University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Blazar Laboratory

Research in immunobiology and transplantation

Current Projects

Immune Recovery and Regeneration Post-Transplant

Because GVHD and bone marrow transplantation conditioning regimens cause severe thymic and lymph node injury. We are exploring new approaches to protect the thymic epithelial cells (TEC) against injury and repair or replace stromal cells in the thymus and lymph nodes. The mechanism(s) responsible for the protective effects of biological agents and cell therapies are being explored in wild-type and in transgenic mice. We are examining the signals that regulate TEC and lymph node stroma regeneration and function. We are developing new strategies to use embryonic and induced pluriopotent progenitor cells to differentiate into TECs, which will be used as a cellular therapy to replace damaged epithelial and stromal cells. Within the context of bone marrow transplantation, we are analyzing the mature T cell response to viral, bacterial and tumor antigens to better understand the qualitative defects associated with post-transplant immune deficiency.