Photo of Emery Bresnik, PhDProfessor in Cell and Regenerative Biology

(608) 265-6446

Department of Pharmacology
4009 WIMR

Research Interests: Basic stem cell science; hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells


2007 – Distinguished Alumnus, University of Michigan School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology
2000 – Vilas Associate Award
1997 – National Institutes of Health K02 Career Development Award
1997 – Leukemia Society of America Scholar Award
1996 – Shaw Scientist Award
1994 – Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America Foundation Faculty Development Award


2009 – Editor, The Open Leukemia Journal
2005 – Chair, NIH Erythrocyte and Leukocyte Biology Study Section
2005 – Member of Molecular and Cellular Biology Editorial Board
2002 – Associate Editor, Journal of Cellular Physiology
2002 – Member of Nucleic Acids Research Editorial Board
2002 – Member of Journal of Biological Chemistry Editorial Board


We use multidisciplinary approaches to understand stem/progenitor cell function, blood cell development, and vascular biology. Such approaches include genomics, proteomics, chemical genetics, embryonic stem cell differentiation, computational analysis, and traditional methodologies. In addition to elucidating biological principles, we aim to develop innovative therapeutic strategies based on targeting novel mechanisms.

Projects relevant to stem cell biology/regenerative medicine include:

Mechanisms of hematopoiesis:
We are analyzing the function/regulation of GATA factors that control hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and hematopoiesis. Transcriptional profiling and ChIPchip analysis have identified a cohort of novel GATA factor target genes, including genes encoding proteins that bear no obvious similarity to known proteins. Loss-of-function and gain-of-function studies are being conducted in mice, zebrafish, human adult stem/progenitors, and embryonic stem cell systems to discover new modes of controlling stem/progenitor cell function and to devise novel applications towards translational medicine. Defining novel hematopoietic mechanisms has enormous importance, as deviations from physiological programs yield leukemias, lymphomas, myelodysplasia, and additional blood disorders.

Vascular mechanisms and engineering:
We have developed a novel murine model characterized by severe hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell depletion and a severe vascular integrity defect. We are dissecting mechanisms underlying the establishment and maintenance of vascular integrity in normal and disease states. Understanding such mechanisms is essential for developing efficient approaches to promote the vascularization of engineered tissues, a limiting factor in regenerative medicine

  • Fujiwara, T., O’Geen, H., Keles, S., Blahnik, K., Linnemann, A.K., Kang, Y.-A., Choi, K., Farnham, P.J., and Bresnick, E.H. (2009) Discovering hematopoietic mechanisms through genome-wide analysis of GATA factor chromatin occupancy. Molecular Cell 36, 667-681
  • Lee, H.Y., Johnson, K.R., Fujiwara, T., Boyer, M.E., and Bresnick, E.H.(2009) Controlling Hematopoiesis Through Sumoylation-Dependent Regulation of a GATA Factor. Molecular Cell, In Press
  • Kim SI, Bultman SJ, Kiefer CM, Dean A, and Bresnick EH. (2009). BRG1 requirement for long-range interaction of a locus control region with a downstream promoter. PNAS USA. 106:2259-2264. PMID 19171905
  • Wozniak RJ, Keles S, Lugus JJ, Young KH, Boyer ME, Tran TM, Choi K,Bresnick EH., Molecular hallmarks of endogenous chromatin complexes containing master regulators of hematopoiesis. Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Nov;28(21):6681-94.
  • Scherzer CR, Grass JA, Liao Z, Pepivani I, Zheng B, Eklund AC, Ney PA, Ng J, McGoldrick M, Mollenhauer B, Bresnick EH, Schlossmacher MG, GATA transcription factors directly regulate the Parkinson’s disease-linked gene alpha-synuclein. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Aug 5;105(31):10907-12.