Research Team

The Research Division is proud to host a great group of investigators and technicians.

Headshot of Caroline Raasch Alquist

Caroline Raasch Alquist

Chief Transplantation-Services Officer; Director of Transplantation Immunology & Therapeutic Apheresis; Hoxworth Blood Center, COM Hoxworth Blood Center

5074 Hoxworth Center (4-5)


Dr. Alquist is a triple-boarded transfusion medicine and histocompatibility pathologist, uniquely invested in the intersection of transplant services and transfusion medicine. She serves as Hoxworth Blood Center’s Chief Transplant Services Officer, medical director of their mobile and fixed site Apheresis Program, and Cincinnati’s only active ASHI-accredited HLA director for their Transplantation Immunology Division. She is actively involved in ASFA, a national association of apheresis professionals; ASHI, a national society of histocompatibility specialists; and AABB, an international transfusion medicine and cellular therapy organization.
Headshot of Jose A. Cancelas

Jose A. Cancelas

Professor, COM Hoxworth Blood Center

5072 Hoxworth Center (4-5)


Dr. Cancelas clinical interests are hematopoiesis (blood cell formation), cell therapies and transfusion medicine. His research into the role of the Rho protein family of GTPases in health and leukemia has clarified the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC), granulocyte progenitors and platelet survival. His transfusion medicine and cell therapy research works to identify novel methods to preserve red cell, platelet and plasma and generate alternative blood and cell products to cover unmet clinical needs in cancer and trauma. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in stem cell biology and pathogen inactivation of blood and cell therapies.

Dr. Cancelas awards include the AABB David B. Paul Prize for Innovative Research in Transfusion Medicine, Cincinnati Business Courier Healthcare Heroes Innovator Award Winner, and the National Blood Foundation Hall of Fame.
Headshot of Thomas B Leemhuis

Thomas B Leemhuis

Program Director - TTS, COM Hoxworth Blood Center

5015 Hoxworth Center (4-5)



Director of Cellular Therapies, Hoxworth Blood Center

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati

Provide technical and administrative leadership for 8-person team responsible for processing all bone marrow, peripheral blood apheresis products, and umbilical cord bloods for transplantation at either UC Health, Cincinnati Childrens’Hospital Medical Center, Jewish Hospital, or Akron Children’s Hospital.

Provide late stage process development, regulatory submission assistance, and c-GMP compliant production of cell therapy products for phase I/II clinical trials at local area hospitals. Responsible for all staff training, SOP and batch record development, and coordination of all production-related activities, including quality control testing, materials management and facility maintenance.

Define and maintain Quality Management Plan for the Cellular Therapies Division. Maintain FACT and AABB accreditations for Cellular Therapies Division.

IND sponsor for one investigational agent (CD34+ selected peripheral blood progenitor cells) being tested for safety and efficacy in two phase 2 clinical trial protocols at CCHMC; under two separate INDs with FDA.

Designed and maintain fully validated class 10,000 clean room facility. Author of all facility maintenance, cleaning and environmental monitoring procedures.  

Headshot of Ramesh Chandra Nayak

Ramesh Chandra Nayak

Research Assistant Professor, COM Hoxworth Blood Center

Hoxworth Center (4-5)


Headshot of David Oh

David Oh

Associate Professor of Clinical, COM Hoxworth Blood Center

5012A Hoxworth Center (4-5)


Headshot of Xuefeng Wang

Xuefeng Wang

Associate Professor, COM Hoxworth Blood Center

5072 Hoxworth Center (4-5)


My laboratory is dedicated to biomedical studies with innovative biophysical and biochemical approaches. Our current research focuses on the mechanobiology and enzymology of blood cells including platelets, monocytes/macrophages and neutrophils. We develop state-of-art DNA-based biosensors to visualize and map the forces and DNase activities generated by these cells, and investigate the physiological functions of these cellular forces and membrane-bound DNases during hemostasis and innate immune response.

Professional Experience
Associate Professor, Hoxworth blood center, UC, 08/2023 – Present
Associate Professor, Iowa State University, 01/2020 – 07/2023
Assistant Professor, Iowa State University, 08/2015 – 12/2019
Postdoctoral Fellow, UIUC, 05/2010 – 07/2015
Ph.D. Purdue University, 09/2004 – 12/2009
M.S. Tsinghua University, 09/2001 – 07/2004
B.S. Tsinghua University, 09/1997 – 09/2001
Headshot of Carolyn Lutzko, PhD

Carolyn Lutzko, PhD

Division Director, Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Therapy, Hoxworth Blood Center

Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Hoxworth Blood Center Academic Unit. Director, Cell Manipulations and Development Laboratories, Translational Core Laboratory, Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, CCHMC.

Headshot of Kristina Marie Prus

Kristina Marie Prus

Assistant Professor of Clinical-Affiliate, COM Pathology CCHMC Affiliate

Health UC - Georgetown


Headshot of Stephanie  Kinney

Stephanie Kinney

Associate Professor of Clinical-Affiliate, COM Pathology CCHMC Affiliate

Health UC - Georgetown


Research Staff at Hoxworth

  • Shawnagay Nestheide
  • Fatima Mohmoud
  • Margaret O’LearyReplace with your text

Research Staff at Dr. Cancelas' Laboratory at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital

  • Shailaja Hegde PhD, Research Scientist
  • Abhishek Singh PhD, Research Associate
  • Ashley Wellendorf