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Dr. Paul Ness


Professor of Pathology and Medicine
Joint Appointment in Oncology


M.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY


Intern in Interanl Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Resident in Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD
Fellow in Hematology and Oncology, UC San Francisco, San Francisco, CA


ABIM - Medicine, Heatology and Oncology American Board of Pathology - Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine

Clinical Interests

Transfusion Support of Hematology - Oncology Patients, Autoimmune Hematologic Disorders

Research Summary


Research Goals -The Transfusion Medicine Laboratory provides blood components and immunohematologic diagnostics for all of the patients at Johns Hopkins. The research goals of the laboratory derive from that large clinical experience, where the many complications of transfusion including infectious complications and alloimmunization are studied. The laboratory also aims to maximize transfusion benefits by studies of blood component manipulation and platelet crossmatching. Its studies on infectious complications have also focused upon national and international collaborations in Thailand and China. The laboratory has been funded to be a core clinical center in the NHLBI Transfusion Medicine/Hemostasis Clinical Trail Network.

The division also has studied the immune response to transfusion extensively. In recent years the studies have shifted to animal models of alloimmunization to red cells in rabbits and mice. These studies will be potentially important to limit the complications of hemolytic transfusion reactions to blood components or in stem cell graft recipients with chimeric red cell populations.

Overall Research Summary and Significance

In recent years our laboratory has emphasized development of assays for detecting red cell antibodies and small populations of heterogeneous red cells using a quantitative enzyme-linked antiglobulin test. This assay has proved useful in the study of fetal-maternal hemorrhage, red cells survival studies, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia. The division has also studied the pathophysiology of delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions using a rabbit model and is undertaking studies of red cell alloimmunization in mice and rabbits. Ongoing clinical studies in transfusion medicine include the use of hemodilution in elective surgery, assessment of the risk of viral and bacterial infections in blood recipients, research on the recurrence of cancer as related to the immunosuppressive effects of blood transfusions, and the development and use of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers as blood substitutes.

Journal Citations

Streiff MB, Ness PM. Acquired factor V inhibitors and bovine thrombin: a needless iatrogenic complication. Transfusion 42; 18-26, 2002

Berenholtz SM, Pronovost PJ, Mullany D, Garrett E, Ness PM, Dorman T, Klag MJ. Predictors of transfusion for spine surgery in Maryland, 1997-2000. Transfusion 42; 183-9, 2002.

Ness PM. Pharmacologic alternatives to transfusion. Vox Sanguinis 83; (Supple 1); 3-6, 2002.

Boulware LE, Ratner LE, Ness PM, Cooper LA, Campbell-Lee S, LaViest TA, Powe NR. The contribution of sociodemographic, medical, and attitudinal factors to blood donation among the general public. Transfusion 42;669-678, 2002.

Lanzkron S, Moliterno AR, Norris EJ, Gould SA, Segal J, Nuermberger EL, Ness PM. Polymerized human Hb use in acute chest syndrome: a case report. Transfusion 42;1422-7, 2002


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