Robert F. Paulson, Ph.D.

Robert F. Paulson, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
108B Research Building A (Temporary Office until New AVBS building is completed)
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Hematology
  • Erythropoiesis
  • Anemia Research
  • Leukemia



  • Postdoctoral training, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada
  • PhD, Biochemistry, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • BA, Biochemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Graduate Programs

  • Molecular Cellular Integrative Biosciences (MCIBS)
  • Integrative and Biomedical Physiology 


Mechanisms that regulate tissue regeneration with a focus on understanding the response to anemic and hypoxic stress.

Work in the Paulson lab focuses on the mechanisms that regulate tissue regeneration. Throughout adult life, tissues become damaged and must be repaired or regenerated to maintain homeostasis. We focus on the maintenance of erythrocytes or red blood cells. Steady state erythropoiesis generates new erythrocytes at a constant rate of about 2.5 x 106/second. Despite this enormous capacity, there are times when this process cannot produce enough erythrocytes. For example, infection inhibits the ability of the bone marrow to generate erythrocytes. Similarly, in response to anemia the bone marrow production of erythrocytes is not sufficient to maintain normal blood levels. At these times stress erythropoiesis rapidly produces large numbers of erythrocytes to maintain homeostasis until the bone marrow can resume production. This process is a stem cell mediated process as hematopoietic stem cells directly generate stress erythroid progenitors. Furthermore, the signals that regulate this process are distinct from steady state erythropoiesis and are more associated with embryonic development than hematopoiesis suggesting that stress erythropoiesis is similar to other tissue regeneration processes.



A novel clinically relevant graft-versus-leukemia model in humanized mice
Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Jia, Bei, Zhao, Chenchen, Bayerl, Michael, Shike, Hiroko, Claxton, David F., Ehmann, W. Christopher, Mineishi, Shin, Schell, Todd D., Zheng, Pan, Zhang, Yi, Shultz, Leonard D., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, Paulson, Robert F., Zheng, Hong, 2021

Development of SKI-349, a dual-targeted inhibitor of sphingosine kinase and microtubule polymerization
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, Hengst, Jeremy A., Hegde, Shailaja, Paulson, Robert F., Yun, Jong K., 2020

Stress erythropoiesis
Experimental Hematology, Paulson, Robert F., Hariharan, Sneha, Little, Jane A., 2020

Epo receptor signaling in macrophages alters the splenic niche to promote erythroid differentiation
Blood, Chen, Yuanting, Xiang, Jie, Qian, Fenghua, Diwakar, Bastihalli T., Ruan, Baiye, Hao, Siyang, Sandeep Prabhu, K., Paulson, Robert F., 2020

Stress Erythropoiesis is a Key Inflammatory Response
Cells, Paulson, Robert F., Ruan, Baiye, Hao, Siyang, Chen, Yuanting, 2020

Yap1 promotes proliferation of transiently amplifying stress erythroid progenitors during erythroid regeneration
Experimental Hematology, Hao, Siyang, Matsui, Yurika, Lai, Zhi Chun, Paulson, Robert F., 2019

Crth2 receptor signaling down-regulates lipopolysaccharide-induced NF-αB activation in murine macrophages via changes in intracellular calcium
FASEB Journal, Diwakar, Bastihalli T., Yoast, Ryan, Nettleford, Shaneice, Qian, Fenghua, Lee, Tai Jung, Berry, Svanjita, Huffnagle, Ian, Rossi, Randall M., Trebak, Mohamed, Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2019

Inflammation induces stress erythropoiesis through heme-dependent activation of SPI-C
Science's STKE : signal transduction knowledge environment, Bennett, Laura F., Liao, Chang, Quickel, Michael D., Yeoh, Beng San, Vijay-Kumar, Matam, Hankey-Giblin, Pamela, Prabhu, K. Sandeep, Paulson, Robert F., 2019

Gdf15 regulates murine stress erythroid progenitor proliferation and the development of the stress erythropoiesis niche
Blood advances, Hao, Siyang, Xiang, Jie, Wu, Dai Chen, Fraser, James W., Ruan, Baiye, Cai, Jingwei, Patterson, Andrew D., Lai, Zhi Chun, Paulson, Robert F., 2019

Downregulation of CD73 associates with T cell exhaustion in AML patients
Journal of Hematology and Oncology, Kong, Yaxian, Jia, Bei, Zhao, Chenchen, Claxton, David F., Sharma, Arati, Annageldiyev, Charyguly, Fotos, Joseph S., Zeng, Hui, Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, Zheng, Hong, 2019

Dual role of a C-terminally truncated isoform of large tumor suppressor kinase 1 in the regulation of hippo signaling and tissue growth
DNA and Cell Biology, Matsui, Yurika, Zhang, Yifan, Paulson, Robert F., Lai, Zhi Chun, 2019

Epo receptor marks the spot
Blood, Paulson, Robert F., 2019

Mtf2-PRC2 control of canonical Wnt signaling is required for definitive erythropoiesis
Cell Discovery, Rothberg, Janet L.Manias, Maganti, Harinad B., Jrade, Hani, Porter, Christopher J., Palidwor, Gareth A., Cafariello, Christopher, Battaion, Hannah L., Khan, Safwat T., Perkins, Theodore J., Paulson, Robert F., Ito, Caryn Y., Stanford, William L., 2018

Selenoproteins regulate stress erythroid progenitors and spleen microenvironment during stress erythropoiesis
Blood, Liao, Chang, Hardison, Ross C., Kennett, Mary J., Carlson, Bradley A., Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2018

Neuroprotective role of the ron receptor tyrosine kinase underlying central nervous system inflammation in health and disease
Frontiers in Immunology, Dey, Adwitia, Allen, Joselyn N., Fraser, James W., Snyder, Lindsay M., Tian, Yuan, Zhang, Limin, Paulson, Robert F., Patterson, Andrew, Cantorna, Margherita T., Hankey-Giblin, Pamela A., 2018

Stress erythropoiesis model systems, Bennett, Laura F., Liao, Chang, Paulson, Robert F., 2018

Mechanisms of erythrocyte development and regeneration
Journal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology, Bresnick, Emery H., Hewitt, Kyle J., Mehta, Charu, Keles, Sunduz, Paulson, Robert F., Johnson, Kirby D., 2018

GATA Factor-Regulated Samd14 Enhancer Confers Red Blood Cell Regeneration and Survival in Severe Anemia
Developmental Cell, Hewitt, Kyle J., Katsumura, Koichi R., Matson, Daniel R., Devadas, Prithvia, Tanimura, Nobuyuki, Hebert, Alexander S., Coon, Joshua J., Kim, Jin Soo, Dewey, Colin N., Keles, Sunduz, Hao, Siyang, Paulson, Robert F., Bresnick, Emery H., 2017

Activation of PPARγ by endogenous prostaglandin J2 mediates the antileukemic effect of selenium in murine leukemia
Blood, Finch, Emily R., Tukaramrao, Diwakar B., Goodfield, Laura L., Quickel, Michael D., Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2017

SKI-178: A multitargeted inhibitor of sphingosine kinase and microtubule dynamics demonstrating therapeutic efficacy in acute myeloid leukemia models
Cancer Translational Medicine, Hengst, Jeremy, Dick, Taryn E., Sharma, Arati, Doi, Kenichiro, Hegde, Shailaja, Tan, Su Fern, Geffert, Laura, Fox, Todd E., Sharma, Arun K., Desai, Dhimant, Amin, Shantu, Kester, Mark, Loughran, Thomas P., Paulson, Robert, Claxton, David, Wang, Hong-Gang, Yun, Jong, 2017

The Regulation of Pathways of Inflammation and Resolution in Immune Cells and Cancer Stem Cells by Selenium, Diwakar, Bastihalli T., Korwar, Arvind M., Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2017

TLR stimulation increases erythrophagocytosis and induces stress erythropoiesis
Experimental Hematology, Paulson, Robert, 2016

Chemopreventive effects of dietary eicosapentaenoic acid supplementation in experimental myeloid leukemia
Cancer Prevention Research, Finch, Emily R., Kudva, Avinash K., Quickel, Michael D., Goodfield, Laura L., Kennett, Mary J., Whelan, Jay, Paulson, Robert F., Sandeep Prabhu, K., 2015

Selenium suppresses leukemia through the action of endogenous eicosanoids
Cancer Research, Gandhi, Ujjawal H., Kaushal, Naveen, Hegde, Shailaja, Finch, Emily R., Kudva, Avinash K., Kennett, Mary J., Jordan, Craig T., Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2014

Targeting a new regulator of erythropoiesis to alleviate anemia
Nature Medicine, Paulson, Robert F., 2014

Polycomb-like 2 (PCL2) is required for hematopoietic development
Experimental Hematology, Paulson, Robert, 2014

Evaluation of the stability, bioavailability, and hypersensitivity of the omega-3 derived anti-leukemic prostaglandin
PLoS One, Kudva, Avinash K., Kaushal, Naveen, Mohinta, Sonia, Kennett, Mary J., August, Avery, Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2013

Enu Mutagenesis Identifies a Novel Platelet Phenotype in a Loss-Of-Function Jak2 Allele
PLoS One, Anderson, Nicole M., Javadi, Mojib, Berndl, Elizabeth, Berberovic, Zorana, Bailey, Monica L., Huang, Kai, Flenniken, Ann M., Osborne, Lucy R., Adamson, S. Lee, Rossant, Janet, Carter-Su, Christin, Wang, Chen, McNagny, Kelly M., Paulson, Robert F., Minden, Mark D., Stanford, William L., Barber, Dwayne L., 2013

Epo Dependent Signaling In Macrophages Regulates Stress Erythropoiesis
Blood, Paulson, Robert, 2013

Endogenous levels of D12-PGJ3 derived from eicosapentaenoic acid
Blood, Prabhu, K. Sandeep, Paulson, Robert F., 2012

Cytopenia induction by 5-fluorouracil identifies thrombopoietic mutants in sensitized ENU mutagenesis screens.
Experimental Hematology, Anderson, Nicole M., Berberovic, Zorana, Berndl, Elizabeth, Bailey, Monica L., Flenniken, Ann M., Osborne, Lucy R., Adamson, S. Lee, Rossant, Janet, Wang, Chen, Minden, Mark D., McNagny, Kelly M., Paulson, Robert F., Barber, Dwayne L., Stanford, William L., 2012

Δ 12-prostaglandin J 3, an omega-3 fatty acid-derived metabolite, selectively ablates leukemia stem cells in mice
Blood, Hegde, Shailaja, Kaushal, Naveen, Ravindra, Kodihalli C., Chiaro, Christopher, Hafer, Kelsey T., Gandhi, Ujjawal H., Thompson, Jerry T., Van Den Heuvel, John P., Kennett, Mary J., Hankey, Pamela, Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2011

Erythropoiesis lagging? pIgA1 steps in to assist Epo
Nature Medicine, Paulson, Robert F., 2011

Selenoprotein-dependent up-regulation of hematopoietic prostaglandin D 2 synthase in macrophages is mediated through the activation of Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor (PPAR) γ
Journal of Biological Chemistry, Gandhi, Ujjawal H., Kaushal, Naveen, Ravindra, Kodihalli C., Hegde, Shailaja, Nelson, Shakira M., Narayan, Vivek, Vunta, Hema, Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2011

Stress erythropoiesis
Current Opinion in Hematology, Paulson, Robert F., Shi, Lei, Wu, Dai Chen, 2011

The regulation of erythropoiesis by selenium in mice
Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, Kaushal, Naveen, Hegde, Shailaja, Lumadue, Jeanne, Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2011

A novel ENU-generated truncation mutation lacking the spectrin-binding and C-terminal regulatory domains of Ank1 models severe hemolytic hereditary spherocytosis.
Experimental Hematology, Hughes, Michael R., Anderson, Nicole, Maltby, Steven, Wong, Justin, Berberovic, Zorana, Birkenmeier, Connie S., Haddon, D. James, Garcha, Kamal, Flenniken, Ann, Osborne, Lucy R., Adamson, S. Lee, Rossant, Janet, Peters, Luanne L., Minden, Mark D., Paulson, Robert F., Wang, Chen, Barber, Dwayne L., McNagny, Kelly M., Stanford, William L., 2011

Interrelationships between tissue iron status and erythropoiesis during postweaning development following neonatal iron deficiency in rats
American Journal of Physiology, Hegde, Narasimha V., Unger, Erica L., Jensen, Gordon L., Hankey, Pamela A., Paulson, Robert F., 2011

BMP and WNT pathway regulation of lineage specific gene programs underlie hematopoietic regeneration
Experimental Hematology, Paulson, Robert, 2011