HLH Center of Excellence

  • Meet Our Team of HLH Specialists

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    Doctors and Researchers

    Jacob (Jack) J.H. Bleesing, MD, PhD

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4266

    Fax: 513-636-3549

    Email: jack.bleesing@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Immunobiology; translational research; immunologic methods development

    Research Interests

    Clinical investigation of primary immunodeficiency disorders (with emphasis on disorders of immuno dysregulation and B-cell disorders); immuno-reconstitution following blood and marrow transplantation; diagnostic immunology (with emphasis on flow cytometry) 

    Education and Training

    MD: University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands, 1989.

    PhD: University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2002.

    Residency: Pediatrics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 1993.

    Fellowship: Allergy/Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, 1995.

    Fellowship: Clinical Laboratory Immunology, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 2001.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications
    A photo of Lisa Filipovich.

    Alexandra (Lisa) H. Filipovich, MD
    Ralph J. Stolle Chair, Clinical Immunology

    513-803-3218

    lisa.filipovich@cchmc.org

    Alexandra (Lisa) H. Filipovich, MD

    Ralph J. Stolle Chair, Clinical Immunology

    Director, Immune Deficiency and Histiocytosis Program

    Medical Director, Diagnostic Immunology Laboratory

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-803-3218

    Fax: 513-803-1969

    Email: lisa.filipovich@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Primary immunodeficiencies; BMT for primary immunodeficiencies; hemophagocytic lymphocytosis; post-BMT immune reconstruction

    Research Interests

    Biology and genetics of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; investigation of hematopoietic cell transplantation for genetic immunodeficiencies; immunoreconstitution following pediatric stem cell transplantation

    Biography

    Lisa Filipovich, MD, began her career at the University of Minnesota where she received her medical degree in 1974 and completed fellowships in both immunopathology and pediatric immunology. She became a professor of pediatrics and served for 10 years as the head of the Division of Immunology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Filipovich came to Cincinnati Children’s in 1996. She is currently the Ralph J. Stolle Chair in Clinical Immunology and the director of the Immune Deficiency and Histiocytosis program. She also serves as the medical director of the Diagnostic Immunology Laboratory at Cincinnati Children’s.

    Dr. Filipovich has a special interest in histiocytic disorders, especially hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Other interests include bone marrow transplant for primary immune deficiencies and post-BMT immune reconstitution. She serves as president of the Histiocyte Society, an international group of more than 200 physicians and scientists who are committed to improving the lives of patients with histiocytosis through research.

    Education and Training

    MD: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1974.

    Residency: University of Minnesota Hospitals, Minneapolis, MN 1975-1978.

    Fellowship: Immunopathology, Departments of Pediatrics, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota 1978-1979.

    Fellowship: Pediatric Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota 1979-1980.

    Certification: Pediatrics, 1980.

    Publications

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    Grants

    Gene Therapy for SCID-X1 Using Self-Inactivating Gamma. Principal Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Sep 2010-Aug 2015. #U01 AI 087628.

    Rare Diseases Clinical Consortia for the Rare Diseases. Principal Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Sep 2009-Aug 2014. #U54 AI 082973.

    Hypoxia and potassium channel activity in T Lymphocytes. Principal Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Jun 2009-Jun 2014. #R01 CA 095286.


    Michael B. Jordan, MD

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-7287

    Fax: 513-803-1969

    Email: michael.jordan@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Histiocytic disorders: HLH and LCH

    Research Interests

    Better understanding histiocytic disorders and developing novel therapies for them; regulation of the immune response; immunotherapy of cancer

    Education and Training

    MD: UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX, 1993.

    Residency: Children's Hospital of Dallas, 1996.

    Fellowship: The Children's Hospital (Denver), 2002.

    Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, 1996; Sub-board of Pediatric Heme/Onc, 2002.

    Publications

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    A photo of Rebecca Marsh.

    Rebecca A. Marsh, MD

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-803-9063

    Email: hlh@cchmc.org

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    Education and Training

    Fellowship: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2008.

    Residency: Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, 2006.

    MD: Rush Medical College 2003.

    BS: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1998.

    Publications

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    Grants

    Studies to Determine why XIAP Deficiency leads to HLH. Clinical Immunology Society. Jul 2010 - Jun 2012,

    A photo of Kimberly Risma.

    Kimberly A. Risma, MD, PhD
    Director, Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program

    513-636-6771

    kimberly.risma@cchmc.org

    Kimberly A. Risma, MD, PhD

    Director, Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-6771

    Fax: 513-636-4615

    Email: kimberly.risma@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Immune deficiency; immune dysregulation

    Research Interests

    Pathophysiology of perforin missense mutations identified in individuals with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; molecular mechanisms of primary immune deficiency and dysregulation; natural killer cell and cytotoxic T lymphocyte cytotoxicity

    Visit the Risma Lab website.

    Biography

    Kimberly Risma, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

    Dr. Risma graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Duke University in 1990 and was elected into The Phi Beta Kappa Society. She then matriculated at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). In 1996, she completed a PhD in pharmacology. She was selected by the leadership of the CWRU MSTP as the recipient of the 1997 Martin Wahl Memorial Fund Award, given annually to recognize the graduating MD, PhD student who has demonstrated the highest level of independence in research and excellence in research and clinical skills. She was also elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Society in 1997.

    In 1997, she enrolled in a Pediatrics residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati.  During the residency program, Dr. Risma was awarded the pediatric resident teaching award by the medical students. She also engaged in translational research studies related to the genetics of asthma under the mentorship of Dr. Gurjit Hershey, resulting in a first author publication as a pediatric resident.

    In 2000, Dr. Risma was accepted to the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program at Cincinnati Children’s.  In addition to her clinical training, she pursued an innovative research project under the mentorship of Dr. Janos Sumegi and Dr. Alexandra Filipovich. She proposed a mechanism to study the structural and functional impact of perforin missense mutations identified in patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. In 2004 she was awarded the Nezelof Prize for best scientific presentation at the international meeting of the Histiocyte Society. The culmination of her fellowship research project was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2006.  

    Upon completion of her fellowship in 2005, Dr. Risma was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. In 2006 Dr. Risma received a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Dr. Risma is the director of the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program at Cincinnati Children's, having served in this leadership position since August of 2012.

    Dr. Risma's research program focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of immunodeficiency and immune dysregulation in children, especially as it relates to disorders of lymphocyte cytotoxicity. In addition to her research, she sees patients from all around the country in consultation for primary immune deficiency, immune dysregulation, and allergic disorders.   

    Education and Training

    MD: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 1997.

    PhD: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 1996.

    Residency: Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 1997-2000.

    Fellowship: Allergy / Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

    Certification: Pediatrics, 2007; Allergy and Immunology, 2005.

    Publications

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    A photo of Kejian Zhang.

    Kejian Zhang, MD, MBA
    Director, Molecular Genetics Laboratory

    513-636-0121

    kejian.zhang@cchmc.org

    Kejian Zhang, MD, MBA

    Director, Molecular Genetics Laboratory

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-0121

    Fax: 513-636-2261

    Email: kejian.zhang@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Molecular genetics diagnosis of inherited immunodeficiency disorders and other genetic conditions

    Research Interests

    Molecular defects and molecular diagnosis of primary immunodeficiency diseases; Genetic aspects of predictive personalized medicine (pharmacogenetics)

    Education and Training

    MD: Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China, 1993

    MBA: University of Cincinnati, College of Business Administration, 2001

    Residency: Gong'an Hospital, Tianjin, China, 1993-1995

    Fellowship: Clinical Molecular Genetics Fellow, Division of Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, 2002-2004

    Publications

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    Grants

    Macrophage Activation Syndrome Biomarkers in Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Co-investigator. National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Aug 2007 - Dec 2012.

    MUNC13-4 gene Polymorphisms in Macrophage Activation syndrome and Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Co-Investigator. National Institute of Health. Sept 2011 - Aug 2016.