Keli Hippen, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Keli Hippen

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-2961

Fax 612-626-4074

Office Address:
Pediatric BMT
Masonic Cancer Research Building, MCRB 460C
425 East River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Mailing Address:
Pediatrics BMT
MMC 366 Mayo
8366A (Campus Delivery Code)
420 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Emily Kukacka

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Administrative Fax Number

Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver, CO

PhD, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA


Dr. Hippen received his B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Iowa State University in 1990, and a PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology in 1993. Following postdoctoral positions with Dr. John Cambier at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine and Dr. Timothy Behrens in the Department of Rheumatology here at the University of Minnesota, he joined Dr. Blazar’s group in Pediatrics.

Dr. Hippen's research is focused on inhibiting Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD), which is a frequent and severe complicating factor in bone marrow transplants. GVHD is a T cell mediated disease that arises in autoimmune fashion due to graft-derived immune cells recognizing recipient cells as non-self. Activation of autorective T cells (and those that induce GVHD) is normally prevented by a subset of T cells termed regulatory T cells (Treg). Transplant of donor Treg has been shown to ameliorate disease in mouse models of both GVHD and autoimmunity. Dr. Hippen's specific interest is defining the mechanisms that control human regulatory T cell proliferation and function with the goal of generating large numbers of very active cells that can be co-transferred at the time of bone marrow transplantation and reduce or completely abolish GVHD. These studies have led to 'first-in-man' studies using ex vivo expanded Treg that demonstrated these cells are safe, and can ameliorate GVHD in humans. Dr. Hippen's current projects include: defining Treg signaling pathways that enhance expansion and/or suppressive function and inducing suppressive function using in human T cells (not Treg) via TGFß, nutrient stress, or co-ligation of inhibitory molecules.



View Dr. Hippen's talk on Harnessing nature’s cellular immunosuppressant for the prevention and treatment of GVHD