Anne Blaes, MD, and Claudio Brunstein, MD, PhD, appointed to leadership positions at the Twin Cities’ only National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated comprehensive cancer center

November 12, 2020

Dr. Anne Blaes has accepted the role of co-leader of the Screening, Prevention, Etiology and Cancer Survivorship (SPECS) Research Program at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. Blaes is an Associate Professor of Medicine with the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation and the Director of Cancer Survivorship Research. She will be joining Anne Joseph, MD, and Heather Nelson, PhD, as a co-leader of the SPECS Program. 

Blaes is an M Health Fairview medical oncologist with a special interest in the late effects of cancer therapy, particularly in the area of cardio-oncology. Her research focuses on designing and implementing strategies to prevent the long term complications of treatments in our cancer survivors, particularly in the areas of cardiovascular health. She is the Chair for the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Survivorship Committee, a member of the Executive Board for the Global Cardio-Oncology Society, associate editor for JACC CardioOncology, section editor for Hem/Onc Today on Survivorship, and an active member of the ALLIANCE for Cancer Clinical Trials.

Dr. Claudio Brunstein, a Professor of Medicine within the University of Medical School’s Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation and the Program Director, Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program, will become a co-leader of the Masonic Cancer Center’s Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program. He will join John Wagner, MD, Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Director for the Institute for Cell, Gene, and Immunotherapy (ICGI) to direct the scientific direction of this research program.

Since 2004, Brunstein has led clinical trials in Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) and in adoptive cellular immunotherapy. He is an internationally recognized clinical researcher in the area of alternative graft sources for hematopoietic cell transplantation. He has also been closely involved with Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network and the University of Minnesota PI and member of the Steering Committee. He also serves as co-chair of the Graft Source Working committee and is a Member of the Advisory Committee of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.

Blaes is succeeding SPECS co-leader Karen Kuntz, ScD, Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health. Brunstein is taking over for renowned BMT researcher Daniel Weisdorf, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation in the Medical School, as well as the Deputy Director, Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). Both Kuntz and Weisdorf are stepping aside to focus their full efforts on their research.

The Masonic Cancer Center would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to Drs. Kuntz and Weisdorf for their years of cancer center leadership and outstanding research contributions.

Both Drs. Blaes and Brunstein’s appointments became effective on November 1, 2020.

Please join us in congratulating Drs. Blaes and Brunstein in their new positions.