Claudia Cohn

Director, University of Minnesota Blood Bank Laboratory


Dr. Cohn is Associate Director of Laboratories and Director of the Blood Bank Laboratory. She conducts research in the field of transfusion medicine. She focuses her efforts in two areas: patient blood management and platelet storage and utilization.Patient blood management applies evidence-based guidelines to limit unnecessary transfusions and maximize patient safety. Cohn uses technology and smart phone apps to gather data, which can help guide clinicians with transfusion decisions. To help foster a good transfusion culture, Cohn and her colleagues have developed overlapping databases that allow them to monitor every transfusion made in the hospital retrospectively and determine whether they were made within guidelines. Their interactive patient blood management system enables them to specifically target education efforts to where improvement is most needed. A significant drop in red blood cell usage has occurred coincident with the development of this monitoring program aimed at conserving transfusion resources and lowering costs. The interactive and collaborative program Cohn and her colleagues have developed can be tailored for use in small and large hospitals that want to develop a comprehensive patient blood management system. Other institutions have adopted the guidelines they have developed.Cohn is also interested in new platelet storage options, platelet utilization, and patient immunologic reactions to donor plasma. The University is one of the largest users of platelets in the nation because of the large number of umbilical cord stem cell transplants performed each year. Following FDA approval in 2009, platelets can now be stored in additive solutions in addition to donor plasma. Platelets stored in additive solutions are less frequently involved in transfusion reactions because donor plasma contains cytokines, allergens, and other molecules that can trigger these immunologic reactions. Some patients develop antibodies to class I HLA molecules on platelet surfaces and are refractory to conventional donor platelet transfusions. In her capacity as associate director of the HLA Laboratory, Cohn's group is investigating whether these patients can be identified in advance of transfusion.

Research Summary


  • Pagano MB, Foroutan F, Goel R, Allen ES, Cushing MM, Garcia DA, Hopkins CK, Klein K, Raval JS, Cohn CS. Vitamin K antagonist reversal strategies: Systematic review and network meta-analysis from the AABB. Transfusion. 2022 Aug;62(8):1652-1661. doi: 10.1111/trf.17010.

  • Johnson, LM, Gniadek TJ, Cohn CS, Bachowski G, Karger AB. A 43-year-old woman with unexplained elevation of hCG. Clin BIochem 2018 Mar 26 pii:S0009-9120(17)31253-5. Doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2018.03.016.
  • Claudia Cohn, senior author on Critical Developments of 2017: A review of the literature from selected topics in transfusion. A committee report from the AABB’s Clinical Transfusion Medicine Committee, Transfusion, (DOI) - 10.1111/trf.14520.
  • Sackett K, Cohn CS, Fahey-Ahrndt K, Smith AR, Johnson AD.  Successful treatment of pure red cell aplasia because of ABO major mismatched stem cell transplant. J Clin Apher. 2017 May 24. doi: 10.1002/jca.21553. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:28543448
  • Johnson AD, Cohn CS.  Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus (XMRV) and the Safety of the Blood Supply.  Clin Microbiol Rev. 2016 Oct; 29(4):749-57
  • Dzik WS, Ziman A, Cohn CS, Pai M, Lozano M, Kaufman R, Delaney M, Selleng K, Murphy M, Hervig T, Yazer M for the BEST Collaborative. Survival following ultra-massive transfusion: a review of 1360 cases. Transfusion 2016 Mar; 56(3):558-63. 


PhD, Johns Hopkins University (Molecular Biology/Biochemistry), 1994

Fellowships, Residencies, and Visiting Engagements

Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York (Anatomic and Clinical Pathology), 2006-2009,
Louisiana State University (Anatomic and Clinical Pathology), 2004-2006,
University of California, San Francisco (Transfusion Medicine), 2009-2010,

Licensures and Certifications

Clinical Pathology, Transfusion Medicine / Blood Banking,



D-242-1 Mayo Building
420 Delaware Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455