Medical School

Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Department of Pediatrics

Keli Hippen, PhD

MEDPEDS2 - Image - 180x222 - Kelie Hippen

Academic Title

Assistant Professor


National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver, CO; University of Minnesota Medical Center
Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, Iowa State University

Contact Info


(612) 625-1430

(612) 624-3913

Office Address

Pediatric BMT
460 MCRB
425 East River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Mailing Address

Pediatrics BMT
MMC 366 Mayo
8366A (Campus Delivery Code)
420 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Bio Statement

Dr. Hippen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation.  He is a member of the Cancer Center and the supervisor for the Human Immunotherapy Lab.  Dr. Hippen was a faculty member here at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology from 2001 until joining the Department of Pediatrics in August 2006.

Dr. Hippen received his Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University in 1993, followed by post-doctoral positions at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center (1993-1996) and the University of Minnesota (1996-1999).  He remained at the University of Minnesota, becoming a Research Assistant (1999-2001) and joining the faculty as noted above in 2001.  Dr. Hippen has had papers published in journals such as Science, Immunity, and the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Research Interests

Dr. Hippen’s research is focused on inhibiting Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD), which is a frequent and severe complicating factor in bone marrow transplants.  GVHD is a T cell mediated disease, that arises in autoimmune fashion due to graft-derived immune cells recognizing recipient cells as non-self.  Activation of autorective T cells (and those that induce GVHD) is normally prevented by a subset of T cells termed regulatory T cells (Treg).  Transplant of donor Treg has been shown to ameliorate disease in mouse models of both GVHD and autoimmunity.  Dr. Hippen’s specific interest is defining the mechanisms that control human regulatory T cell proliferation and function with the goal of generating large numbers of very active cells that can be co-transferred at the time of bone marrow transplantation and reduce or completely abolish GVHD.  In collaboration with Dr. Jakub Tolar, he is also exploring gene transfer studies to create more effective Treg cells based on antigen specificity and/or longevity.


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  • Last modified on March 21, 2013