Skip to main content

Joanne Kurtzberg, MD

Jerome S. Harris Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Pathology
Core Faculty in Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Affiliate of the Regeneration Next Initiative
Campus mail: 2400 Pratt Street, DUMC Box 102501, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 668-1100
Email address: kurtz001@mc.duke.edu

Dr. Kurtzberg conducts both clinical and laboratory-based translational research efforts, all involving various aspects of normal and malignant hematopoiesis. In the laboratory, her early work focused on studies determining the mechanisms that regulate the choice between the various pathways of differentiation available to the pluripotent hematopoietic stem cell. Her laboratory established a CD7+ cell line, DU.528, capable of multilineage differentiation as well as self-renewal, and subsequently described the aggressive leukemic syndrome of CD7+ALL and demonstrated that a normal counterpart of the CD7+, TN malignant cell can be isolated from postnatal human thymus, bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and G-CSF mobilized peripheral blood progenitor cells. The leukemic CD7+ cell has been established in model systems nude and SCID mice where direct IL2-cytotoxicity has been demonstrated. The mechanism of IL2-induced cytotoxicity is currently a major focus of work in the laboratory. One focus of Dr. Kurtzberg's translational research is the use of novel deoxynucleosides to purge normal and malignant T-cells from human bone marrow. She has also played an important role in the development of PEG-L Asparaginase and Nelarabine, two novel antileukemia drugs that are now used routinely in the clinic. Dr. Kurtzberg is active in the Children's Oncology Group and coordinated the ALinC 16 high risk study for children with newly diagnosed B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) as well as relapsed studies for children with T- and B-lineage ALL. Under Dr. Kurtzberg's leadership, Duke has established an internationally known children's transplant program which currently treats children with cancer, blood disorders, immune deficiencies, hemoglobinopathies and inherited metabolic diseases. Over the past 2 years, the cord blood transplant program at Duke has initiated studies of autologous cord blood in children with neonatal brain injury and cerebral palsy. Dr. Kurtzberg’s laboratory is also pursuing preclinical studies isolating oligodendrocytes from cord blood with the goal of using these cells for cell therapy to treat acquired agenetic brain injuries in the next few years. Over the past 2 decades, Dr. Kurtzberg pioneered and is investigating the use of banked umbilical cord blood as an alternative stem cell source for unrelated marrow transplantation. She was awarded with a banking and transplant center contract from NHLBI for 1996-2005, to establish the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank (CCBB)at Duke and was the PI on the cord blood transplantation study (COBLT) in children with hematological malignancies and inborn errors of metabolism. In 2006, the CCBB was awarded a contract from HRSA to become a member bank of the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI) of the CW Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program after legislation was passed in 2005 to establish this network. Dr. Kurtzberg is also the Duke PI for the NIH-sponsored, Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT-CTN) and the PI on a national trial comparing single and double cord blood transplantation in children with hematological malignancies. In 2008-2009, Dr. Kurtzberg’s lab pioneered studies to predict cord blood potency through novel assays on segments attached to cryopreserved cord blood units. The program is also performing translational research testing cord blood expansion, cellular targeted therapies and tissue repair and regeneration.

Education and Training

  • M.D., New York University, 1976

Selected Grants and Awards

Publications

Saha, Arjun, Sachit Patel, Li Xu, Anthony J. Filiano, Andrew E. Balber, and Joanne Kurtzberg. “Cord Blood Connect: The International Congress for Cord Blood and Perinatal Tissue Research..” Stem Cells Transl Med 8 Suppl 1 (September 2019): S1–35. https://doi.org/10.1002/sctm.12550.

Full Text

Broglie, Larisa, Caitrin Fretham, Amal Al-Seraihy, Biju George, Joanne Kurtzberg, Alison Loren, Margaret MacMillan, Caridad Martinez, Stella M. Davies, and Marcelo C. Pasquini. “Pulmonary Complications in Pediatric and Adolescent Patients Following Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation..” Biol Blood Marrow Transplant, June 12, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.06.004.

Full Text

Saha, A., A. Gunaratne, L. Xu, P. Scotland, J. Schwartzman, N. Williams, J. D. Troy, A. Balber, A. J. Filiano, and J. Kurtzberg. “Human umbilical cord blood derived cell therapy product, DUOC-01, ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a mouse model for multiple sclerosis.” In Cytotherapy, 21:S55–S55. Elsevier BV, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcyt.2019.03.425.

Full Text

Ressler, B., P. Noldner, N. Meadows, A. Rudisill, L. Cheatham, B. Waters-Pick, G. Dawson, J. Sun, and J. Kurtzberg. “Meeting the demands of msc production for clinical studies.” In Cytotherapy, 21:S81–82. Elsevier BV, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcyt.2019.03.496.

Full Text

Langan, Thomas J., Amy Barczykowski, Kabir Jalal, Laura Sherwood, Heather Allewelt, Joanne Kurtzberg, and Randy L. Carter. “Survey of quality of life, phenotypic expression, and response to treatment in Krabbe leukodystrophy..” Jimd Rep 47, no. 1 (May 2019): 47–54. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmd2.12033.

Full Text

Barker, Juliet N., Jane Kempenich, Joanne Kurtzberg, Claudio G. Brunstein, Colleen Delaney, Filippo Milano, Ioannis Politikos, Elizabeth J. Shpall, Andromachi Scaradavou, and Jason Dehn. “CD34+ cell content of 126 341 cord blood units in the US inventory: implications for transplantation and banking..” Blood Adv 3, no. 8 (April 23, 2019): 1267–71. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2018029157.

Full Text

Llanga, Telmo A., Keiko Miyadera, Laura Conatser, Brian Gilger, Joanne Kurtzberg, Richard J. Samulski, and Matthew Hirsch. “AAV Gene Therapy in a Canine Model of MPS1 Prevents and Reverses Corneal Blindness.” In Molecular Therapy, 27:441–42. CELL PRESS, 2019.

Scholars@Duke

Turk, Bela, Eric Mallack, Laura Adang, Catherine Becker, Florian Eichler, Keith Van Haren, Kim Hollandsworth, et al. “Consensus Guidelines: MRI surveillance of Children with Presymptomatic Adrenoleukodystrophy.” In Neurology, Vol. 92. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2019.

Scholars@Duke

Keating, Amy K., Jurgen Langenhorst, John E. Wagner, Kristin M. Page, Paul Veys, Robert F. Wynn, Heather Stefanski, et al. “The influence of stem cell source on transplant outcomes for pediatric patients with acute myeloid leukemia..” Blood Adv 3, no. 7 (April 9, 2019): 1118–28. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2018025908.

Full Text

Parikh, Suhag H., Rebecca D. Pentz, Ann Haight, Mehdi Adeli, Paul L. Martin, Timothy A. Driscoll, Kristin Page, Joanne Kurtzberg, Vinod K. Prasad, and Raymond C. Barfield. “Ethical considerations of using a single minor donor for three bone marrow harvests for three HLA-matched siblings with primary immunodeficiency..” Pediatr Blood Cancer 66, no. 4 (April 2019). https://doi.org/10.1002/pbc.27602.

Full Text

Pages