The HOT Division has a long and rich tradition of excellence in the fields of hematology, oncology, and transplantation and is home to a robust research program. Our faculty are leaders in their fields running innovative lab research or members of the Masonic Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center dedicated to cancer research, education, and patient care for the citizens of Minnesota and the surrounding region. Some of our faculty are conducting clinical trials, including studies of cutting-edge immunotherapy treatments, such as tumor vaccines and CAR-T cellular therapy. In addition, our Center for Bleeding and Clotting Disorders houses many clinical trials for patients with non-malignant hematologic disorders, and has shown steady growth in patient care over the decades.

Basic science research in the HOT Division offers a collaborative research environment where scientists at all levels work to address scientific problems of fundamental importance. Translational research seeks to produce more meaningful, applicable results that directly benefit human health. The goal of translational research is to translate (move) basic science discoveries more quickly and efficiently into practice. Close integration across HOT Division research and health-care missions enables researchers and clinician-scientists to identify how emerging scientific insights can be applied to patient care while safely evaluating new approaches to preventing, diagnosing and treating disease through clinical trials. 

Major areas of clinical research spans all stages of the research pipeline, from bench to bedside, inventing transformative tools and treatments to address critical challenges that impact patients most. Our signature research program takes aim at the most intractable challenges in solid tumors and blood cancers, development of new cancer therapies, as well as therapies for sickle cell disease, hemophilia and clotting disorders, methods of redirecting the immune system to target cancer cells, and studies of different modes of bone marrow transplantation.

Our collaborative research model, coupled with translational research promotes discoveries and innovations in cutting-edge techniques, such as using AI to identify biomarkers of various cancers, and promising treatments like CAR-T therapy and natural killer cellular therapies for treating liquid and solid tumors. Our faculty are conducting studies of leukemia biology and genetics, development of new molecularly targeted therapies for various types of cancer, genetic studies of von Willebrand disease and other bleeding disorders, white blood cell development and function, methods to reduce graft vs. host disease (GVHD) following transplantation, and studies that seek to understand why reactions occur to blood transfusions. 

In addition to these science-focused research endeavors, our faculty also focus on finding ways to reduce barriers and increase access to cancer care for patients and families, and increasing the overall wellbeing of cancer survivors. Our faculty have been awarded over $16 million in active public and private grant funding for research, and in the past 5 years, they have authored more than 1,400 peer-reviewed publications. Together, we are making a difference.

Faculty in the HOT Division are organized into four subspecialty Sections: 

Expand all

Medical Oncology

Medical Oncology

The Section of Medical Oncology, led by Robert Kratzke, MD, has active laboratory and clinical research programs related to common and rare solid tumor malignancies. Our faculty specialize in basic science, translational science, and clinical research in breast, lung, gastrointestinal tract, genitourinary tract, soft tissues, and other solid tumors. Our faculty are heavily involved in collaborative research focused on the causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer and applying that knowledge to improve the quality of life for patients and survivors. 

Key initiatives of our research are to identify personalized treatment regimens tailored to a patient’s specific cancer and to develop strategies to help prevent the long-term complications of treatments in our cancer survivors, particularly in the areas of cardiovascular health. The desire to improve care for real patients motivates our faculty to expand boundaries and mold healthcare policy, reaching outward to optimize healthcare standards locally and nationally.

Medical Oncology recruits disease-oriented researchers who can conduct outstanding basic or clinical research as well as treat patients at the Masonic Cancer Center and University of Minnesota Medical Center. As a result, there is substantial expertise within the Division for specific cancers and oncogenes, as well as for interdisciplinary areas such as molecular and cellular oncology, precision cancer medicine, early drug development, immuno-oncology, population sciences and genetics, and research and clinical informatics. 

Medical Oncology communicates the results of clinical and experimental research in oncology, particularly with experimental therapeutics with the field of immunotherapy and chemotherapy. It also provides state-of-the-art reviews on clinical and experimental therapies in oncology. Coverage includes immunobiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of malignant tumors. 

Malignant Hematology

Malignant Hematology

Hematologic malignancies are cancers that begin in blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow, or in the cells of the immune system. There are three main types of hematologic malignancies: leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

•    Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in the lymphatic system, which is an important part of the immune system.
•    Myeloma is a cancer that develops in the bone marrow and affects plasma cells.
•    Leukemia is a cancer that starts in the bone marrow or blood.

The Section of Malignant Hematology is headed by Veronika Bachanova, MD, PhD. Our clinical faculty provide specialized expertise for patients with hematologic malignancies by delivering compassionate care combined with access to cutting-edge therapies and innovative clinical trials. Laboratory research is focused on investigations of the genetics and molecular mechanisms that drive hematologic malignancies to provide a foundation for the development of novel therapeutic approaches. Clinical and translational research are supported by the Hematologic Malignancy Tissues Bank, a comprehensively annotated bio-repository of primary marrow and blood samples, and clinical data dashboards that organize patient data from various laboratory and clinical sources. In addition, faculty investigations focus on the use of immunologic, biologic, genetic, and clinical biomarkers that can predict toxicity with cancer therapy and select patients who are most likely to respond to treatment.  

Working closely with the Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapies Program, our faculty have expertise in design and development of new cellular and immunotherapies, including phase I/II trials of CAR-T cell therapies and natural killer cellular therapies for the treatment of lymphoma, myeloma, acute leukemias, and other hematologic malignancies.  

Classical Hematology

Classical Hematology

The term “classical hematology,” replacing the earlier “non-malignant hematology,” helps us define the field by what it is rather than what it is not, while celebrating centuries of scientific advances and progress fundamental to every aspect of health care and medicine. Classical hematology encompasses a large number of diseases and conditions including bleeding and clotting disorders, hemoglobin disorders such as sickle cell disease and anemia, thrombocytopenia, disorders of iron metabolism, obstetric hematologic conditions, rare genetic hematologic diseases, and more. Discoveries in classical hematology have significantly advanced the field, helping to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life of patients with non-cancerous blood disorders.

The Section of Classical Hematology, led by Gregory Vercellotti, MD, offers expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of a broad spectrum of classical blood disorders. Our nationally recognized faculty have a diverse range of research interests from laboratory-based and population sciences to clinical trials and outcome studies. Our faculties’ laboratory-based research is focused on endothelial biology, iron metabolism and iron deficiency, myeloproliferative neoplasms, and the pathobiology of sickle cell disease. 

Our clinical faculty are actively engaged in novel institutional and multi-institutional clinical trialswith strong basic correlative science. Key areas of clinical research include gene therapies for sickle cell disease and thalassemia, heritable and acquired bleeding and clotting disorders, transfusion medicine, thrombosis, hemophilia, porphyria, thrombotic microangiopathy, and other hematologic disorders. Many clinical trials are currently open and available to our patients. By conducting rigorous and innovative laboratory and clinical research, our hematologists are committed to improving the health and safety of patients with classical blood diseases.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Blood and Marrow Transplantation

The Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) team never stops searching for the best outcome with the least impact. BMT is a special therapy for patients with certain cancers or other diseases. A bone marrow transplant involves taking cells that are normally found in the bone marrow (stem cells), filtering those cells, and giving them back either to the donor (patient) or to another person. The goal of BMT is to transfuse healthy bone marrow cells into a person after his or her own unhealthy bone marrow has been treated to kill the abnormal cells. Bone marrow transplant has been used successfully to treat diseases such as leukemias, lymphomas, aplastic anemia, immune deficiency disorders, and some solid tumor cancers since 1968. A team of researchers, physicians, nurses and support staff focus on treating and preventing infection, late effects and organ toxicity. As a site for pharmaceutical trials and protocol development in each of these areas, the team ensures that patients have every opportunity for the best possible outcomes.

Our cutting-edge research is developing novel immunotherapy for cancer. The Section of Blood and Marrow Transplantation is headed by Jeffrey Miller, MD. Faculty are members of the Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (BMTCT) Program, one of the oldest and largest such program in the world. Clinical efforts and basic research focus on improving the safety and efficacy of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) which is the most widely practiced and powerful form of cellular therapy. The Adult BMTCT Program is a highly research-oriented program encompassing laboratory-based research, clinical trials, and outcome studies. 

Jeffrey Miller, MD, leads the Natural Killer (NK) Cell Program focused on NK cells and their role in transplant. Faculty are engaged in research activities related to stem cell and transplant biology, novel transplantation strategies, hematopoiesis, immune therapy, and graft-versus-host disease.  GVHD is a life-threatening complication of allogeneic stem cell transplantation, and our faculty are developing the tools and methods that will allow us to transplant grafts of pure blood forming stem cells with the goal to eliminate potentially harmful passenger cells contained in a blood stem cell graft. Additionally, faculty are engaged in efforts to improve post-transplant toxicities, outcomes, and long-term effects among cancer survivors. 


Research activities encompass a wide range of collaborative efforts in both basic and clinical domains. Our faculty have established and led several nationally funded research programs in malignant and classical hematology, solid tumor oncology, and blood & marrow transplant and cellular therapies. HOT Division faculty Anne BlaesJeffrey MillerDouglas Yee, Carol Lange, and Veronica Bachanova also hold leadership positions in the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center.


The doctors in the HOT Division are highly trained in the clinical care of adult patients with cancer or blood disorders.



We are committed to protecting research participants, upholding ethical standards, and improving our practice at every step of our work.