Jeffrey McCullough, MD

Professor Emeritus, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Jeffrey McCullough

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-0622

Mailing Address:
MMC 609 Mayo
420 Delaware
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Professor Emeritus, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology


Ohio State University, 1963

Vanderbilt University Hospital, Intern (Medicine) July 1963 - June 1964; Resident, July 1969 - June 1970

University of Minnesota Hospitals (Laboratory Medicine), 1967 - 1969; Chief Resident 1968 - 1969

Northwestern University, 1959

Executive Development Program, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, August, 1982

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Laboratory of Molecular Hematology: Sabbatical with Dr. French Andersen, 1985 - 1986


Dr. McCullough is an international leader in transfusion medicine research and practice and in clinical trials involving transfusion for treating diseases of the blood and bone marrow as well as bleeding conditions. In recent years he has focused his research primarily in two areas: clinical trails involving transfusion medicine; and blood donation and blood banking practices in developing countries.

Professional Associations

  • Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association of Blood Banks
  • American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
  • American Society for Investigative Pathology
  • American Society of Hematology
  • Biomedical Engineering Society
  • College of American Pathologists
  • International Society of Blood Transfusion
  • International Society for Cell Therapy
  • Minnesota Society of Pathologists


Research Summary/Interests

McCullough has a longstanding interest in clinical trials including randomized controlled clinical trials relating to blood transfusion, cell therapies and platelet therapies. He was the University’s principal investigator (PI) for the NIH-funded Transfusion Medicine / Hemostasis Clinical Trials Network (CTN), a 12-year study involving 17 sites launched in 2002. The network evaluated blood products and cytokines used to treat hemostatic and hematologic disorders in adults and children with the goal of facilitating optimal therapies. Through the CTN McCullough’s team conducted a clinical trial for platelet transfusion to determine optimal platelet dosage for the control of bleeding and a related trial exploring platelet transfusion frequency and cost. McCullough and his CTN colleagues recently explored the effects of red-cell duration storage on patients undergoing cardiac surgery. They found that transfusion of red cells stored for 10 days or less was not superior to the transfusion of red cells stored for 21 days or more.

Several of the clinical trials in which McCullough has participated have involved pathogen inactivation, which involves treating blood products after they are collected to eliminate contaminating viruses or bacteria, thereby making the blood products safe to transfuse. McCullough was PI for a large, definitive phase III clinical trial involving platelets treated with a psoralen compound in conjunction with ultraviolet light, which together lock up nucleic acids through crosslinking and prevent cells and viruses in blood products from replicating. The FDA approved the approach for platelet transfusion in 2014 and authorized a phase IV post-marketing clinical trial, which McCullough and his colleagues will undertake. McCullough is also one of three PIs in a controlled clinical trial for an alternative approach pathogen inactivation approach that involves riboflavin (vitamin B2) and ultraviolet light, which when used together release toxic compounds that damage nucleic acids and prevent DNA replication. Dr McCullough has carried out clinical trials of pathogen inactivation of plasma in patients who were acutely bleeding, typically liver disease and liver transplant patients, and of red cell transfusion in patients undergoing cardiovascular surgery.

Because of his experience conducting clinical trials, McCullough also serves on the Drug Safety and Monitoring Board committee of a clinical trial focused on screening plasma obtained from Liberian patients who have recovered from Ebola infection. Clinical evidence suggests that antibodies from reconvalescent donors (persons who have recovered from infection) may be effective in the treatment of Ebola virus infection. In addition, he has advised the Italian National Blood Transfusion Service regarding conduct of a clinical trial of pathogen-inactivated platelet transfusion.

On the international front, McCullough contracted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in three projects – in Tanzania, Uganda, and Afghanistan -- on two of which he has served as PI. The projects involved collaborating with the national blood programs of these countries to advance blood availability and blood safety. McCullough and his colleagues worked to strengthen blood donor recruitment programs, improve the quality of blood product testing, and provide transfusion medicine education for physicians, among other activities. While McCullough sees signs of systemic improvement, many technical and social challenges remain to modernize blood donation, testing, and medical use in these countries given their limited medical and public health infrastructures.


  • McCullough J. RBC as targets of infection. Hematology 2014; 2014:404-409.
  • McCullough J, Riley E, Lindgren B, Pulkrabek S, Hall R, Riley W. Blood product recalls in the United States. Transfusion 2014; 54:2276-2282.
  • Akel S, Regan D, Wall D, Petz L, McCullough J. Current thawing and infusion practice of cryopreserved cord blood: the impact on graft quality, recipient safety, and transplantation outcomes. Transfusion 2014; 54:2997-3009.
  • Rioux-Masse B, Cohn C, Lindgren B, Pulkrabek S, McCullough J. Utilization of cross-matched or HLA-matched platelets for patients refractory to platelet transfusion. Transfusion 2014; 54:3080-3087
  • McCullough J, Riley E, Lindgren B, Pulkrabek S, Hall R, Riley W. Blood product recalls in the United States. Transfusion 2014; 54:2276-2282
  • McCullough, Terri Konstenius; McCullough, JJeffrey. Strengthening blood programs in developing countries. Transfusion and Apheresis Science 2013; 49(3): 408-415.
  • McCullough, J. Jeffrey Red cell storage: Does duration matter? Blood 2013; 121(9):1491-1492.


Board Certifications

Clinical Pathology, Blood Banking