Sophie Paczesny, MD, PhD  

Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology

Professor: Department of Pediatrics

Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology

Indiana University School of Medicine

Riley Hospital for Children

Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center

Wells Center for Pediatric Research


Phone: 317-278-5487
Fax: 317-274-8679

Pub Med Search 



Areas of Study:

Dr. Sophie Paczesny is an Associate Professor of the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program at Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Paczesny, who was recently awarded an NIH Challenge Grant, leads the Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD) biomarker discovery and validation research. She received her MD and PhD from Paris University, France where she completed her residency and fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation.

Current Research Interests:

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, T cell biology, Graft-Versus-Host Disease, cytokines and cellular pathway networks, human immunology, translational medicine.


Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a major therapy for malignant diseases of the blood and bone marrow and the most potent form of immune therapy against these diseases through its graft-versus-leukemia/tumor (GVL/GVT) effect. However, the efficacy of allogeneic HSCT has been impeded by frequent and severe graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) that is tightly linked to the GVL/GVT effect. Both acute and chronic forms of GVHD exist. The immunology of GVHD and GVL responses are complex and cytokines and cellular effectors are critical. My laboratory focused on understanding the role of cytokines and cellular effectors in the biology of GVHD/GVL by discovering and investigating biomarkers in the blood and tissue of patients following allogeneic HSCT. Currently no laboratory tests exist to predict the risk of developing GVHD, responsiveness to treatment, or patient survival. The goal of our laboratory is to develop such tests integrating both proteomic and cellular biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of GVHD. For proteomics, we will utilize a three-step approach: (i) discovery of proteins in an unbiased manner with a quantitative mass-spectrometry based technology; (ii) selection of the most promising candidate proteins; and (iii) validation of these candidates in a large number of allogeneic HSCT recipients using high-throughput techniques such as ELISA assays. For the study of blood cellular biomarkers, we will analyze subsets of blood cellular components that are potential GVHD biomarkers. We are interested in both acute and chronic GVHD, which has overlapping features of immunodeficiency and symptoms of naturally occurring autoimmune disorders. Indeed a prominent clinical feature of chronic GVHD is a debilitating fibrosing skin disease whose gross and histologic features resemble scleroderma (SSc) and, less commonly, morphea. Because of these potential biological similarities between chronic GVHD and autoimmune diseases, our work is also relevant.

From 2006 to 2012, she developed proteomics for the diagnosis of acute GVHD at the University of Michigan. She recently joined the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program at Indiana University. At IU, she will pursue leadership in the discovery and validation of biomarkers for complications post-transplant.

Laboratory Members:

Christy Mumaw, Lindsey Elmore, Jilu Zhang, Abdulraouf Ramadan, Taylor Olmsted, Kerry Hege.

Research Administrative Coordinator:

Linda Henson

Paczesny Lab