Shernan Holtan, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation

Shernan Holtan

Contact Info

Mailing Address:
Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 480
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Kristin Blomquist

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Administrative Fax Number

Medical School, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

Bachelors, Hastings College, Hastings, NE


Dr. Holtan is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, where she serves as a hematologist focusing on allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for malignant and non-malignant diseases, melanoma, and long-term survivorship. She also serves as a clinical/translational investigator focused on personalized immune monitoring, inflammation resolution, and the role of wound healing-associated growth factors in graft-versus-host disease. Dr. Holtan brings a strong track record of multidisciplinary research to the University of Minnesota. Since her hematology/oncology fellowship at Mayo Clinic, she has been studying the parallels of pregnancy and transplantation medicine in collaboration with physicians and scientists in obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, immunology, and bioinformatics.


  • Immunotherapy
  • Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation
  • Graft versus host disease
  • Long-term survivorship
  • Melanoma

Awards & Recognition

  • Board certified in internal medicine, oncology, and hematology
  • CIBMTR, member of Late Effects, Immunobiology, and GVHD working committees
  • OHSU Red Rose Award, 2013
  • Edward T. Creagan Award for Outstanding Contribution to Melanoma Research, 2011


Research Summary/Interests

  • Personalized immune monitoring
  • Inflammation resolution in GVHD
  • Immunology of pregnancy
  • Immunology of Cancer

Research Funding Grants

  • National Marrow Donor Program Grant: Inflammation, Endothelial Damage, and Angiogenesis after Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: A Biomarker Study of BMT CTN 0402
  • University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid: Microbial, Graft, and Host Interactions in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
  • Medical Research Foundation, OHSU: Angiogenic hormones in post-hematopoietic cell transplantation immune responses
  • BIRCWH K12, OHSU: Sex-based differences in allogeneic immune responses
  • Women’s Health Research Program, Mayo Clinic: Fetomaternal tolerance: Implications for development of novel immunologic cancer therapies


  • Holtan SG, Arora M: Angiogenic factors and inflammation in steroid-refractory acute graft-vs-host disease. Translational research : the journal of laboratory and clinical medicine 2015.
  • Leonard JT, Newell LF, Meyers G, Hayes-Lattin B, Gajewski J, Heitner S, Nonas S, Allen B, Stentz A, Frires R, Maziarz RT, Holtan SG: Chronic GvHD-associated serositis and pericarditis. Bone marrow transplantation 2015;50:1098-1104.
  • Holtan SG, Chen Y, Kaimal R, Creedon DJ, Enninga EA, Nevala WK, Markovic SN: Growth modeling of the maternal cytokine milieu throughout normal pregnancy: macrophage-derived chemokine decreases as inflammation/counterregulation increases. Journal of immunology research 2015;2015:952571.
  • Holtan SG, Verneris MR, Schultz KR, Newell LF, Meyers G, He F, DeFor TE, Vercellotti GM, Slungaard A, MacMillan ML, Cooley SA, Blazar BR, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Weisdorf DJ: Circulating angiogenic factors associated with response and survival in patients with acute graft-versus-host disease: results from Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network 0302 and 0802. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2015;21:1029-1036.
  • Holtan SG, DeFor TE, Lazaryan A, Bejanyan N, Arora M, Brunstein CG, Blazar BR, MacMillan ML, Weisdorf DJ: Composite end point of graft-versus-host disease-free, relapse-free survival after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Blood 2015;125:1333-1338.
  • Thoma MD, Glejf J, Jacob E, Huneke TJ, DeCook LJ, Johnson ND, Patnaik MM, Litzow MR, Hogan WJ, Newell LF, Chandran R, Porrata LF, Holtan SG: Impact of clinical factors and allograft leukocyte content on post-transplant lymphopenia, monocytopenia, and survival in patients undergoing allogeneic peripheral blood haematopoietic cell transplant. BMC hematology 2014;14:14.
  • Enninga EA, Nevala WK, Creedon DJ, Markovic SN, Holtan SG: Fetal sex-based differences in maternal hormones, angiogenic factors, and immune mediators during pregnancy and the postpartum period. American journal of reproductive immunology 2015;73:251-262.
  • Holtan SG, Pasquini M, Weisdorf DJ: Acute graft-versus-host disease: a bench-to-bedside update. Blood 2014;124:363-373.
  • Holtan SG, Weisdorf DJ: The donor's dilemma. Blood 2014;123:3538-3539.
  • Enninga EA, Holtan SG, Creedon DJ, Dronca RS, Nevala WK, Ognjanovic S, Markovic SN: Immunomodulatory effects of sex hormones: requirements for pregnancy and relevance in melanoma. Mayo Clinic proceedings 2014;89:520-535.
  • DeCook LJ, Thoma M, Huneke T, Johnson ND, Wiegand RA, Patnaik MM, Litzow MR, Hogan WJ, Porrata LF, Holtan SG: Impact of lymphocyte and monocyte recovery on the outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic SCT with fludarabine and melphalan conditioning. Bone marrow transplantation 2013;48:708-714.
  • Holtan SG, Mansfield AS, Creedon DJ, Nevala WK, Haluska P, Leontovich AA, Markovic SN: An organ system based approach to prognosis in advanced melanoma. Frontiers in bioscience 2012;4:2823-2833.
  • Holtan SG, Dronca RS, Nevala WK, Porrata LF, Mansfield AS, Block MS, Leontovich AA, Grotz TE, Turner JD, Frisch HP, Markovic SN: The dynamic human immune response to cancer: it might just be rocket science. Immunotherapy 2011;3:1021-1024.
  • Thoma MD, Huneke TJ, DeCook LJ, Johnson ND, Wiegand RA, Litzow MR, Hogan WJ, Porrata LF, Holtan SG: Peripheral blood lymphocyte and monocyte recovery and survival in acute leukemia postmyeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2012;18:600-607.
  • Holtan SG, Creedon DJ: Mother knows best: lessons from fetomaternal tolerance applied to cancer immunity. Frontiers in bioscience 2011;3:1533-1540.
  • Holtan SG, Creedon DJ, Thompson MA, Nevala WK, Markovic SN: Expansion of CD16-negative natural killer cells in the peripheral blood of patients with metastatic melanoma. Clinical & developmental immunology 2011;2011:316314.
  • Holtan SG, Spittell PC: Constrictive pericarditis due to graft-vs-host disease. Mayo Clinic proceedings 2010;85:e90.
  • Holtan SG, Feldman AL, Knudson RA, Ketterling RP, Porrata LF: Failure of front-line autologous transplant in anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Bone marrow transplantation 2011;46:904-905.
  • Holtan SG, Hoyer JD, Buadi FK: Multiple myeloma with concomitant JAK2-positive essential thrombocythemia post-successful autologous peripheral blood hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Bone marrow transplantation 2011;46:615.
  • Holtan SG, Hogan WJ, Elliott MA, Ansell SM, Inwards DJ, Porrata LF, Johnston PB, Micallef IN, Lacy MQ, Gastineau DA, Litzow MR: CD34+ cell dose and establishment of full donor chimerism at day +100 are important factors for survival with reduced-intensity conditioning with fludarabine and melphalan before allogeneic hematopoietic SCT for hematologic malignancies. Bone marrow transplantation 2010;45:1699-1703.
  • Jacobs NL, Holtan SG, Porrata LF, Markovic SN, Tefferi A, Steensma DP: Host immunity affects survival in myelodysplastic syndromes: Independent prognostic value of the absolute lymphocyte count. American journal of hematology 2010;85:160-163.
  • Holtan SG, Creedon DJ, Haluska P, Markovic SN: Cancer and pregnancy: parallels in growth, invasion, and immune modulation and implications for cancer therapeutic agents. Mayo Clinic proceedings 2009;84:985-1000.
  • Holtan SG, Santana-Davila R, Dewald GW, Khetterling RP, Knudson RA, Hoyer JD, Chen D, Hanson CA, Porrata L, Tefferi A, Steensma DP: Myelodysplastic syndromes associated with interstitial deletion of chromosome 5q: clinicopathologic correlations and new insights from the pre-lenalidomide era. American journal of hematology 2008;83:708-713.
  • Holtan SG, Porrata LF, Micallef IN, Padley DJ, Inwards DJ, Ansell SA, Johnston PB, Gastineau DA, Markovic SN: AMD3100 affects autograft lymphocyte collection and progression-free survival after autologous stem cell transplantation in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Clinical lymphoma & myeloma 2007;7:315-318.
  • Holtan SG, Allen RD, Henkel DM, Kamal AH, Novak GD, O'Cochlain F, Chandrasekaran K, Mullany CJ, Wright RS: Angiosarcoma of the pericardium presenting as hemorrhagic pleuropericarditis, cardiac tamponade, and thromboembolic phenomena. International journal of cardiology 2007;115:e8-9.
  • Holtan SG, Knox SK, Tefferi A: Use of fondaparinux in a patient with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome and heparin-associated thrombocytopenia. Journal of thrombosis and haemostasis : JTH 2006;4:1632-1634.
  • Holtan SG, Porrata LF, Inwards DJ, Ansell SM, Micallef IN, Johnston PB, Litzow MR, Gastineau DA, Markovic SN: Timing of autologous stem cell transplantation from last chemotherapy affects lymphocyte collection and survival in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. British journal of haematology 2006;133:628-633.
  • Rao RD, Holtan SG, Ingle JN, Croghan GA, Kottschade LA, Creagan ET, Kaur JS, Pitot HC, Markovic SN: Combination of paclitaxel and carboplatin as second-line therapy for patients with metastatic melanoma. Cancer 2006;106:375-382.