John Belcher, PhD

Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation

John Belcher

Contact Info

Mailing Address:
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 480
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Linsey Roschen

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Fellowship, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, CA

Fellowship, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

PhD, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Bachelor's, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA


Dr. Belcher earned his PhD from Wake Forest University and did his postdoctoral training at the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco. He joined the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation in 1996. Dr. Belcher’s research has been integral to a series of important discoveries demonstrating heme is central to the pathobiology of sickle cell anemia. Dr. Belcher’s laboratory work is committed to the successful translation of laboratory discoveries to clinical care.


  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Heme metabolism
  • Gene therapy
  • Endothelial biology
  • Inflammation
  • Innate Immunity

Professional Associations

  • American Society of Hematology
  • Member, American Physiological Society


Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Belcher’s research is focused on hemoglobin, heme, and iron toxicity to the endothelium, as well as related cytoprotective responses. Currently, he is investigating heme-mediated inflammation, vaso-occlusion, and pain in sickle cell anemia through toll-like receptor-4 signaling and complement activation. His research is also exploring the cytoprotective effects of hemopexin, BACH1 inhibitors, heme oxygenase-1 inducers, oral carbon monoxide, and complement inhibitors as therapies to prevent vascular occlusions and pain in sickle cell disease.

  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Endothelial Cells including Circulating Endothelial Cells
  • Vascular Biology
  • Innate Immunity and Inflammation
  • Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease
  • Fetal Hemoglobin Induction