Ona E. Bloom, PhD

Associate Investigator, Center for Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Disease,
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Northwell Health

Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine

Associate Professor and Director of Research, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,
Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine

Phone: (516) 562-3839
Email: obloom@northwell.edu

About the Investigator
Dr. Ona Bloom is director of The Laboratory of Neuroimmunology and Associate Investigator at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. She is jointly appointed as Associate Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and of Molecular Medicine at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. Dr. Bloom also serves as the Director of Research for the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Prior to joining Northwell Health, Dr. Bloom performed her postdoctoral studies and served as an associate research scientist in the Departments of Cell Biology and Immunology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Her studies at Yale focused on understanding how immune cells communicate with each other. Dr. Bloom received her PhD from The Rockefeller University in 2002, where she studied molecular and cellular neuroscience in the laboratory of Professor Paul Greengard. Her PhD studies were focused on understanding the molecular anatomy of synapses, the points of communication between nerve cells.

Research Focus
The focus of Dr. Bloom’s research group is to identify the molecular factors necessary to successfully recover from central nervous system (CNS) injury or disease. Towards that goal, her lab is investigating factors, both intrinsic and extrinsic to neurons, that influence the course of injury or disease, as well as the process of recover, in the CNS.

A major interest of Dr. Bloom’s lab is to understand how to limit damage and provide a pro-regenerative environment to nerve cells after spinal cord injury (SCI), which affects more than 10,000 people per year in the United States. The acute response to SCI includes diverse processes that both limit (e.g. inflammation), and promote (e.g. growth factors) recovery. To identify molecular programs that accompany successful and unsuccessful regeneration after nerve cell injury, Dr. Bloom’s research group is using biochemical, cell biological and functional genomics methods. In addition to unbiased approaches, they are also specifically investigating the inflammatory response after SCI, in both clinical and pre-clinical studies, with the hopes of identifying new targets for potential therapeutic intervention.

Dr. Bloom’s clinical studies on spinal cord injury are performed in collaboration with Dr. Stein, Chairman, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwell Health and Dr. Bank, Director, Section of Trauma, Department of Surgery,  of North Shore University Hospital.  Dr. Bloom also collaborates with Feinstein colleague Dr. Nadeen Chahine to understand the role of inflammation in degenerative disc disease.

Another focus of Dr. Bloom’s lab, pursued together with Feinstein colleagues Dr. Betty Diamond and Dr. Yousef Al-Abed, is to develop novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of lupus. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects approximately 1.5 million Americans. The disease is characterized by the presence of antibodies against the patient, which can lead to damage and symptoms in multiple organs, including the nervous system. Dr. Bloom’s lab is performing pre-clinical studies, based on discoveries from Dr. Diamond’s lab, to neutralize autoantibodies that damage nerve cells, and other cell types.

Lab Members

Katie Gibbs, DO
Postdoctoral Fellow
Email: Kgibbs2@northwell.edu

Paige Herman
Research Assistant
Email: pherman1@northwell.edu

Nawshin Kutub, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Trainee
Email: nkutub@northwell.edu

Rachel Monahan
Research Coordinator
Email: rmonahan1@northwell.edu

Angelos Papatheodorou
Research Assistant
Email: apapathe@northwell.edu

Collaborators within Northwell Health:
Dr. Yousef Al-Abed
Dr. Matthew Bank
Dr. Nadeen Chahine
Dr. Betty Diamond
Dr. Christine Metz
Dr. Adam Stein

Barnard College
Degree: BA
Field of Study: History

The Rockefeller University
Degree: PhD
Field of Study: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

Yale University School of Medicine
Degree: Postdoc
Field of Study: Cell Biology/Immunology

Awards & Honors

2014-2015 Empire State Clinical Research Investigator Program (ECRIP, NY State), Biomarkers of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury
2013-2015 Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, Contributions of inflammatory mediators in chronic SCI
2013 Innovation Award, Advancing Women in Science and Medicine, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
2012-present NIH (NINDS), R03NS078519-01A1 Transcriptome Analysis of a Regenerating Vertebrate Spinal Cord After Injury
2012, 2013 The Albert and Ellen Grass Foundation Faculty Research Award, The Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
2011, 2010 The Charles Evans Foundation Research Award, The Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
2009 The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Competitive Faculty Award
2009 The Ann E. Kammer Memorial Fellowship and The Lucy B. Lemann  Fund, The Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA

  1. Weber KT, Satoh S, Alipui DO, Virojanapa J, Levine M, Sison C, Quraishi S, Bloom O, Chahine NO. “Exploratory study for identifying systemic biomarkers that correlate with pain response in patients with intervertebral disc disorders.” Immunol Res. 2015 Dec;63(1-3):170-80. doi: 10.1007/s12026-015-8709-2.
  2. Bank M, Stein A, Sison C, Glazer A, Jassal N, McCarthy D, Shatzer M, Hahn B, Chugh R, Davies P, Bloom O.”Elevated Circulating Levels of the Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor in Individuals With Acute Spinal Cord Injury.” Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2014 Nov 15. pii: S0003-9993(14)01223-4. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.10.021. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:25461821
  3. Stein A, Panjwani A, Sison C, Rosen L, Chugh R, Metz C, Bank M, Bloom O. “Elevated circulating levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) patients.” Archives Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2013 Aug;94(8):1498-507. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.04.004. Epub 2013 Apr 22.
  4. Smith JJ, Kuraku S, Holt C, Sauka-Spengler T et al, “The Lamprey Genome: Illuminating Vertebrate Origins”, Nat Genet. 2013 Apr;45(4):415-21. doi: 10.1038/ng.2568. Epub 2013 Feb 24.
  5. Rajan N, Bloom O, Stetson N, Sherry B, Levine M, Chahine N.  “Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4) Expression and Stimulation in an Inflammatory Model of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration”, SPINE, 2013 Jul 15;38(16):1343-51. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31826b71f4.
  6. Smith J, Morgan J, Zottoli S, Smith P, Buxbaum J, Bloom O. “Regeneration in the Era of Functional Genomics and Gene Network Analysis.” Invited Review, The Biological Bulletin, 2011 August, Volume 221: 18-34.
  7. Bloom O, Cheng KF, He M, Papatheodorou A, Volpe B, Diamond B, Al-Abed Y. “Generation of a novel small molecule peptidomimetic that neutralizes lupus autoantibody activity.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Nov 8;108(45):18566
  8. Bloom O, Morgan J. “Membrane Trafficking Events Underlying Axon Repair, Growth and Regeneration. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience.” 2011. (48) 339-348. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2011.04.003
  9. Diamond B, Bloom O, Al Abed Y, Kowal C, Huerta P, Volpe B. “Moving towards a Cure: Blocking Pathogenic Antibodies.” Journal of Internal Medicine, 2011 Dec;48(4):339-48. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2011.04.003. Epub 2011 Apr 23.
  10. Bloom O, Unternaehrer J, Jiang A, Shin J-S, Delamarre L, Allen P, Mellman I. “Spinophilin participates in information transfer at immunological synapses”, J. Cell Biol. 2008 April 14; 181: 203-211.
  11. Jiang A, Bloom O, Ono S, Cui W, Unternaehrer J, Jiang S, Whitney JA, Connolly J, Banchereau J, Mellman I. “Disruption of E-cadherin-mediated adhesion induces a functionally distinct pathway of dendritic cell maturation.” Immunity 2007 October 26; 27: 610-624.

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