Laboratory of Transfusion Biology
The research pursued in the Laboratory of Transfusion Biology focuses on the biology of blood cells from “birth to death,” along with the therapeutic implications of blood transfusions and the consequences of the pathological clearance of circulating blood cells. These studies are directed by three faculty members in the Department of Pathology & Cell Biology (Drs. Richard Francis, Eldad Hod, and Steven Spitalnik) and by one member of the Department of Pediatrics (Dr. Gary Brittenham), and also involve other Pathology faculty members (e.g., Drs. Joseph Schwartz and Tiffany Thomas).
We use in vitro systems, mouse and dog models, and human studies to investigate important problems related to blood cell biology. We are particularly interested in improving the quality of red blood cell and platelet transfusions, and preventing or ameliorating the adverse effects resulting from this type of therapeutic intervention. For example, in the setting of red blood cells, we study the consequences of donor diets and genetics, refrigerated storage, alloimmunization, and hemolytic transfusion reactions. We also have a particular interest in the role of oxidative stress during refrigerated storage of red blood cells and its effects on red blood cell storage quality. In addition, we study the role of iron deficiency, iron supplementation, and iron metabolism in the biology of malaria, bacterial infections, and co-infections of malaria with bacterial pathogens. Results from these studies provided the impetus for the “iron hypothesis” to explain some of the adverse effects of red blood cell transfusion, particularly with regard to infectious disease. Because of the role of red blood cell transfusions in preparing patients for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, we have begun to examine the effects of iron overload in the host on their response to these transplants. The effects of iron supplementation and iron overload on the gut microbiome are also of interest. Furthermore, the impact of iron deficiency on blood donor health and red blood cell quality is another major focus of the laboratory. Finally, more recently, we began studying the effects of the storage of platelet units on their post-transfusion efficacy in humans.
Located in the Department of Pathology & Cell Biology in the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University, the laboratory’s current research studies are funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Blood Foundation, and the American Kennel Club.
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NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center
630 West 168th Street
P&S Building, Room 14-434
New York, NY 10032
Lab phone: 212-342-5648
Office phone: 212-342-5642
Gary M. Brittenham, MD
Richard O. Francis, MD, PhD
Eldad Hod, MD
Joseph Schwartz, MD, MPH
Steven Spitalnik, MD
Kevin Prestia, DVM, DACLAM
Sujit S. Sheth, MD
Boguslaw S. Wojczuk
Associate Research Scientist
- Prolonged red cell storage before transfusion increases extravascular hemolysis. Rapido F, Brittenham GM, Bandyopadhyay S, La Carpia F, L'Acqua C, McMahon DJ, Rebbaa A, Wojczyk BS, Netterwald J, Wang H, Schwartz J, Eisenberger A, Soffing M, Yeh R, Divgi C, Ginzburg YZ, Shaz BH, Sheth S, Francis RO, Spitalnik SL, Hod EA. J Clin Invest. 2017 Jan 3;127(1):375-382. doi: 10.1172/JCI90837. Epub 2016 Dec 12. PMID: 27941245
- G6PD Deficiency in an HIV Clinic Setting in the Dominican Republic. Xu JZ, Francis RO, Lerebours Nadal LE, Shirazi M, Jobanputra V, Hod EA, Jhang JS, Stotler BA, Spitalnik SL, Nicholas SW. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Oct;93(4):722-9. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0295. Epub 2015 Aug 3. PMID: 26240158
- Red blood cell transfusion is associated with increased hemolysis and an acute phase response in a subset of critically ill children. L'Acqua C, Bandyopadhyay S, Francis RO, McMahon DJ, Nellis M, Sheth S, Kernie SG, Brittenham GM, Spitalnik SL, Hod EA. Am J Hematol. 2015 Oct;90(10):915-20. doi: 10.1002/ajh.24119. PMID: 26183122
- Transfusion of human volunteers with older, stored red blood cells produces extravascular hemolysis and circulating non-transferrin-bound iron. Hod EA, Brittenham GM, Billote GB, Francis RO, Ginzburg YZ, Hendrickson JE, Jhang J, Schwartz J, Sharma S, Sheth S, Sireci AN, Stephens HL, Stotler BA, Wojczyk BS, Zimring JC, Spitalnik SL. Blood. 2011 Dec 15;118(25):6675-82. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-08-371849. Epub 2011 Oct 20.
- Methaemoglobinaemia and haemolysis following pegloticase infusion for refractory gout in a patient with a falsely negative glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency result. Geraldino-Pardilla L, Sung D, Xu JZ, Shirazi M, Hod EA, Francis RO. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2014 Dec;53(12):2310-1. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keu346. Epub 2014 Sep 14.
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency in transfusion medicine: the unknown risks. Francis RO, Jhang JS, Pham HP, Hod EA, Zimring JC, Spitalnik SL. Vox Sang. 2013 Nov;105(4):271-82. doi: 10.1111/vox.12068. Epub 2013 Jul 2. Review.
- Acquired hemoglobin variants and exposure to glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficient red blood cell units during exchange transfusion for sickle cell disease in a patient requiring antigen-matched blood. Raciti PM, Francis RO, Spitalnik PF, Schwartz J, Jhang JS. J Clin Apher. 2013 Aug;28(4):325-9. doi: 10.1002/jca.21255. Epub 2013 Mar 1.
- Transfusion of red blood cells after prolonged storage produces harmful effects that are mediated by iron and inflammation. Hod EA, Zhang N, Sokol SA, Wojczyk BS, Francis RO, Ansaldi D, Francis KP, Della-Latta P, Whittier S, Sheth S, Hendrickson JE, Zimring JC, Brittenham GM, Spitalnik SL. Blood. 2010 May 27;115(21):4284-92. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-10-245001. Epub 2010 Mar 18.
- Iron-deficient erythropoiesis in blood donors and red blood cell recovery after transfusion: initial studies with a mouse model. Bandyopadhyay S, Brittenham GM, Francis RO, Zimring JC, Hod EA, Spitalnik SL. Blood Transfus. 2017 Mar;15(2):158-164. doi: 10.2450/2017.0349-16. PMID: 28263174
- Transfusion of stored blood impairs host defenses against Gram-negative pathogens in mice. Prestia K, Bandyopadhyay S, Slate A, Francis RO, Francis KP, Spitalnik SL, Fidock DA, Brittenham GM, Hod EA. Transfusion. 2014 Nov;54(11):2842-51. doi: 10.1111/trf.12712. Epub 2014 May 19
- Macrophages clear refrigerator storage-damaged red blood cells and subsequently secrete cytokines in vivo, but not in vitro, in a murine model. Wojczyk BS, Kim N, Bandyopadhyay S, Francis RO, Zimring JC, Hod EA, Spitalnik SL. Transfusion. 2014 Dec;54(12):3186-97. doi: 10.1111/trf.12755. Epub 2014 Jul 20.
- Transfusion in the absence of inflammation induces antigen-specific tolerance to murine RBCs. Smith NH, Hod EA, Spitalnik SL, Zimring JC, Hendrickson JE. Blood. 2012 Feb 9;119(6):1566-9. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-09-382655. Epub 2011 Nov 10.
- Use of mouse models to study the mechanisms and consequences of RBC clearance. Hod EA, Arinsburg SA, Francis RO, Hendrickson JE, Zimring JC, Spitalnik SL. Vox Sang. 2010 Aug 1;99(2):99-111. doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010.01327.x. Epub 2010 Mar 21. Review.
- Strain-specific red blood cell storage, metabolism, and eicosanoid generation in a mouse model. Zimring JC, Smith N, Stowell SR, Johnsen JM, Bell LN, Francis RO, Hod EA, Hendrickson JE, Roback JD, Spitalnik SL. Transfusion. 2013 May 30. doi: 10.1111/trf.12264. [Epub ahead of print]
- Stored red blood cell transfusions: Iron, inflammation, immunity, and infection. Hod EA, Spitalnik SL.
- Transfus Clin Biol. 2012 Jun;19(3):84-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tracli.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 Jun 7. Review.
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency in transfusion medicine: the unknown risks. Francis RO, Jhang JS, Pham HP, Hod EA, Zimring JC, Spitalnik SL. Vox Sang. 2013 Nov;105(4):271-82. doi: 10.1111/vox.12068. Epub 2013 Jul 2.
- Frequency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase-deficient red blood cell units in a metropolitan transfusion service. Francis RO, Jhang J, Hendrickson JE, Zimring JC, Hod EA, Spitalnik SL. Transfusion. 2013 Mar;53(3):606-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2012.03765.x. Epub 2012 Jun 28.