Marie Bleakley, MD, PhD, MMSc

Marie  Bleakley, MD, PhD, MMSc

Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Leukemia and Lymphoma Program, Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, High-Risk Leukemia Program

On staff since November 2005

Children's Title: Co-Director, High-Risk Leukemia Program

Academic Title: Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine

Research Title: Professor and Director, Cellular Therapy and Transplantation for Pediatric Leukemia, Translational Sciences and Therapeutics Division, Fred Hutch

Foundation Title: Gerdin Family Endowed Chair for Leukemia Research

Research Center: Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research

"Cancer is an enormous challenge, but what gives me hope are the new advances in immunotherapies — ways we can manipulate the immune system to fight cancer — and the resilience and strength of the young people I treat."

  • Biography

    Marie Bleakley, MD, PhD, MMSc, is a hematologist-oncologist who specializes in hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cell transplantation for children and young adults with blood cancers. In addition to caring for patients, she serves as the co-director of the High-Risk Leukemia Program at Seattle Children’s. In this role, Dr. Bleakley collaborates with families and other physicians to develop treatment plans for patients with leukemia that has a high risk of relapse. 

    At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Dr. Bleakley is the director, Cellular Therapy and Transplantation for Pediatric Leukemia; Gerdin Family Endowed Chair for Leukemia Research; and an associate professor, Clinical Research Division. She leads a lab that is focused on developing better approaches to stem cell transplantation and other cellular therapies for young patients with leukemia. The team's goal is to develop therapies that harness the cancer-fighting power of T cells (a type of immune cell) while also reducing the incidence of graft-versus-host disease, a potentially life-threatening side effect of transplantation. Dr. Bleakley is the principal investigator of multiple ongoing clinical trials in these areas. 

  • Patient Testimonials
  • Awards and Honors
    Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
    Elected Member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation 2019
    Gerdin Family Endowed Chair in Leukemia Research Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center 2018
    Karl Blume Award, Best Clinical Science Article by a New Investigator ASTCT 2014
  • Publications

    Book Chapters

    • Bleakley M, Shaw PJ.
      Growth and development of the pediatric recipient.
      In: Clinical Bone Marrow and Blood Stem Cell Transplantation, 3rd Ed. Atkinson K, Champlin R, Ritz J, Fibbe WE, Ljungman P, Brenner MK (eds). Cambridge University Press, pp 1357-73, Chapter 84, 2004

    Published Abstracts

    • Summers C, Krakow E, Dahlberg A, Bar M, Biernacki M, Cunningham T, Vartanian N, Hickner M, Woodward K, Dossa R, Brault M and Bleakley M.
      First-in-human HA-1 targeting TCR T cell immunotherapy for pediatric patients with post allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation relapse of hematologic malignancies.
      Children's Wisconsin and MACC Fund Pediatric Cancer Symposium [Poster Presentation, Best Poster Award], 2021
    • Cox E, Summers C, Milano F, Dahlberg A, Bleakley M, Sandmaier B, Thakar M.
      Outcomes of Patients Undergoing Third Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) for Hematopoietic Malignancies.
      Transplantation and Cellular Therapies International Meeting [Poster Presentation], 2021
    • Krakow E, Summers C, Dahlberg A, Bar M, Biernacki M, Cunningham T, Vartanian N, Hickner M, Chaney C, Habtetsion T, Woodward K, Dossa R, Brault M, Bleakley M.
      Phase I Study of Adoptive Immunotherapy with HA-1-Specific CD8+ and CD4+ Memory T Cells for Children and Adults with Relapsed Acute Leukemia after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HCT): Trial in Progress.
      American Society of Hematology (ASH) [Oral Presentation], 2020
    • Biernacki M, Foster K, Clough C, Busch S, Cummings C, Oehler V, Stirewalt D, Doulatov S, Bleakley M.
      A Shared SF3B1 Neoantigen Is Presented on Primary Malignant Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Hematopoietic Lines.
      American Society of Hematology (ASH) [Poster Presentation], 2020
    • Brault M, Biernacki M, Gerard E, Foster K, Olson J, Bleakley M.
      Novel epitope derived from PBK (PDZ-binding kinase), a cancer testis antigen, allows CD8+ T cell recognition of pediatric brain tumors.
      CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference [Oral Presentation] , 2019
    • Biernacki M, Foster KA, Coon ME, Stokke J, Cunningham TM, Dossa RG, Brault M, Woodward KB, Gardner K, Estey E, Meshinchi S, Bleakley M.
      An Epitope from the Recurrent CBFB-MYH11 Fusion Protein Is a Highly Immunogenic AML Neoantigen.
      Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meeting, Late-breaking Abstract, 2019
    • Krakow EF, Summers C, Dahlberg A, Bar M, Biernacki M, Habtetsion T, Woodward K, Cunningham T, Dossa R, Persinger H, Nagengast A, Hilzinger B, Bleakley M.
      Phase I study of adoptive immunotherapy with HA-1-specific CD8+ and CD4+ memory T cells for children and adults with relapsed acute leukemia after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
      Fourth International Workshop on the Biology, Prevention and Treatment of Relapse after Hematopoietic Stem Cell transplantation [Poster], 2018

    Other Publications

    • Tarlock K, Sulis ML, Chewning JH, Pollard JA, Cooper T, Gamis A, Shenoy S, Kutny M, Horan J, Meshinchi S, Boelens JJ, Bleakley M, Carpenter PA, Kolb EA
      Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in the Treatment of Pediatric Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Guidelines from the American Society of Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.
      35717004 Transplantation and cellular therapy, 2022 Sept. : 28(9)530-545
    • Zarling LC, Othus M, Sandmaier BM, Milano F, Schoch G, Davis C, Bleakley M, Deeg HJ, Appelbaum FR, Storb R, Walter RB
      Utility of the Treatment-Related Mortality (TRM) score to predict outcomes of adults with acute myeloid leukemia undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.
      35440690 Leukemia, 2022 June : 36(6)1563-1574 PMCID:PMC9177780
    • Bleakley M, Sehgal A, Seropian S, Biernacki MA, Krakow EF, Dahlberg A, Persinger H, Hilzinger B, Martin PJ, Carpenter PA, Flowers ME, Voutsinas J, Gooley TA, Loeb K, Wood BL, Heimfeld S, Riddell SR, Shlomchik WD
      Naive T-Cell Depletion to Prevent Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease.
      35007144 Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2022 Apr 10 : 40(11)1174-1185 PMCID:PMC8987226
    • Paras G, Morsink LM, Othus M, Milano F, Sandmaier BM, Zarling LC, Palmieri R, Schoch G, Davis C, Bleakley M, Flowers MED, Deeg HJ, Appelbaum FR, Storb R, Walter RB
      Conditioning intensity and peritransplant flow cytometric MRD dynamics in adult AML.
      34995355 Blood, 2022 Mar 17 : 139(11)1694-1706 PMCID:PMC8931514
    • Lahman MC, Schmitt TM, Paulson KG, Vigneron N, Buenrostro D, Wagener FD, Voillet V, Martin L, Gottardo R, Bielas J, McElrath JM, Stirewalt DL, Pogosova-Agadjanyan EL, Yeung CC, Pierce RH, Egan DN, Bar M, Hendrie PC, Kinsella S, Vakil A, Butler J, Chaffee M, Linton J, McAfee MS, Hunter DS, Bleakley M, Rongvaux A, Van den Eynde BJ, Chapuis AG, Greenberg PD
      Targeting an alternate Wilms' tumor antigen 1 peptide bypasses immunoproteasome dependency.
      35138909 Science translational medicine, 2022 Feb 9 : 14(631)eabg8070 PMCID:PMC8985599
    • Summers C, Wu QV, Annesley C, Bleakley M, Dahlberg A, Narayanaswamy P, Huang W, Voutsinas J, Brand A, Leisenring W, Jensen MC, Park JR, Gardner RA
      Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation after CD19 Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell-Induced Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma Remission Confers a Leukemia-Free Survival Advantage.
      34644605 Transplantation and cellular therapy, 2022 Jan. : 28(1)21-29
    • Qayed M, Bleakley M, Shah NN
      Role of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy: bridge to transplantation or stand-alone therapy in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
      34508031 Current opinion in hematology, 2021 Nov 1 : 28(6)373-379 PMCID:PMC9079121
    • Wright JH, Huang LY, Weaver S, Archila LD, McAfee MS, Hirayama AV, Chapuis AG, Bleakley M, Rongvaux A, Turtle CJ, Chanthaphavong RS, Campbell JS, Pierce RH
      Detection of engineered T cells in FFPE tissue by multiplex in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry.
      33383062 Journal of immunological methods, 2021 May : 492112955 PMCID:PMC7979489
    • Chew GL, Bleakley M, Bradley RK, Malik HS, Henikoff S, Molaro A, Sarthy J
      Short H2A histone variants are expressed in cancer.
      33473122 Nature communications, 2021 Jan 20 : 12(1)490 PMCID:PMC7817690
    • Bleakley M
      Naive T-cell depletion in stem cell transplantation.
      33049057 Blood advances, 2020 Oct 13 : 4(19)4980 PMCID:PMC7556126
    • Biernacki MA, Foster KA, Woodward KB, Coon ME, Cummings C, Cunningham TM, Dossa RG, Brault M, Stokke J, Olsen TM, Gardner K, Estey E, Meshinchi S, Rongvaux A, Bleakley M
      CBFB-MYH11 fusion neoantigen enables T cell recognition and killing of acute myeloid leukemia.
      32831296 The Journal of clinical investigation, 2020 Oct 1 : 130(10)5127-5141 PMCID:PMC7524498
    • Biernacki MA, Sheth VS, Bleakley M
      T cell optimization for graft-versus-leukemia responses.
      32376800 JCI insight, 2020 May 7 : 5(9) PMCID:PMC7253012
    • Biernacki MA, Bleakley M
      Neoantigens in Hematologic Malignancies.
      32117272 Frontiers in immunology, 2020 : 11121 PMCID:PMC7033457
    • Summers C, Sheth VS, Bleakley M
      Minor Histocompatibility Antigen-Specific T Cells.
      32582592 Frontiers in pediatrics, 2020 : 8284 PMCID:PMC7283489
    • Dahlberg A, Leisenring W, Bleakley M, Meshinchi S, Baker KS, Summers C, Hadland B, Delaney C, Mallhi K, Burroughs L, Carpenter P, Woolfrey A
      Prognosis of relapse after hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) for treatment of leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in children.
      30670822 Bone marrow transplantation, 2019 Aug. : 54(8)1337-1345 PMCID:PMC6646113
    • Chapuis AG, Egan DN, Bar M, Schmitt TM, McAfee MS, Paulson KG, Voillet V, Gottardo R, Ragnarsson GB, Bleakley M, Yeung CC, Muhlhauser P, Nguyen HN, Kropp LA, Castelli L, Wagener F, Hunter D, Lindberg M, Cohen K, Seese A, McElrath MJ, Duerkopp N, Gooley TA, Greenberg PD
      T cell receptor gene therapy targeting WT1 prevents acute myeloid leukemia relapse post-transplant.
      31235963 Nature medicine, 2019 July : 25(7)1064-1072 PMCID:PMC6982533
    • Biernacki MA, Brault M, Bleakley M
      T-Cell Receptor-Based Immunotherapy for Hematologic Malignancies.
      31135525 Cancer journal (Sudbury, Mass.), 2019 May : 25(3)179-190 PMCID:PMC6540815
    • Dossa RG, Cunningham T, Sommermeyer D, Medina-Rodriguez I, Biernacki MA, Foster K, Bleakley M
      Development of T-cell immunotherapy for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients at risk of leukemia relapse.
      29051183 Blood, 2018 Jan 4 : 131(1)108-120 PMCID:PMC5755045
    • Gardner RA, Finney O, Annesley C, Brakke H, Summers C, Leger K, Bleakley M, Brown C, Mgebroff S, Kelly-Spratt KS, Hoglund V, Lindgren C, Oron AP, Li D, Riddell SR, Park JR, Jensen MC
      Intent-to-treat leukemia remission by CD19 CAR T cells of defined formulation and dose in children and young adults.
      28408462 Blood, 2017 Jun 22 : 129(25)3322-3331 PMCID:PMC5482103
    • Bleakley M, Heimfeld S, Loeb KR, Jones LA, Chaney C, Seropian S, Gooley TA, Sommermeyer F, Riddell SR, Shlomchik WD
      Outcomes of acute leukemia patients transplanted with naive T cell-depleted stem cell grafts.
      26053664 The Journal of clinical investigation, 2015 Jul 1 : 125(7)2677-89 PMCID:PMC4563691
    • Bleakley M, Heimfeld S, Jones LA, Turtle C, Krause D, Riddell SR, Shlomchik W
      Engineering human peripheral blood stem cell grafts that are depleted of naïve T cells and retain functional pathogen-specific memory T cells.
      24525279 Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 2014 May : 20(5)705-16 PMCID:PMC3985542
    • Pollack SM, Jones RL, Farrar EA, Lai IP, Lee SM, Cao J, Pillarisetty VG, Hoch BL, Gullett A, Bleakley M, Conrad EU 3rd, Eary JF, Shibuya KC, Warren EH, Carstens JN, Heimfeld S, Riddell SR, Yee C
      Tetramer guided, cell sorter assisted production of clinical grade autologous NY-ESO-1 specific CD8(+) T cells.
      25317334 Journal for immunotherapy of cancer, 2014 : 2(1)36 PMCID:PMC4196009
    • McGoldrick SM, Bleakley ME, Guerrero A, Turtle CJ, Yamamoto TN, Pereira SE, Delaney CS, Riddell SR
      Cytomegalovirus-specific T cells are primed early after cord blood transplant but fail to control virus in vivo.
      23412093 Blood, 2013 Apr 4 : 121(14)2796-803 PMCID:PMC3617639
    • Pollack SM, Jungbluth AA, Hoch BL, Farrar EA, Bleakley M, Schneider DJ, Loggers ET, Rodler E, Eary JF, Conrad EU 3rd, Jones RL, Yee C
      NY-ESO-1 is a ubiquitous immunotherapeutic target antigen for patients with myxoid/round cell liposarcoma.
      22359263 Cancer, 2012 Sep 15 : 118(18)4564-70 PMCID:PMC3361576
    • Bleakley M, Turtle CJ, Riddell SR
      Augmentation of anti-tumor immunity by adoptive T-cell transfer after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
      22992235 Expert review of hematology, 2012 Aug. : 5(4)409-25 PMCID:PMC3590108
    • Ochsenreither S, Majeti R, Schmitt T, Stirewalt D, Keilholz U, Loeb KR, Wood B, Choi YE, Bleakley M, Warren EH, Hudecek M, Akatsuka Y, Weissman IL, Greenberg PD
      Cyclin-A1 represents a new immunogenic targetable antigen expressed in acute myeloid leukemia stem cells with characteristics of a cancer-testis antigen.
      22529286 Blood, 2012 Jun 7 : 119(23)5492-501 PMCID:PMC3369684
    • Fisher BT, Zaoutis TE, Park JR, Bleakley M, Englund JA, Kane C, Arceci RJ, Guinan E, Smith FO, Luan X, Marr KA
      Galactomannan Antigen Testing for Diagnosis of Invasive Aspergillosis in Pediatric Hematology Patients.
      23687575 Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, 2012 June : 1(2)103-111 PMCID:PMC3656552
    • Yamamura T, Hikita J, Bleakley M, Hirosawa T, Matsubara A, Hamajima T, Nannya Y, Demachi-Okamura A, Maruya E, Saji H, Takahashi T, Emi N, Morishima Y, Kodera Y, Kuzushima K, Riddell S.R, Ogawa S & Akatsuka Y.
      HapMap SNP Scanner: an online program to mine SNPs responsible for cell phenotype.
      Tissue Antigens, 2012 : 80119-25 PMCID:PMC363504
    • Bleakley M, Riddell SR
      Exploiting T cells specific for human minor histocompatibility antigens for therapy of leukemia.
      21301477 Immunology and cell biology, 2011 March : 89(3)396-407 PMCID:PMC3061548
    • Hudecek M, Schmitt TM, Baskar S, Lupo-Stanghellini MT, Nishida T, Yamamoto TN, Bleakley M, Turtle CJ, Chang WC, Greisman HA, Wood B, Maloney DG, Jensen MC, Rader C, Riddell SR
      The B-cell tumor-associated antigen ROR1 can be targeted with T cells modified to express a ROR1-specific chimeric antigen receptor.
      20702778 Blood, 2010 Nov 25 : 116(22)4532-41 PMCID:PMC2996114
    • Bleakley M, Otterud BE, Richardt JL, Mollerup AD, Hudecek M, Nishida T, Chaney CN, Warren EH, Leppert MF, Riddell SR
      Leukemia-associated minor histocompatibility antigen discovery using T-cell clones isolated by in vitro stimulation of naive CD8+ T cells.
      20203263 Blood, 2010 Jun 10 : 115(23)4923-33 PMCID:PMC2890170
    • Nishida T, Hudecek M, Kostic A, Bleakley M, Warren EH, Maloney D, Storb R, Riddell SR
      Development of tumor-reactive T cells after nonmyeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
      19567591 Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 2009 Jul 15 : 4759-68
    • Wolfl M, Kuball J, Ho WY, Nguyen H, Manley TJ, Bleakley M, Greenberg PD
      Activation-induced expression of CD137 permits detection, isolation, and expansion of the full repertoire of CD8+ T cells responding to antigen without requiring knowledge of epitope specificities.
      17371945 Blood, 2007 Jul 1 : 201-10
    • Halliday C, Hoile R, Sorrell T, James G, Yadav S, Shaw P, Bleakley M, Bradstock K, Chen S
      Role of prospective screening of blood for invasive aspergillosis by polymerase chain reaction in febrile neutropenic recipients of haematopoietic stem cell transplants and patients with acute leukaemia.
      16412020 British journal of haematology, 2006 Feb. : 132(4)478-86
    • Riddell SR, Bleakley M, Nishida T, Berger C, Warren EH
      Adoptive transfer of allogeneic antigen-specific T cells.
      16399578 Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 2006 Jan. : 9-12
    • Li Y, Bleakley M, Yee C
      IL-21 influences the frequency, phenotype, and affinity of the antigen-specific CD8 T cell response.
      16081794 Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 2005 Aug 15 : 2261-9
    • Bleakley M, Riddell SR
      Molecules and mechanisms of the graft-versus-leukaemia effect.
      15122208 Nature reviews. Cancer, 2004 May : 371-80
    • Ljungman P, Ribaud P, Eyrich M, Matthes-Martin S, Einsele H, Bleakley M, Machaczka M, Bierings M, Bosi A, Gratecos N, Cordonnier C, Infectious Diseases Working Party of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
      Cidofovir for adenovirus infections after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a survey by the Infectious Diseases Working Party of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
      12665844 Bone marrow transplantation, 2003 March : 31(6)481-6
    • Bleakley M, Shaw PJ, Nielsen JM
      Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for childhood relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia: comparison of outcome in patients with and without a matched family donor.
      12105770 Bone marrow transplantation, 2002 July : 30(1)1-7
    • Bleakley M, Lau L, Shaw PJ, Kaufman A
      Bone marrow transplantation for paediatric AML in first remission: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
      12058234 Bone marrow transplantation, 2002 May : 29(10)843-52
    • Bleakley M, Shaw PJ
      Searching for a cord blood unit for transplantation based on the unit's cell count.
      11019853 Bone marrow transplantation, 2000 Sept. : 26(5)585-6
    • Shaw PJ, Bleakley M
      Systemic inflammatory response syndrome associated with amifostine.
      10742082 Medical and pediatric oncology, 2000 April : 34(4)309-10


Board Certification(s)

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

Medical/Professional School

Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide
University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308
University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW


Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, WA

Research Focus Area

High-risk leukemias, T cell immunotherapy, Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation