Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD

Dean of Medical School, Vice President for Clinical Affairs,

Jakub Tolar

Contact Info

Administrative Assistant Name
Christine Kiel

Medical School, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Residency in Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN

Fellowship in Pediatrics and Hematology/Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN

PhD, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD is the Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School and a Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Blood and Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapy. He is also the Vice President for Clinical Affairs at the University of Minnesota, Board Chair for University of Minnesota Physicians and co-leader of M Health Fairview, the Joint Clinical Enterprise between the University of Minnesota Medical School, University of Minnesota Physicians and Fairview Health Services.

An internationally recognized physician and researcher, Dr. Tolar is known for his care of patients with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. His research is focused on using hematopoietic stem cell transplant as a treatment for rare genetic disorders. Originally from the Czech Republic, Dr. Tolar received his medical education (MD) in Prague at Charles University. In 1992, he came to the University of Minnesota, where he completed his PhD in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology and Genetics. 


Epidermolysis bullosa, Fanconi anemia, dyskeratosis congenita, Hurler syndrome (MPS), gene therapy, genome editing

Awards & Recognition

  • Castle Connolly "Top Doctor"
  • Best Doctors in America® (2015, 2017-2018)
  • Minneapolis - St. Paul Magazine “Top Doctors” (2010, 2012-2018, 2020, 2021)
  • Membership in the Academic Health Center’s Academy for Excellence in Health Research (2016)
  • Innovator in Translational Research Award, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota (2016)
  • Distinguished McKnight Professorship (2015)
  • Innovator in Translational Research Award (2014)
  • Rare Disease Research Hall of Fame (NORD) (2013)
  • Leadership in Healthcare: Change Agent, Minnesota Business Magazine (2013)
  • Edmund Wallace Tulloch and Anna Marie Tulloch Chair in Stem Cell Biology, Genetics and Genomics (2013-present)
  • Albert D. and Eva J. Corniea Chair (2011-2013)
  • Butterfly Award, Children’s Cancer Research Fund (2009)
  • Minnesota Health Care Heroes Award for Medical Innovation (2008)
  • American Heart Association, Scientist Development Award (2006-2010)
  • Elected to Society of Pediatric Research (2005)
  • University Pediatrics Foundation Scholar (2005)
  • NIH/NICHD Child Health Research Scholar (2003-2005)
  • Margaret Kendrick Hostetter MD Award for Research in Pediatric Subspecialty Training (1st place Fellow Research Symposium) (2003)
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award (2003)
  • Amy Strelzer Manasevit Scholars Program Bone Marrow Transplant Award, (2002)
  • MD summa cum laude and Academic Achievement Award of the Chancellor, 1st Medical School, Charles University (1990)

Professional Associations

  • Attending Physician at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital


  • Czech


Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Tolar's research focuses on finding new ways of treating children with lethal diseases - cancer, inborn errors of metabolism, and devastating genetic disorders - using stem cell transplantation. He is also looking for safer and more effective methods of repairing and using a patient's own cells in diseases such as epidermolysis bullosa, mucopolysaccharidosis type I (Hurler syndrome), Fanconi anemia, and dyskeratosis congenita. Additional research interests include: reducing the negative effects of stem cell transplantation (such as using mesenchymal stromal cells for graft-versus-host disease), creation and use of induced pluripotent stem cells, gene therapy using gene addition (with viral vectors and trasposons), or gene editing (with synthetic nucleases to repair genes).


A Selection of Recent Publications

  • Osborn M, Lonetree CL, Webber BR, Patel D, Dunmire S, McElroy AN, DeFeo AP, MacMillan ML, Wagner J, Balzar BR, Tolar J. Stem Cells Dev. 2016 Oct;25(20):1591-1603. Epub 2016 Aug 18. https://doi.org/10.1089/scd.2016.0149
  • Webber BR, O'Connor KT, McElmurry RT, Durgin EN, Eide CR, Lees CJ, Riddle MJ, Mathews WE, Frank NY, Kluth MA, Ganss C, Moriarity BS, Frank MH, Osborn MJ, Tolar J. Lab Invest. 2017 Oct;97(10):1218-1224. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2017.85. Epub 2017 Sep 11. https://doi.org/10.1038/labinvest.2017.85
  • Ebens CL, McGrath JA, Tamai K, Hovnanian A, Wagner JE, Riddle MJ, Keene DR, DeFor TE, Tryon R, Chen M, Woodley DT, Hook K, Tolar J. Br J Dermatol. 2019 Mar 6. doi: 10.1111/bjd.17858. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.17858
  • Osborn MJ, Newby GA, McElroy AN, Knipping F, Nielsen SC, Riddle MJ, Xia L, Chen W, Eide CR, Webber BR, Wandall HH, Dabelsteen S, Blazar BR, Liu DR, Tolar J. J Invest Dermatol. 2019 Aug 19. pii: S0022-202X(19)32698-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2019.07.701. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2019.07.701
  • Osborn MJ, Webber BR, Knipping F, Lonetree CL, Tennis N, DeFeo AP, McElroy AN, Starker CG, Lee C, Gabriel R, Merkel S, Lund TC, Kelly-Spratt KS, Jensen MC, Voytas DF, von Kalle C, Schmidt M, Hippen KL, Miller JS, Scharenberg AM, Tolar J, Blazar BR. Evaluation of TCR gene editing achieved by TALENs, CRISPR/Cas9 and megaTAL nucleases. Mol Ther. 2016 Mar;24(3):570-81. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/mt.2015.197
  • Modiano JF, Lindborg BA, McElmurry RT, Lewellen M, Forster CL, Zamora EA, Schaack J, Bellgrau D, O'Brien TD, Tolar J. 2015. Mesenchymal stromal cells inhibit murine syngeneic anti-tumor immune responses by attenuating inflammation and reorganizing the tumor microenvironment. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 64(11):1449-60
  • Osborn MJ, Gabriel R, Webber BR, DeFeo AP, McElroy AN, Jarjour J, Starker CG, Wagner JE, Joung JK, Voytas DF, von Kalle C, Schmidt M, Blazar BR, Tolar J. Fanconi anemia gene editing by the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Hum Gene Ther. 2015 Feb;26(2):114-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/hum.2014.111
  • Modiano JF, Lindborg BA, McElmurry RT, Lewellen M, Forster CL, Zamora EA, Schaack J, Bellgrau D, O'Brien TD, Tolar J. 2015. Mesenchymal stromal cells inhibit murine syngeneic anti-tumor immune responses by attenuating inflammation and reorganizing the tumor microenvironment. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 64(11):1449-60
  • Tolar J, McGrath JA, Xia L, Riddle M, Lees CJ, Eide C, Keene DR, Liu L, Osborn MJ, Lund TC, Blazar BR, Wagner JE. Patient-specific naturally gene-reverted induced pluripotent stem cells in recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. J Invest Dermatol. 2014 May;134(5):1246-54. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/jid.2013.523.
  • Tolar J, Wagner JE. Allogeneic blood and bone marrow cells for the treatment of severe epidermolysis bullosa: repair of the extracellular matrix. Lancet. 2013 Oct 5;382(9899):1214-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(13)61897-8
  • Osborn MJ, Starker CG, McElroy AN, Webber BR, Riddle MJ, Xia L, DeFeo AP, Gabriel R, Schmidt M, von Kalle C, Carlson DF, Maeder ML, Joung JK, Wagner JE, Voytas DF, Blazar BR, Tolar J. TALEN-based gene correction for epidermolysis bullosa. Mol Ther. 2013 Jun;21(6):1151-9. Commentary “Enzymes fix disease genes” in Nature, vol 497, May 2, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/mt.2013.56

Click here to see a complete list of Dr. Tolar’s work which has been published by academic and research journals.



Journey Clinic - Center for Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pediatrics - Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Clinical Interests

Blood and marrow transplantation; Gene therapy for correction of genetic diseases