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Stella T. Chou, MD
Stella T. Chou, MD
Chief, Division of Blood Bank and Transfusion Medicine

Dr. Chou focuses on regenerative blood cellular therapy, the mechanisms of normal human hematopoietic development, and the pathophysiology of pediatric hematologic diseases.

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Bio

Dr. Chou's research laboratory focuses on regenerative blood cellular therapy, the mechanisms of normal human hematopoietic development, and how these become disrupted in hematologic diseases. Her NIH-funded laboratory uses induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and primary human cells to both model blood diseases and create customized iPSCs with rare blood group antigen combinations as renewable sources of red cells. Translational work from her lab has been at the forefront of integrating molecular technologies into clinical transfusion medicine practice and developing novel tools to improve red cell therapy, particularly for individuals with sickle cell disease.

One focus of the Chou laboratory is to investigate mechanisms of hematopoietic development and to understand the role of genetic modifiers in pediatric hematologic diseases, with a particular interest in Down syndrome associated blood abnormalities. Her lab uses iPSCs and primary samples from patients with blood diseases to model key features of these disorders and to study the underlying pathophysiology. Projects include understanding the role of Trisomy 21, GATA1, and other mutations in anemia, thrombocytopenia, myeloproliferative disorders, and pediatric leukemias.

The Chou laboratory is actively pursuing novel approaches to improve red blood cell therapy for patients with sickle cell disease. Research from her collaborative team demonstrated that variant RH among patients and donors contribute to Rh alloimmunization following transfusion. Ongoing work examines the RH loci in patients and blood donors and determining whether genetically matched blood at RH and other blood group loci can avoid alloimmunization. Her laboratory is creating customized iPSCs with designer blood group antigen combinations as renewable sources of red cells for the transfusion service laboratory, and for future use as transfusion products. Projects include understanding developmental cues for the transition from primitive (yolk sac) to definitive (fetal liver, adult) blood programs, investigating pathways or manipulating genes to enhance in vitro red cell differentiation and production, and additional uses for in vitro grown red cells.

Education and Training

BA, Duke University (History), 1995

MD, New York Medical College, 2000

Fellowship, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Hematology/Oncology), 2006

Fellowship, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Transfusion Medicine), 2010

Titles and Academic Titles

Chief, Division of Blood Bank and Transfusion Medicine

Attending Physician, Divisions of Hematology and Transfusion Medicine

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships

American Society of Hematology, 2004-

American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 2005-

American Association of Blood Banks, 2008-

American Society For Apheresis, 2010-

American Society of Human Genetics, 2021-

Professional Awards

The American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award, 2006

The Hope Street Kids Foundation Grant Award Fellow Award, 2006

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fellow Award, 2006

National Blood Foundation Young Investigator Scholarship, 2011

National Blood Foundation Hall of Fame, 2018

Publication Highlights

Active Grants/Contracts

Understanding the complexity of gene dosage imbalance in Down syndrome, NIH/NHLBI, September 2019 - April 2024, Stella Chou

RH genotype matched red cell transfusions for patients with sickle cell disease, NIH/NHLBI, August 2019 - July 2023, Stella Chou

Improving transfusion therapy for patients with sickle cell disease using pluripotent stem cell-derived red cells, Progenitor Cell Translational Consortium, NIH/NHLBI, September 2016 - May 2023, Stella Chou

Red blood cell-mediated delivery of thromboprophylaxis, NIH/NHLBI, HL159256-01, September 2021- June 2026, Stella Chou

Links of Interest