University of Minnesota McKnight Professor Featured in "Top Doctors: A Legacy of Discovery"
Since the mid-80s, John Wagner, MD, now a Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Division of Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapy at the University of Minnesota, has been working on medical and research teams to develop bone marrow transplantation techniques and immunotherapies. Back in 1990, Dr. Wagner was the first to perform a cord blood transplant for leukemia. Since those early days of transplant and immunotherapy, the medical and research communities have made enormous advancements in personalized medicine from genetically modified immune cells that can target specific cancer cells to pluripotent stem cells that could be utilized for drug testing, tissue repair, and other medical treatments due to their differentiation capabilities. Specifically, Dr. Wagner’s lab is using pluripotent stem cells to develop an endless supply of blood-forming stem cells, possibly eliminating the shortage of blood donations. Though there are still many challenges to overcome in specialized care, current and future medical advancements in this field could help streamline the availability of these treatments to many, providing countless new opportunities for personalized care. To read Dr. Wager’s full interview about his work and other transplant and immunotherapy medical techniques, follow this link.