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  Home > About Lab Medicine & Pathology > Faculty and Staff > David H. McKenna, Jr., M.D.

David H. McKenna, Jr., M.D.

Contact Information

Phone: 612-624-5736
Fax: 612-624-1777




Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics
1900 Fitch Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55108

Associate Professor

Dr. McKenna is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Division of Transfusion Medicine in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. He also serves as the Scientific and Medical Director of Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics, the cGMP facility at the University of Minnesota, as well as Laboratory and Medical Director of the University of Minnesota Medical Center's Clinical Cell Therapy Laboratory. Dr. McKenna chairs the AABB Cellular Therapy Section Coordinating Committee (CTSCC) and serves on the Board of Directors for AABB. He also serves on the editorial board of Cytotherapy and reviews manuscripts for other journals, including Transfusion. He is active in the NIH-sponsored Production Assistance for Cellular Therapies and serves as a co-leader of the Biomedical Excellence for Safer Transfusion Collaborative Cell Therapy Team. In addition, he has reviewed grants for governmental institutions in the US, Singapore, and Canada.

Research Interests

Dr. McKenna's research centers on the translational ("bench to bedside") development of projects of several basic and clinical researchers at the University of Minnesota. Current and developing projects include clinical trials with natural killer cells [peripheral blood-derived] and T regulatory (CD4+/CD25+) cells (peripheral blood-derived, umbilical cord blood-derived) in support of bone marrow transplantation, allogeneic large multivalent immunogen (LMI) vaccine [cell line based cancer vaccine: melanoma (SK23) and breast cancer (SKBR3)], marrow mononuclear cells for cardiac regenerative medicine, dendritic cell-based vaccines, and mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) for a variety of applications. His pre-clinical research focuses on the isolation, characterization, expansion, and differentiation of stem cells from human UCB.

Educational Background

  • University of Notre Dame, B.S. (Biological Sciences and Philosophy, 1991)
  • Saint Louis University School of Medicine, M.D. (1997)
  • University of Minnesota, Residency (Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, 1997-2001)
  • University of Minnesota, Fellowship (Transfusion Medicine, 2001-2003)

Professional Background

  • Associate Professor, University of Minnesota, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, 07/09 – present
  • Director, Division of Transfusion Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, 09/09 – present
  • Laboratory & Medical Director, Clinical Cell Therapy Lab, University of Minnesota Medical Center, 08/06 – present
  • Medical Director, Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics, 01/07 – present
  • Scientific Director, Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics, 01/09 – present
  • Staff Physician, Blood Bank/Transfusion Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical Center, 11/03 – present


Publications (2010-2011)

1) Stroncek D, Berlyne D, Fox B, Gee A, Heimfeld S, Lindblad R, Loper K, McKenna D, Rooney C, Sabatino M, Wagner E, Whiteside T, Wood D, and Heath-Mondoro T. Developments in Clinical Cell Therapy. Cytotherapy, 2010;12: 425-428.

2) McKenna D, Adams S, Sumstad D, Sumstad T, Kadidlo D, Gee A, Durett A, Griffin D, Donnenberg A, Amrani D, Livingston D, Lindblad R, Wood D, and Styers D.. CD34+ Cell Selection Using Small Volume Marrow Aspirates: A Platform for Novel Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine. Cytotherapy, 2010;12: 170-177.

3) AP Gee, S Richman, A Durett, D McKenna, J Traverse, T Henry, D Fisk, C Pepine, J Bloom, J Willerson, K Prater, D Zhao, J Reese Koç, S Ellis, D Taylor, C Cogle, L Moyé, R Simari, and S Skarlatos. Multicenter cell processing for cardiovascular regenerative medicine applications: the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) experience. Cytotherapy (2010); 12(5): 684-91.

4) Bachanova V, Burns LJ, McKenna DH, Curtsinger J, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Lindgren BR, Cooley S, Weisdorf D, Miller JS. Allogeneic natural killer cells for refractory lymphoma. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2010 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20680271

5) Jay H. Traverse, David H. McKenna, Karen Harvey, Beth C. Jorgenson, Rachel E. Olson, Nancy Bostrom, Diane Kadidlo, John R. Lesser, Vikrant Jagadeesan, Ross Garberich, Timothy D. Henry. Results of a Phase 1, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Bone Marrow Mononuclear Stem Cell Administration in Patients Following STEMI. American Heart Journal (2010);160(3):428-434.

6) Matthay M, Thompson T, Read EJ, McKenna DH, Liu KD, Calfee CS, and Lee JW. Therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells for severe clinical acute lung injury. Chest (2010); 138(4): 1 – 8.

7) Geller MA, Cooley S, Judson PL, Ghebre R, Carson LF, Argenta PA, Jonson AL, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Curtsinger, McKenna D, Dusenbery K, Bliss R, Downs LS, Miller JS. A phase II study of allogeneic natural killer cell therapy to treat patients with recurrent ovarian and breast cancer. Cytotherapy (2010); Early Online, 1-10.

8) McKenna DH and Brunstein CG. Umbilical Cord Blood: Current Status and Future Directions. Vox Sanguinis (2011); 100: 150-162.

9) Pamphilon D, Curnow E, Reems J, McMannis J, Rebulla P, Szczepiorkowski Z, and McKenna D. Storage characteristics of cord blood progenitor cells: report of a multicentre study by the cellular therapies team of the Biomedical Excellence for Safer Transfusion (BEST) Collaborative. Transfusion 2011; 51 (6): 1284-1290.

10) Claudio G. Brunstein, Jeffery S. Miller, Qing Cao, David H. McKenna, Keli L. Hippen, Julie Curtsinger, Todd DeFor, Bruce L. Levine, Carl H. June, Pablo Rubinstein, Philip B. McGlave, Bruce R. Blazar and John E. Wagner. Infusion of ex vivo expanded T regulatory cells in adults transplanted with umbilical cord blood: safety profile and detection kinetics. Blood (2011); 117(3): 1061-1070.

11) TL Whiteside, DL Griffin, J Stanson, W Gooding, D McKenna, D Sumstad, D Kadidlo, A Gee, C Rooney, A Durett, R Lindblad, D Wood, D Styers. Shipping of therapeutic somatic cell products. Cytotherapy (2011); 13(2): 201-13.

12) Berger M, Minnerath SR, Adams S, Tigges B, Sprague S, and McKenna DH. Gene expression changes with differentiation of cord blood stem cells to respiratory epithelial cells: a preliminary observation. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2011 Apr 13;2(2):19. [Epub ahead of print]

13) Maria Nawrot, David H. McKenna, Darin Sumstad, John D. McMannis, Zbigniew M. Szczepiorkowski, Helen Belfield, Elke Grassman, Toni Temples, Deanna Nielsen, Ning Yuan, Bert Wognum, and Jo-Anna Reems. An Inter-Laboratory Study to Evaluate the Performance of a Novel Seven Day Colony Forming Unit (CFU) Assay. BEST Collaborative. Transfusion 2011;51:2001-2005.

14) McKenna DH and Sheth J. Umbilical cord blood: current status and promise for the future. Indian J Med Res 134, September 2011, pp 261-269.

15) KL Hippen, SC Merkel, DK Schirm, CM Sieben, D Sumstad, DM Kadidlo, DH McKenna, BL Levine, JL Riley, CH June, JS Miller, JE Wagner, BR Blazar. Massive ex Vivo Expansion of Human Natural Regulatory T Cells (Tregs) with Minimal Loss of in Vivo Functional Activity. Science Translational Medicine, Vol 3 Issue 83 83ra41 (2011).

For a complete listing of Dr. McKenna’s publications, please see the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Search.


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