Bruce R. Blazar

Regents Professor

Pediatrics, Hemotology-Oncology, Medical School, 2009

Bruce R. Blazar, chief, University of Minnesota Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation (hereafter BMT) Program, director, University of Minnesota Center for Translational Medicine, and assistant vice president, Clinical and Translational Science Programs, holds the Andersen Chair in Transplantation Immunology. He is considered to be one of the foremost translational physician-scientists in the world. Translational work is considered to be the key to the future of the health sciences. It advances basic scientific discoveries via a series of scholarly processes, which includes the design and development of new approaches, pre-clinical testing in animal models, and design and administration of therapies in humans. One person wrote, "His pioneering work had described fundamental principles of transplantation that have been the basis for major advances in the international standards of care." His career at that University spans more than 30 years. He is tremendously successful at garnering grants. He is the Principal Investigator (hereafter PI) of seven NIH RO1 grants. He serves as the PI of a Leukemia and Lymphoma Translational Research grant and project leader on two PO1 grants, both based at Harvard. The NIH has so much confidence in him as a researcher that it gave him a MERIT award that provides him with 10 years of funding. Research support from the NIH totals more than $43 million. As a speaker, reviewer and scientific advisor, he is in high demand. He has served on the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Counselors and co-chaired a review of the 5-10 year strategic plan for cellular therapies at the request of the director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. He served as a full member of the Food and Drug Association (FDA) Cell and Gene Therapy Committee, as a full member on three different NIH study sections (for 15 years including three years as chair), and was selected to lead discussions for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. He is now leading an NHLBI-sponsored "think tank" to identify gaps that limit progress in reducing BMT complications. He was selected to the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center's Academy for Excellence in Research and nationally he has been elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. In addition, he is the recipient of the E. Donnell Thomas Award, the premiere award of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. He has a long track record as both a prolific and highly cited research scientist, having published more than 400 articles, with more than 1800 citations in 2009 alone. He is described as an amazing role model and a generous and focused mentor. He has mentored 47 trainees and junior faculty in his labs with two more about to begin. He has served on 21 thesis committees at the University of Minnesota and six at other leading institutions. He is considered to be an outstanding teacher whose students and postdoctoral students have gone on to make significant contributions of their own. He has served the University in a variety of leadership roles including 14 years of service on the Pediatrics Promotion and Tenure committee (10 years as chair), as chair of the University's American Cancer Society Institutional Grant committee (10 years as chair) and helped to create the University's Center for Translational Medicine. He was also instrumental in garnering the $40 million gift from the Schulze Family Foundation to establish the Schulze Diabetes Institute. The University of Minnesota is fortunate to call Professor Blazar, a world-renowned physician and researcher, as one of its own. 

Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.