viral reactivation. Brunstein CG, Blazar BR, Miller JS, Cao Q, Hippen KL, McKenna DH, Curtsinger J, McGlave PB, Wagner JE. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2013 Aug;19(8):1271-3. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.06.004. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

Scaffold protein Disc large homolog 1 is required for T-cell receptor-induced activation of regulatory T-cell function. Zanin-Zhorov, A., J. Lin, J. Scher, S. Kumari, D. Blair, K. L. Hippen, B. R. Blazar, S. B. Abramson, J. J. Lafaille, and M. L. Dustin. 2012. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109:1625-1630. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1110120109. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Blocking IL-21 signaling ameliorates xenogeneic GVHD induced by human lymphocytes. Hippen, K. L., C. Bucher, D. K. Schirm, A. M. Bearl, T. Brender, K. A. Mink, K. S. Waggie, R. Peffault de Latour, A. Janin, J. M. Curtsinger, S. R. Dillon, J. S. Miller, G. Socie, and B. R. Blazar. 2012. Blood 119:619-628. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-07-368027. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

Massive ex vivo expansion of human natural regulatory T cells (T(regs)) with minimal loss of in vivo functional activity. Hippen, K. L., S. C. Merkel, D. K. Schirm, C. M. Sieben, D. Sumstad, D. M. Kadidlo, D. H. McKenna, J. S. Bromberg, B. L. Levine, J. L. Riley, C. H. June, P. Scheinberg, D. C. Douek, J. S. Miller, J. E. Wagner, and B. R. Blazar. 2011 Science Translational Medicine 3:83ra41. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001809

Generation and large-scale expansion of human inducible regulatory T cells that suppress graft-versus-host disease. Hippen, K. L., S. C. Merkel, D. K. Schirm, C. Nelson, N. C. Tennis, J. L. Riley, C. H. June, J. S. Miller, J. E. Wagner, and B. R. Blazar. 2011. American journal of transplantation 11:1148-1157. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03558.x. Epub 2011 May 12.

Click here to see a complete list of Dr. Hippen’s studies which have been published by academic and research journals.


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