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Timothy S. Olson, MD, PhD
Timothy S. Olson Headshot
Director of Research, Comprehensive Bone Marrow Failure Center

Dr. Olson aims to improve diagnostics and treatment of bone marrow failure (BMF) syndromes, and to improve clinical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) outcomes. He conducts clinical trials of HSCT for non-malignant hematologic diseases. His laboratory explores both basic and translational research focused on genomics of BMF and the impact of BMF on hematopoietic niche function during HSCT.



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Dr. Olson's clinical efforts focus on pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), with a specific emphasis on HSCT for patients with inherited and acquired bone marrow failure. Through his combined clinical activities in the Bone Marrow Failure Center within the Division of Hematology and the Blood and Marrow Transplant Section within the Division of Oncology, his goal is to facilitate outstanding care for patients with inherited bone marrow failure and acquired aplastic anemia during their transition from diagnostic evaluation to treatment through HSCT.

In coordination with these clinical efforts, his clinical research program seeks to retrospectively and prospectively assess HSCT outcomes for patients with inherited and acquired bone marrow failure syndromes and other non-malignant hematologic conditions, including sickle cell disease and thalassemia major. He is the lead/site Principal Investigator of several investigator-initiated and multicenter clinical trials of HSCT for these diseases, for which the ultimate goal is to define optimal approaches to transplant timing, donor choices, and graft engineering.

The goal of his laboratory research program is to improve HSCT outcomes by identifying methods to decrease the incidence of graft failure following HSCT, which is a particularly critical challenge in the setting of transplant for non-malignant conditions such as bone marrow failure. Methods are being examined to enhance donor hematopoietic stem cell engraftment efficiency following HSCT through enhancement of the functions of specialized areas of the bone marrow microenvironment, known as hematopoietic stem cell niches. Currently, therapeutic strategies are being tested that can be applied to enhance niche activity and receptivity for donor stem cells, which would in turn improve donor engraftment efficiency following clinical HSCT.

Education and Training

BA, Rice University (Biochemsitry and Cell Biology; Policy Studies), 1998

PhD, University of Virginia School of Medicine (Molecular Physiology), 2005

MD, University of Virginia School of Medicine, 2006

Fellowship, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Pediatric Hematology/Oncology), 2012

Titles and Academic Titles

Director of Research, Comprehensive Bone Marrow Failure Center

Attending Physician

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships

American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 2008-

American Society of Hematology, 2008-

American Society of Bone Marrow Transplant, 2011-

Abramson Cancer Center, 2014-

Clinical Care Consortium of Telomere-Associated Ailments, 2014-

Pediatric Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Consortium, 2015-

The Richards Society of the University of Pennsylvania, 2016-

Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, 2016-

Team Telomere, Medical Advisory Board, 2017-

Professional Awards

American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Young Investigator Travel Award, 2011-

American Society of Hematology Research Training Award for Fellows, 2011-

Canuso Foundation Innovation Grant Award, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2011

American Society of Bone Marrow Transplantation Travel Grant Award, 2012

The University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Institute of Translational Medicine an Therapeutics and Clinical and Translational Research Center Junior Investigator Pilot Grant Program Awardee, 2012

Alexandra J. Kefalides Memorial Prize for Research in Normal and Malignant Hematopoiesis, 2013

American Society of Hematology Scholar Award, 2014

Distinguished Teaching Award for Oncology, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2017

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
Babushok DV, Duke JL, Xie HM, Stanley N, Atienza J, Perdigones N, Nicholas P, Ferriola D, Li Y, Huang H, Ye W, Morrissette JJD, Kearns J, Porter DL, Podsakoff GM, Eisenlohr LC, Biegel JA, Chou ST, Monos DS, Bessler M, and Olson TS. Somatic HLA Mutations Expose the Role of Class I-Mediated Autoimmunity in Aplastic Anemia and its Clonal Complications. Blood Adv. 2017 Oct; 1(22):1900-1910. PMID: 28971166
Betensky M, Babushok D, Roth JJ, Mason, PJ, Biegel JA, Busse TM, Li Y, Lind C, Papazoglou A, Monos D, Podsakoff G, Bessler M, and Olson TS. Clonal evolution and clinical significance of copy number neutral loss of heterozygosity of chromosome arm 6p in acquired aplastic anemia. Cancer Genet. 2016 Jan; 209(1-2):1-10. PMID: 26702937
Babushok, DV, Bessler M, and Olson TS. Genetic predisposition to myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia in children and young adults. Leuk Lymphoma. 2016 Jan; 57(3):520-36. PMCID: PMC4798888
Olson TS, Caselli A, Otsuru S, Hofmann TJ, Williams R, Paolucci P, Dominici, M, and Horwitz EM. Megakaryocytes promote murine osteoblastic HSC niche expansion and stem cell engraftment after radioablative conditioning. Blood. 2013 Jun; 121(26):5238-49. PMCID: PMC3695366

Links of Interest