Stephen G. Emerson, MD

  • Clyde '56 and Helen Wu Professor of Immunology (in Medicine)
  • Professor of Microbiology and Immunology (in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center)

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Academic Appointments

  • Clyde '56 and Helen Wu Professor of Immunology (in Medicine)
  • Professor of Microbiology and Immunology (in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center)


Dr. Emerson’s laboratory studies the genes shared by stem cell self-renewal programs and T cell memory developmental pathways. He also serves as the Director of Columbia University’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, in which role he recruits, integrates and supports basic, translational, and population research.


Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center Support Grant.

5P30 CA013696-40 (Emerson)


Dr. Emerson is the Director of Columbia University’s HICCC, and is the PI of the Institution’s Core Grant.

Selected Publications

  1. Emerson, S.G., Sieff, C.A., Wang, E.A., Wong, G.G., Clark, S.C., Nathan, D.G.: Purification of fetal hematopoietic progenitors and demonstration of recombinant colony stimulating activity. J Clin Invest 76:1286-1290, 1985.
  2. Taichman, R.S., Emerson, S.G. Human osteoblasts support hematopoiesis through the production of granulocyte colony stimulating factor. J Exp Med 179:1677-1682;1994. PMCID: PMC2191506
  3. Taichman, R.S., Reilly, M.J., Emerson, S.G. Human osteoblasts support human hematopoietic progenitor cells in long term in vitro bone marrow cultures. Blood 87:518-524;1996.
  4. Shlomchik, W., Couzens,M.S., Tang, C.B., McNiff, J., Robert, M.E., Liu, J., Shlomchik, M.J., Emerson, S.G. Prevention of Graft Versus Host Disease by Inactivation of Host Antigen-Presenting Cells. Science 285:412-415, 1999.
  5. Giannola, D., M. Jeganthesan, W. D. Shlomchik, D.N. Liebowitz, T. Kadesch, A. Dancis, S. G. Emerson. Hematopoietic expression of HOXB4 is regulated in normal and leukemic stem cells through transcriptional activation of the HOXB4 promoter by USF-1 and USF-2. J. Exp. Med 192:1479-1490, 2000.
  6. Zhang, Y., Louboutin, J-P, Zhu, J., Rivera, A., Emerson, S.G. Preterminal Host Dendritic Cells and Priming of Allogeneic T Cells following Transplantation. J Clin Invest, 109:1335-1344; 2002. PMCID: PMC150980
  7. Zhu, J., Gianolla, D., Zhang, Y., Rivera, A., Emerson, S.G. NF-Ya,b,c Interacts with USF1/2 to Activate the HOXB4 Promoter in Human Hematopoietic Cells and Repress Granulopoiesis. Blood 102:2420-2427, 2003.
  8. Zhu, J., Zhang, J., Joe, G., Pompetti, R., Emerson, S.G. NF-Ya Activates Multiple Hematopoietic Stem Cell (HSC) Regulatory Genes and Promotes HSC Self-Renewal. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 102:11728-11733; 2005.
  9. Zhang, Y., Joe, G., Hexner, E., Zhu, J, Emerson, S.G. Post-Mitotic CD44lo CD8 T Cells in GVHD are Memory Stem Cells. Nature Medicine 11:1299-1305; 2005.
  10. Zhu,J., Garrett, R., Jung, Y., Zhang, Y., Kim, N., Wang, J., Joe, G.J., Hexner, E., Choi, Y., Taichman R., Emerson, S.G. Osteoblasts support B lymphocyte commitment and differentiation. Blood 109:3706-3712; 2007.
  11. Zhang, Y., Hexner, E., Frank, D., Emerson, S.G. CD4+ T cells generated de novo from donor hemopoietic stem cells mediate the evolution from acute to chronic graft-versus-host disease. J. Immunol 179:3305-3311; 2007.
  12. Hexner EO, Danet-Desnoyers GA, Zhang Y, Frank DM, Riley JL, Levine BL, Porter DL, June CH, Emerson SG. Umbilical cord blood xenografts in immunodeficient mice reveal that T cells enhance hematopoietic engraftment beyond overcoming immune barriers by stimulating stem cell differentiation. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 13:1135-1144; 2007.
  13. Huang, J., Zhang, Y, Bersenev, A., O'Brien, S.T., Tong, W., Emerson, S.G., Klein P.S. Pivotal role for glycogen synthase kinase-3 in hematopoietic stem cell homeostasis in mice. J Clin Invest 115:3519-3529; 2009.
  14. Domashenko, A.D., Danet-Desnoyers, G., Aron, A., Carroll, M.P., Emerson, S.G. TAT-mediated transduction of NF-Ya peptide induces the ex vivo proliferation and engraftment potential of human hematopoietic progenitor cells. Blood 116:2676-2683, 2010.
  15. Bungartz G, Land H, Scadden DT, Emerson SG. NF-Y is a Key Regulator of Hematopoietic Stem Cell(HSC) regulatorygenes and is Essential for Cycling but not Quiescent HSCs. Blood 119:1380-1389, 2012.
  16. Reshef, R., Luger, S.M., Hexner, E.O., Loren, A.W., Frey, N.V., Nasta, S.D., Goldstein, S.C. Stadtmauer, E.A. Smith, JBailey, S., Mick, R., Heitjan, D.F., Emerson, S.G., Hoxie, J.A., Vonderheide, R.H., Porter,D.L. Prevention of Graft-versus-Host Disease by Blocking Lymphocyte Chemotaxis. NEJM 367:135-145; 2012.
  17. Singh, L., Brennan, T.A., Kim J.-H., Egan, K.P., McMillan, E.A., Chen, Q., Hankenson, K.D., Zhang, Y., Emerson, S.G., Johnson, F.B., Pignolo, R.J. Long-term functional engraftment of mesenchymal progenitor cells in a mouse model of accelerated aging. Stem Cells 31:607-611;2013.
  18. Land, R., Rayne, A., Vanderbeck, A., Barlowe, T., Eiger., Manjunath, S., Gross, M., Cunningham, N., Huang, J., Emerson, S.G., Punt, J.A. The orphan nuclear receptor NR4A1 specifies a distinct subpopulation of quiescent, myeloid-biased, long-term hematopoietic stem cells. Stem Cells 33:278-288;2015.