Brian Betts, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation

Brian Betts

Contact Info

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

Lab Address:
Nils Hasselmo Hall
312 Church St SE
Room 2-236
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Kris Blomquist

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation


Medical School, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk VA

Residency, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Fellowship, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

Bachelor's Degree, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA


I am an NIH-funded, physician-scientist and hold appointments in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation and the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota. I received my internal medicine training here at the University of Minnesota and performed my training in medical oncology and hematology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. My research blends efforts in the lab and clinic, to develop novel therapies for cancer patients. This work is focused on understanding and eliminating graft-versus-host disease while preserving the beneficial anti-tumor activity of the transplant. Clinically, my practice offers stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy services to patients with blood cell cancers. I also treat patients with graft-versus-host disease. As a physician, I greatly appreciate having the opportunity to offer innovative treatment options at the University of Minnesota and being a part of my patients’ recovery.


  • Myeloid Leukemias
  • Myelodysplasia
  • Myeloproliferative Neoplasm
  • GVHD
  • Immunotherapy

Awards & Recognition

  • University of Minnesota: Best Diagnostician Award, Internal Medicine Department (2007)
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School: DRH Gourley Award for Excellence in Pharmacology (2004)
  • Member, Alpha Omega Alpha (2003)
  • Old Dominion University: Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society (2000)
  • Omicron Delta Kappa Honors Society(1999)
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society (1999)
  • Perfect Scholars List (1998-2000)
  • Dean’s Lists (1997-2000)
  • Honors College Stipend (1996-2000)
  • External Sources: Amy Strelzer Manasevit Research Program Scholar (2016)
  • ASBMT Transplant Clinical Research Training Course Scholar (2010)

Professional Associations

  • Society for Leukocyte Biology
  • American Association of Immunologists
  • American Society of Hematology
  • American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
  • American College of Physicians
  • Alpha Omega Alpha         


Research Summary/Interests

  • GVHD
  • GVL, Immunotherapy
  • Cell Signaling
  • Tregs
  • Tissue Rejection

Research Funding Grants

  • 1R01HL133823-01
    PI: Brian C. Betts, MD
    Dates: 7/1/2016-6/30/2021
    Title: Targeting T-Cell costimulation and cytokine activation to prevent GVHD and preserve GVL 
  • Amy Strelzer Manasevit Research Program Award
    NMDP PI: Brian C. Betts, MD
    Dates: 7/1/2016-6/30/2019
    Source: Amy Strelzer Manasevit Research Program
    Title: Adoptive transfer of antigen-specific, STAT3-inhibited iTreg to prevent GVHD and preserve GVL


  • Betts BC, Abdel-Wahab O, Curran SA, St. Angelo ET, Koppikar P, Heller G, Levine R, Young JW. Janus Kinase-2 Inhibition Induces Durable Tolerance to Alloantigen by Dendritic Cell-Stimulated Human T Cells, Yet Preserves Immunity to Recall Antigen. Blood. 2011;10;118(19):5330-9. PMCID: PMC3217413
  • Betts BC, St. Angelo ET, Kennedy M, Young JW. Anti-IL-6 receptor alpha (tocilizumab) does not inhibit human monocyte-derived dendritic cell maturation or alloreactive T cell responses. Blood. 2011;118(19):5340-3. PMCID: PMC3217414
  • Betts BC, Veerapathran A, Pidala J, Yu XZ, Anasetti C. STAT5 polarization promotes iTregs and suppresses human T-cell alloresponses while preserving CTL capacity. J Leukoc Biol. 2014;95(2):205-13. PMCID: PMC3896660
  • Betts BC, Sagatys EM, Veerapathran A, Lloyd MC, Beato F, Lawrence HR, Yue B, Kim J, Sebti SM, Anasetti C, Pidala J. CD4+ T-cell STAT3 phosphorylation precedes acute GVHD and subsequent Th17 tissue invasion correlates with GVHD severity and therapeutic response. J Leukoc Biol. 2015;97(4):807-19. PMCID: PMC4370048
  • Betts BC, Pidala J, Kim J, Mishra A, Nishihori T, Perez L, Ochoa-Bayona JL, Khimani F, Walton K, Bookout R, Nieder M, Khaira DK, Davila M, Alsina M, Field T, Ayala E, Loocke FL, Riches M, Kharfan-Dabaja M, Fernandez H, Anasetti C. IL-2 promotes early Treg reconstitution after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Haematologica. 2017; 102: xxx. Doi: 10.3324/haematol.2016.153072.
  • Curran SA, Shyer JA, St. Angelo ET, Talbot LR, Sharma S, Chung DJ, Heller G, Hsu KC, Betts BC*, Young JW*. Human Dendritic Cells Mitigate NK Cell Dysfunction Mediated by Nonselective JAK1/2 Blockade. Cancer Immunology Research. 2017;5(1):52-60. (*shared senior authorship)
  • Betts BC, Veerapathran A, Pidala J, Yang H, Horna P, Walton K, Cubitt CL, Gunawan S, Lawrence HR, Lawrence NJ, Sebti SM, Anasetti C. Targeting Aurora kinase A and JAK2 prevents GVHD while maintaining Treg and anti-tumor CTL function. Science Translational Medicine. 2017;11;9(372).
  • Betts BC*, Bastian D*, Iamsawat S, Nguyen, H, Heinrichs JL, Wu Y, Daenthanasanmak A, Veerapathran A, O’Mahony A, Walton K, Reff J, Horna P, Sagatys EM, Lee MC, Singer J, Chang Y-J, Liu C, Pidala J, Anasetti C, and Yu X-Z. Targeting JAK2 reduces GVHD and xenograft rejection through regulation of T cell differentiation. PNAS. 2018;115(7):1582-1587. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1712452115. (*shared first authorship)


Academic Interests and Focus

On campus teaching involves case based training and teaching in the clinic with medical students and fellows.



Masonic Cancer Center

Board Certifications

  • Medical Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Internal Medicine

Clinical Interests

Myeloid leukemias; myelodysplasia; myeloproliferative neoplasm; GVHD; immunotherapy

Hospital Privileges

Fairview Ridges Hospital; Fairview Lakes Medical Center; Fairview Northland Medical Center; Fairview Southdale Hospital; University of Minnesota Medical Center