Section Head, Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Attending Physician; Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Professor of Pediatrics (Clinical Scholar), Keck School of Medicine of USC
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Dr. Pulsipher joined the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases as the Head of the Section of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) and as BMT Clinical Research Chair in 2015. He is currently group chair of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium – an 80-member international clinical trials group—and is recognized as a leading influence in the field of pediatric BMT. He is currently principal or co-principal investigator on six national, multi-center studies and a co-investigator on multiple additional clinical trials. Dr. Pulsipher has authored more than 180 articles in peer-reviewed journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Blood, and Nature Genetics. He has also written twelve book chapters and presented widely at national and international conferences.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Pulsipher performs allogeneic and autologous transplantation for a wide variety of cancers, bone marrow disorders, and genetic diseases. He has significant expertise in allogeneic transplantation for acute leukemias, especially ALL, where he has run national research trials and published extensively. Another area Dr. Pulsipher is interested in is reducing toxicity approaches to transplantation of non-malignant disorders, and he is running national research protocols for patients with immunodeficiencies, HLH, and bone marrow failure disorders, specifically severe aplastic anemia. Finally, Dr. Pulsipher has become a national leader in cell therapy research and has organized or chaired national trials testing CAR T-cells and Viral Specific T-cells.

Education

Medical School: 

Stanford University School of Medicine

Residency: 

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Fellowship: 

Boston Children's Hospital

Accomplishments

Certification: 

American Board of Pediatrics and its Sub-board of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

Professional Memberships: 

American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and the World Marrow Donor Association. Serves on the editorial boards of Biology of Blood and Marrow TransplantationBone Marrow Transplantation, and Pediatric Blood and Cancer. He is also a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Pediatric Data Query Editorial Board.

Awards: 

Best Clinical Research Abstract Award, Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research/American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation Tandem Meeting, Tampa, FL, 2009

Second International Workshop:  Biology Prevention and Treatment of Relapse After Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Nov. 5-6, 2012, Bethesda MD, Plenary Oral Presentation, Best Abstracts Session.

Best Clinical Research Abstract Award, Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research/American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation Tandem Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, 2013

Best Clinical Research Abstract Award, Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research/American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation Tandem Meeting, Grapevine, TX, 2004

NIH Award of Merit for Contributions to the National Cancer Institute Pediatric Physician’s Data Query Board, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, 2010

Best Clinical Research Abstract Award, Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research/American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation Tandem Meeting, Orlando, FL, 2017

Van Bekkum Award, Best Abstract Submitted to the Physician’s Program, European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Meeting, Marseille, France, 2017

Publications: 

Pulsipher MA, Chitphakdithai P, Logan BR, Shaw BE, Wingard JR, MD5; Lazarus HM, Waller EK, Seftel M, Stroncek DF, Lopez AM, Maharaj D, Hematti P O’Donnell PV, Loren AW, Leitman SF, Anderlini P, Goldstein SC, Levine JE, Navarro WE, Miller JP, Confer MD DL.  Acute toxicities of unrelated bone marrow versus peripheral blood stem cell donation: results of a prospective trial from the national marrow donor program. Blood, 2013; 121(1): 197-206.

Pulsipher MA, Langholz B, Wall DA, Schultz KR, Bunin N, Carroll WL, Raetz E, Gardner S, Gastier-Foster JM, Howrie D, Goyal RK, Douglas J, Borowitz MJ, Barnes Y, Teachey DT, Taylor C, and Grupp SA.  The addition of sirolimus to tacrolimus/methotrexate gvhd prophylaxis in children with ALL: A phase 3 children's oncology group/pediatric blood and barrow transplant consortium trial. Blood, 2014;123(13): 2017-25.

Pulsipher MA, Chitphakdithai P, Logan BR, Navarro WH, Levine JE, Miller MP, Shaw BE, O'Donnell PV, Majhail NS, Confer DL. Lower risk for serious adverse events and no increased risk for cancer after pbsc vs bm donation. Blood, 2014;123(23): 3655-63.

Pulsipher MA, Carlson C, Langholz B, Wall D, Schultz K, Bunin N, Kirsch I, Gastier-Foster J, Borowitz MJ, Desmarais C, Williamson D, Kalos M, and Grupp SA.  IgH-V(D)J NGS-MRD measurement pre- and early post- allo-transplant defines very low and very high risk ALL patients.  Blood. 2015 May 28;125(22):3501-8.

Research Interests: 
  • transplantation, cellular, and immunotherapy childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
  • bone marrow failure syndromes and severe aplastic anemia
  • reduced toxicity regimens to decrease toxicity and late effects after transplantation
  • donor safety

Dr. Pulsipher’s research Interests are focused in four major areas: 

First, he is an international expert in transplantation, cellular, and immunotherapy for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  He was PI of a large phase III transplantation trail completed in the Children’s Oncology Group and is currently involved in a second phase III trial.  He is a PI and member of the steering committee for anti-CD19 CART cells being developed through Novartis.  He has done innovative research in the effect of minimal residual disease and graft vs. host disease after transplantation on outcomes. 

His second area of research interest is in bone marrow failure syndromes and severe aplastic anemia.  His clinical trials are trying to improve the outcomes of alternative donor transplantation in severe aplastic anemia and moving unrelated donor transplantation to initial therapy in pediatrics.

His third area of research interest is in reduced toxicity regimens, designed to decrease toxicity and late effects after transplantation. He is running a national trial of reduced toxicity approaches in HLH and selected immunodeficiences and also organizing a trial of reduced intensity regimens for children with SCID. 

Finally, Dr. Pulsipher has performed extensive research on related donor safety, including the first large, NIH-funded prospective multicenter related donor safety study performed in the US.

Visit the Pulsipher Laboratory.

4650 Sunset Blvd.
MS# 54
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-361-2546Office
Fax: 323-361-8068Fax