Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D.

Bone Marrow Transplantation, Pediatrics

Dr. Kurtzberg is an internationally distinguished expert in umbilical cord blood transplantation. She has earned distinction in the field of basic research due to her role in the development of several anti-leukemia drugs. Her other work includes the study of actions of recombinant hematopoietic growth factors, the use of umbilical cord blood in human bone marrow transplantation, the ex vivo expansion of stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood and the immune system’s reconstitution after umbilical cord blood transplantation.

Dr. Kurtzberg graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York in 1972 and obtained her medical degree from New York Medical College, New York, New York. Dr. Kurtzberg’s post-graduate training started with an internship in Pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical Center in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she went on to complete her residency at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York in 1980. In that same year, she began her career at Duke University Medical Center as a senior research fellow in pediatric hematology-oncology. Within three years she was appointed to be an assistant professor of pediatrics. She became a professor of pediatrics in 1993 and a professor of pathology in 2003.

Dr. Kurtzberg holds positions on a number of scientific advisory boards and is a member of several national and international committees, including the Medical Advisory Board of the International Children’s Cancer Society, the FDA BRMAC Committee, the National Cancer Institute and the Children’s Oncology Group. She also serves as a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and currently co-chairs the National Marrow Donor Program Cord Blood Committee.

Dr. Kurtzberg is active in sharing her knowledge and experience with others, particularly students receiving their medical education. Since 1988 she has mentored 18 post-doctoral fellows in her research laboratory and has served as preceptor to 12 medical students in laboratory and clinical environments. She is a faculty member of Duke University’s Summer Biomedical Science Institute. In addition, she delivers annual lectures to the Howard Hughes Program for Developing Scientists, the Duke Physician Assistant Program, and the Immunology Study Program.

Dr. Kurtzberg has concentrated her work on applying basic research to the clinical setting and has published more than 200 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Pediatrics and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. She has written more than 30 chapters for textbooks and information about her work has appeared on U.S. and British television networks, in video documentaries, and in U.S. and European magazines and newspapers.


Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina:

  • Chief Scientific Officer, Robertson Clinical and Translational Cell Therapy Program
  • Director, DTRI Cell and Tissue Therapies Core
  • Co-Director, Stem Cell Laboratory
  • Director, Carolinas Cord Blood Bank
  • Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology
  • Former Chief of Pediatrics, Blood and Marrow Transplantation

M.D., New York Medical College, New York, New York, 1976


Pediatrics, Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, New York, 1979

  • Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, New York, 1980
  • Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, 1983

American Board of Pediatrics

Hospital Affiliations & Admitting Privileges

Duke University Medical Center