U of M researchers conduct world’s first cord blood transplant aimed at curing Leukemia and HIV/AIDS

University of Minnesota physicians have performed the world’s first cord blood transplant designed specifically to cure a pediatric patient of HIV/AIDS and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).


  1. The procedure took place at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, and involved a clinical team composed of transplant physicians Michael Verneris, M.D. and John Wagner, M.D., and HIV/AIDS infectious disease specialist Timothy Schacker, M.D.

    The breakthrough nature of the case stems from the use of cord blood (the blood extracted from the placenta after a baby is born) that contains a variant of the cell surface protein CCR5 – known as CCR5Δ32.  Present in less than one percent of the population, CCR5Δ32 prevents most strains of the HIV virus from entering a patient’s T cells, ultimately protecting against the destruction of the host’s immune system.

    To read a full breakdown of the case, visit the University's Health Talk blog:

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