Morton J. Cowan, MD

Bone marrow transplant specialist
Pediatric immunologist

Dr. Morton J. Cowan is recognized throughout the world for research on immunodeficiency diseases, including the use of alternative donors and gene therapy for severe combined immunodeficiencies (SCID), which are rare and potentially fatal conditions in which a child has little or no ability to fight infection. At UCSF, he performed the first bone marrow transplant for a child with SCID, in 1982; the first T cell–depleted transplant on the West Coast for a child with leukemia, in 1985; and the first transplant in North America using pure blood-forming stem cells from a parent to a child with SCID.

Cowan is medical director of the UCSF Pediatric Cell Therapy Laboratory. He is former chief of the UCSF Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Division.

Cowan's career has focused on children with immunodeficiency diseases, and he has published his research in more than 240 peer-reviewed publications. His major interests have been in-utero stem cell transplantation (performed before the baby is born), Artemis-deficient SCID (ART-SCID) in Athabascan-speaking Native Americans, the use of haploidentical (half-matched) donors, reduced-toxicity transplantation for childhood diseases, and the use of gene therapy to correct two forms of SCID, ART-SCID and XSCID (caused by gene mutations on the X chromosome). He is leading clinical trials to evaluate gene therapy for these two diseases.

After completing an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cowan earned his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. He completed two years of residency in surgery at Duke University before studying lung maturation at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). At UCSF, he completed a residency in pediatrics, followed by a fellowship in pediatric allergy and immunology.

Cowan led the planning for what became the Primary Immune Deficiency Treatment Consortium, an NIH-funded research network of North American institutions studying children with severe immune deficiencies. He served as the principal investigator from 2009 to 2018 and continues to serve on the steering committee. In 2019, he received the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Clinics

Blood and Marrow Transplant Program
1975 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-2188
Fax: (415) 502-4867

BMT Clinic at the Pediatric Treatment Center
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2986
Fax: (415) 502-4867

Immunology Center
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-7337

Conditions & Treatments

More about Morton J. Cowan

Education

Perelman School of Medicine 1970

Residencies

Duke University, Surgery 1972
UCSF, Pediatrics 1977

Fellowships

UCSF, Pediatric Allergy Immunology 1979

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Buchbinder D, Smith MJ, Kawahara M, Cowan MJ, Buzby JS, Abraham RS. Application of a radiosensitivity flow assay in a patient with DNA ligase 4 deficiency. Blood Adv. 2018 Aug 14; 2(15):1828-1832.
  2. Belderbos ME, Gennery AR, Dvorak CC, Blok HJ, Eikema DJ, Silva JMF, Veys P, Neven B, Buckley R, Cole T, Cowan MJ, Goebel WS, Hoenig M, Kuo CY, Stiehm ER, Wynn R, Bierings M. Outcome of domino hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in humans - an international case series. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018 Jul 05.
  3. Eder M, Schwarz C, Kammer M, Jacobsen N, Masouridi Levrat S, Cowan MJ, Chongkrairatanakul T, Gaston R, Ravanan R, Ishida H, Bachmann A, Alvarez S, Koch M, Garrouste C, Duffner UA, Cullis B, Schaap N, Medinger M, Sørensen SS, Dauber EM, Böhmig G, Regele H, Berlakovich GA, Wekerle T, Oberbauer R. Allograft and patient survival after sequential HSCT and kidney transplantation from the same donor- a multicenter analysis. Am J Transplant. 2018 Jun 13.
  4. Miggelbrink AM, Logan BR, Buckley RH, Parrott RE, Dvorak CC, Kapoor N, Abdel-Azim H, Prockop SE, Shyr D, Decaluwe H, Hanson IC, Gillio A, Dávila Saldaña BJ, Eibel H, Hopkins G, Walter JE, Whangbo JS, Kohn DB, Puck JM, Cowan MJ, Griffith LM, Haddad E, O'Reilly RJ, Notarangelo LD, Pai SY. B cell differentiation and IL-21 response in IL2RG/JAK3 SCID patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Blood. 2018 May 04.
  5. Gilman AL, Leung W, Cowan MJ, Cannon M, Epstein S, Barnhart C, Shah K, Hyland M, Fukes T, Ivanova A. Donor lymphocyte infusion and methotrexate for immune recovery after T-cell depleted haploidentical transplantation. Am J Hematol. 2018 Feb; 93(2):169-178.
  6. Heimall J, Logan BR, Cowan MJ, Notarangelo LD, Griffith LM, Puck JM, Kohn DB, Pulsipher MA, Parikh S, Martinez C, Kapoor N, O'Reilly R, Boyer M, Pai SY, Goldman F, Burroughs L, Chandra S, Kletzel M, Thakar M, Connelly J, Cuvelier G, Davila Saldana BJ, Shereck E, Knutsen A, Sullivan KE, DeSantes K, Gillio A, Haddad E, Petrovic A, Quigg T, Smith AR, Stenger E, Yin Z, Shearer WT, Fleisher T, Buckley RH, Dvorak CC. Immune reconstitution and survival of 100 SCID patients post-hematopoietic cell transplant: a PIDTC natural history study. Blood. 2017 12 21; 130(25):2718-2727.
  7. Dobbs K, Tabellini G, Calzoni E, Patrizi O, Martinez P, Giliani SC, Moratto D, Al-Herz W, Cancrini C, Cowan M, Bleesing J, Booth C, Buchbinder D, Burns SO, Chatila TA, Chou J, Daza-Cajigal V, Ott de Bruin LM, de la Morena MT, Di Matteo G, Finocchi A, Geha R, Goyal RK, Hayward A, Holland S, Huang CH, Kanariou MG, King A, Kaplan B, Kleva A, Kuijpers TW, Lee BW, Lougaris V, Massaad M, Meyts I, Morsheimer M, Neven B, Pai SY, Parvaneh N, Plebani A, Prockop S, Reisli I, Soh JY, Somech R, Torgerson TR, Kim YJ, Walter JE, Gennery AR, Keles S, Manis JP, Marcenaro E, Moretta A, Parolini S, Notarangelo LD. Corrigendum: Natural Killer Cells from Patients with Recombinase-Activating Gene and Non-Homologous End Joining Gene Defects Comprise a Higher Frequency of CD56bright NKG2A+++ Cells, and Yet Display Increased Degranulation and Higher Perforin Content. Front Immunol. 2017; 8:1244.
  8. Heimall J, Cowan MJ. Long term outcomes of severe combined immunodeficiency: therapy implications. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2017 Nov; 13(11):1029-1040.
  9. Dvorak CC, Puck JM, Wahlstrom JT, Dorsey M, Melton A, Cowan MJ. Neurologic event-free survival demonstrates a benefit for SCID patients diagnosed by newborn screening. Blood Adv. 2017 Sep 12; 1(20):1694-1698.
  10. Cowan MJ, Dvorak CC, Long-Boyle J. Opening Marrow Niches in Patients Undergoing Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Gene Therapy. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2017 10; 31(5):809-822.
  11. Dobbs K, Tabellini G, Calzoni E, Patrizi O, Martinez P, Giliani SC, Moratto D, Al-Herz W, Cancrini C, Cowan M, Bleesing J, Booth C, Buchbinder D, Burns SO, Chatila TA, Chou J, Daza-Cajigal V, Ott de Bruin LM, de la Morena M, Di Matteo G, Finocchi A, Geha R, Goyal RK, Hayward A, Holland S, Huang CH, Kanariou MG, King A, Kaplan B, Kleva A, Kuijpers TW, Lee BW, Lougaris V, Massaad M, Meyts I, Morsheimer M, Neven B, Pai SY, Plebani A, Prockop S, Reisli I, Soh JY, Somech R, Torgerson TR, Kim YJ, Walter JE, Gennery AR, Keles S, Manis JP, Marcenaro E, Moretta A, Parolini S, Notarangelo LD. Natural Killer Cells from Patients with Recombinase-Activating Gene and Non-Homologous End Joining Gene Defects Comprise a Higher Frequency of CD56bright NKG2A+++ Cells, and Yet Display Increased Degranulation and Higher Perforin Content. Front Immunol. 2017; 8:798.
  12. Ivaturi V, Dvorak CC, Chan D, Liu T, Cowan MJ, Wahlstrom J, Stricherz M, Jennissen C, Orchard PJ, Tolar J, Pai SY, Huang L, Aweeka F, Long-Boyle J. Pharmacokinetics and Model-Based Dosing to Optimize Fludarabine Therapy in Pediatric Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Recipients. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2017 Oct; 23(10):1701-1713.
  13. Heimall J, Buckley RH, Puck J, Fleisher TA, Gennery AR, Haddad E, Neven B, Slatter M, Roderick S, Baker KS, Dietz AC, Duncan C, Griffith LM, Notarangelo L, Pulsipher MA, Cowan MJ. Recommendations for Screening and Management of Late Effects in Patients with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency after Allogenic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: A Consensus Statement from the Second Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium International Conference on Late Effects after Pediatric HCT. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2017 Aug; 23(8):1229-1240.
  14. Khandelwal P, Millard HR, Thiel E, Abdel-Azim H, Abraham AA, Auletta JJ, Boulad F, Brown VI, Camitta BM, Chan KW, Chaudhury S, Cowan MJ, Angel-Diaz M, Gadalla SM, Gale RP, Hale G, Kasow KA, Keating AK, Kitko CL, MacMillan ML, Olsson RF, Page KM, Seber A, Smith AR, Warwick AB, Wirk B, Mehta PA. Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Activity in Pediatric Cancer between 2008 and 2014 in the United States: A Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research Report. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2017 Aug; 23(8):1342-1349.
  15. Slack J, Albert MH, Balashov D, Belohradsky BH, Bertaina A, Bleesing J, Booth C, Buechner J, Buckley RH, Ouachée-Chardin M, Deripapa E, Drabko K, Eapen M, Feuchtinger T, Finocchi A, Gaspar HB, Ghosh S, Gillio A, Gonzalez-Granado LI, Grunebaum E, Güngör T, Heilmann C, Helminen M, Higuchi K, Imai K, Kalwak K, Kanazawa N, Karasu G, Kucuk ZY, Laberko A, Lange A, Mahlaoui N, Meisel R, Moshous D, Muramatsu H, Parikh S, Pasic S, Schmid I, Schuetz C, Schulz A, Schultz KR, Shaw PJ, Slatter MA, Sykora KW, Tamura S, Taskinen M, Wawer A, Wolska-Kusnierz B, Cowan MJ, Fischer A, Gennery AR. Outcome of hematopoietic cell transplantation for DNA double-strand break repair disorders. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018 Jan; 141(1):322-328.e10.
  16. Hoenig M, Lagresle-Peyrou C, Pannicke U, Notarangelo LD, Porta F, Gennery AR, Slatter M, Cowan MJ, Stepensky P, Al-Mousa H, Al-Zahrani D, Pai SY, Al Herz W, Gaspar HB, Veys P, Oshima K, Imai K, Yabe H, Noroski LM, Wulffraat NM, Sykora KW, Soler-Palacin P, Muramatsu H, Al Hilali M, Moshous D, Debatin KM, Schuetz C, Jacobsen EM, Schulz AS, Schwarz K, Fischer A, Friedrich W, Cavazzana M. Reticular dysgenesis: international survey on clinical presentation, transplantation, and outcome. Blood. 2017 05 25; 129(21):2928-2938.
  17. Dorsey MJ, Dvorak CC, Cowan MJ, Puck JM. Treatment of infants identified as having severe combined immunodeficiency by means of newborn screening. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Mar; 139(3):733-742.
  18. Punwani D, Zhang Y, Yu J, Cowan MJ, Rana S, Kwan A, Adhikari AN, Lizama CO, Mendelsohn BA, Fahl SP, Chellappan A, Srinivasan R, Brenner SE, Wiest DL, Puck JM. Multisystem Anomalies in Severe Combined Immunodeficiency with Mutant BCL11B. N Engl J Med. 2016 12 01; 375(22):2165-2176.
  19. Walter JE, Rosen LB, Csomos K, Rosenberg JM, Mathew D, Keszei M, Ujhazi B, Chen K, Lee YN, Tirosh I, Dobbs K, Al-Herz W, Cowan MJ, Puck J, Bleesing JJ, Grimley MS, Malech H, De Ravin SS, Gennery AR, Abraham RS, Joshi AY, Boyce TG, Butte MJ, Nadeau KC, Balboni I, Sullivan KE, Akhter J, Adeli M, El-Feky RA, El-Ghoneimy DH, Dbaibo G, Wakim R, Azzari C, Palma P, Cancrini C, Capuder K, Condino-Neto A, Costa-Carvalho BT, Oliveira JB, Roifman C, Buchbinder D, Kumanovics A, Franco JL, Niehues T, Schuetz C, Kuijpers T, Yee C, Chou J, Masaad MJ, Geha R, Uzel G, Gelman R, Holland SM, Recher M, Utz PJ, Browne SK, Notarangelo LD. Broad-spectrum antibodies against self-antigens and cytokines in RAG deficiency. J Clin Invest. 2016 Nov 01; 126(11):4389.
  20. Cowan MJ, Kiem HP. Devouring the Hematopoietic Stem Cell: Setting the Table for Marrow Cell Transplantation. Mol Ther. 2016 Nov; 24(11):1892-1894.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.