Bruce Blazar, MD
Director and PI
Dr. Bruce Blazar directs the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). He also directs the Center for Translational Medicine, an integrated component of CTSI, created to bring innovative, early phase therapies into the clinic.
Dr. Blazar has served as a past member of three NIH study sections and past Chair of one. He is a past member of the FDA Biological Response Modifiers Advisory Committee, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Translational Research Award Committee, the American Society of Gene Therapy Immunology Committee, American Society of Hematology (ASH) Transplantation Biology Subcommittee, the Immune Tolerance Network Executive Committee, and the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors for Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology. He is the past Chair of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation annual scientific meeting and Co-Chair of the 2012 ASH annual scientific meeting. Dr. Blazar is the recipient of an NIH MERIT Award, the ASH Ernest Beutler prize and lectureship, and the Till and McCullough Lecture Award, Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group and the Lifetime Achievement Award and Lecture for the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium. He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute of Medicine (renamed as the National Academy of Medicine). He is the author of more than 900 manuscripts on the immunobiology of bone marrow transplantation.
Dr. Blazar has a deep knowledge and dedication to clinical translational science (CTS) research. As a researcher, he has directed preclinical basic and translational immunology and stem cell research and early phase clinical studies for more than 35 years, with particular emphasis in the blood and marrow transplantation immunobiology. These studies include the first testing of: 1) the drug rapamycin to prevent alloresponses following hematopoietic cell transplantation; 2) keratinocyte growth factor to prevent tissue injury in rodents and humans after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation; and 3) rodent and human testing of T regulatory cells (Tregs) as an immune suppressive therapy to prevent alloresponses. The latter have resulted in three ongoing phase I trials that have infused ex vivo expanded allogeneic cord blood or adult peripheral blood Tregs; and 4) preclinical development and clinical testing of new chronic graft-versus-host disease therapies that have served as foundational preclinical data supporting the three FDA-approved drugs to treat this disease.