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buninn [at]
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3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Nancy J. Bunin, MD
Medical Director, Bone Marrow Transplant Program

Dr. Bunin's current research focuses on the development of hematopoietic stem cell graft engineering for allogeneic transplantation to minimize graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), promote engraftment and immune reconstitution. She has also developed protocols for rapid manufacture of viral cytotoxic T lymphocytes to treat or prevent life threatening viral infections post hematopoietic stem cell transplant.



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The majority of patients for whom hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) is recommended lack an HLA-matched related donor. The risk of severe GVHD is higher with the use of alternative donors, including mismatched related and unrelated donors. Graft engineering, including the removal of subsets of T lymphocytes that cause GVHD, may alleviate this risk, while maintaining a graft versus leukemia effect, promoting rapid engraftment and immune reconstitution.

Dr. Bunin and her colleagues have developed protocols for various indications, including hematologic malignancies, bone marrow failure, and primary immune deficiencies. Their protocols have enabled them to successfully transplant children who lack well-matched donors, with greatly decreased risk of GVHD.

Viral infections remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality after HSCT, particularly with alternative donor transplants. Antibiotics to treat these viruses are often ineffective. Dr. Bunin has developed protocols that enable her Cell and Gene Therapy Lab to make cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) to treat these viruses within 24 hours. This method is faster than others, and will enable rapid treatment of patients. In addition, BK and Epstein-Barr viral CTLs may be used for patients following solid organ transplants, further expanding their use.

There is little established data regarding the neuropsychologic effects of HSCT in children. Dr. Bunin is working with neuropsychologists and have ongoing studies of post-HSCT neuropsychologic evaluation. This study will be expanded to include evaluation of depression in children and families undergoing HSCT.

Some of Dr. Bunin’s notable accomplishments include:

  • Development of protocols for graft engineering to reduce the risk of GVHD and allow expansion of the donor pool for allogeneic transplant
  • Study of neurocognitive dysfunction in children post HSCT
  • Primary immunodeficiencies and HSCT, improving outcomes with the development of protocols that minimize GVHD and ensure rapid engraftment and immune reconstitution

Education and Training

BA, University of Pennsylvania (Biology), 1976

MD, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 1980

Titles and Academic Titles

Medical Director, Bone Marrow Transplant Program

Attending Physician

Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships

American Society of Hematology, 1983-

Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium, 1986-

American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 1988-2009

American Society for Blood & Marrow Transplant, 1986-

International Society for Cellular Therapy, 1986-

Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, 2006-

Pediatric Immune Deficiencies Treatment Consortium, 2013-

Clinical Immunology Society, 2013-

Professional Awards

Master Clinical Award, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2011

Publication Highlights

Oved JH, Wang Y, Barrett DM, Levy EM, Huang Y, Monos DS, Grupp SA, Bunin NJ, Olson TS. CD3+/CD19+ Depleted Matched and Mismatched Unrelated Donor Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant with Targeted T Cell Addback Is Associated with Excellent Outcomes in Pediatric Patients with Nonmalignant Hematologic Disorders. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2018 Oct; pii: S1083-8791(18)30612-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.10.003. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30312755
Buchbinder D, Kelly DL, Duarte RF, Auletta JJ, Bhatt N, Byrne M, DeFilipp Z, Gabriel M, Mahindra A, Norkin M, Schoemans H, Shah AJ, Ahmed I, Atsuta Y, Basak GW, Beattie S, Bhella S, Bredeson C, Bunin N, Dalal J, Daly A, Gajewski J, Gale RP, Galvin J, Hamadani M, Hayashi RJ, Adekola K, Law J, Lee CJ, Liesveld J, Malone AK, Nagler A, Naik S, Nishihori T, Parsons SK, Scherwath A, Schofield HL, Soiffer R, Szer J, Twist I, Warwick AB, Wirk BM, Yi J, Battiwalla M, Flowers MDE, Savani B, Shaw BE. Neurocognitive dysfunction in hematopoietic cell transplant recipients: expert review from the late effects and Quality of Life Working Committee of the CIBMTR and complications and Quality of Life Working Party of the EBMT. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2018 May; 53(5):535-555. doi: 10.1038/s41409-017-0055-7. Epub 2018 Jan 17. Review. PMID: 29343837
Aplenc R, Zhang MJ, Sung L, Zhu X, Ho VT, Cooke K, Dvorak C, Hale G, Isola LM, Lazarus HM, McCarthy PL, Olsson R, Pulsipher M, Pasquini MC, Bunin N. Effect of body mass in children with hematologic malignancies undergoing allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Blood. 2014 May; 123(22):3504-11. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-03-490334. Epub 2014 Apr 7. PMID: 24711663
Oshrine BR, Li Y, Teachey DT, Heimall J, Barrett DM, Bunin N. Immunologic recovery in children after alternative donor allogeneic transplantation for hematologic malignancies: comparison of recipients of partially T cell-depleted peripheral blood stem cells and umbilical cord blood. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2013 Nov; 19(11):1581-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.08.003. Epub 2013 Aug 11. PMID: 23939199