Robert F. Paulson, Ph.D.

Robert F. Paulson, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
203 AVBS Building
Shortlidge Road

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.



Acute Myeloid Leukemia Causes T Cell Exhaustion and Depletion in a Humanized Graft-versus-Leukemia Model
Journal of Immunology, Jia, Bei, Zhao, Chenchen, Minagawa, Kentaro, Shike, Hiroko, Claxton, David F., Ehmann, W. Christopher, Rybka, Witold B., Mineishi, Shin, Wang, Ming, Schell, Todd D., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, Paulson, Robert F., Zhang, Yi, Shultz, Leonard D., Zheng, Hong, 2023

Human TLR8 induces inflammatory bone marrow erythromyeloblastic islands and anemia in SLE-prone mice
Life Science Alliance, Maria, Naomi I., Papoin, Julien, Raparia, Chirag, Sun, Zeguo, Josselsohn, Rachel, Lu, Ailing, Katerji, Hani, Syeda, Mahrukh M., Polsky, David, Paulson, Robert, Kalfa, Theodosia, Barnes, Betsy J., Zhang, Weijia, Blanc, Lionel, Davidson, Anne, 2023

Activation of GPR44 decreases severity of myeloid leukemia via specific targeting of leukemia initiating stem cells
Cell Reports, Qian, Fenghua, Nettleford, Shaneice K., Zhou, Jiayan, Arner, Brooke E., Hall, Molly A., Sharma, Arati, Annageldiyev, Charyguly, Rossi, Randy M., Tukaramrao, Diwakar B., Sarkar, Deborpita, Hegde, Shailaja, Gandhi, Ujjawal H., Finch, Emily R., Goodfield, Laura, Quickel, Michael D., Claxton, David F., Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2023

Metabolic regulation of stress erythropoiesis, outstanding questions, and possible paradigms
Frontiers in Physiology, Ruan, Baiye, Paulson, Robert F., 2023

Intra-Peritoneal Transplantation for Generating Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Mice
Journal of Visualized Experiments, Qian, Fenghua, Arner, Brooke E., Nettleford, Shaneice K., Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2023

Interleukin-4 treatment reduces leukemia burden in acute myeloid leukemia
FASEB Journal, Qian, F, Arner, B, Kelly, Kathleen M., Annageldiyev, C, Sharma, Arati, Claxton, David F., Paulson, Robert F., Prabhu, K, 2022

A novel clinically relevant graft-versus-leukemia model in humanized mice
Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Jia, B, Zhao, C, Bayerl, Michael, Shike, Hiroko, Claxton, David F., Ehmann, W, Mineishi, Shin, Schell, Todd D., Zheng, P, Zhang, Y, Shultz, L, Prabhu, K. Sandeep, Paulson, Robert, 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: definitions and models for its study
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, Y, Xiang, J, Qian, F, Diwakar, B, Ruan, B, Hao, S, Prabhu, K, 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, S, Matsui, Y, Lai, Zhi Chun, Paulson, Robert, 2019

Crth2 receptor signaling down-regulates lipopolysaccharide-induced NF-αB activation in murine macrophages via changes in intracellular calcium
FASEB Journal, Diwakar, B, Yoast, R, Nettleford, S, Qian, F, Lee, T, Berry, S, Huffnagle, I, Rossi, R, Trebak, Mohamed, Paulson, Robert, Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2019

Inflammation induces stress erythropoiesis through heme-dependent activation of SPI-C
Science's STKE : signal transduction knowledge environment, Bennett, L, Liao, C, Quickel, M, Yeoh, B, Vijay-Kumar, M, Hankey-Giblin, Pamela, Prabhu, K. Sandeep, Paulson, Robert, 2019

Downregulation of CD73 associates with T cell exhaustion in AML patients
Journal of Hematology and Oncology, Kong, Y, Jia, B, Zhao, C, Claxton, David F., Sharma, Arati, Annageldiyev, C, Fotos, Joseph S., Zeng, H, Paulson, Robert, Prabhu, K. Sandeep, Zheng, Hong, 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, Ruan, Baiye, Cai, Jingwei, Patterson, Andrew D., Lai, Zhi Chun, Paulson, Robert, 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, C, Hardison, Ross C., Kennett, M, Carlson, B, Paulson, Robert, 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, A, Allen, J, Fraser, J, Snyder, L, Tian, Yuan, Zhang, L, Paulson, Robert, Patterson, Andrew, Cantorna, Margherita T., Hankey-Giblin, Pamela A., 2018

The intricate role of selenium and selenoproteins in erythropoiesis
Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Liao, C, Carlson, B, Paulson, Robert, Prabhu, K. Sandeep, 2018

Stress erythropoiesis model systems
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), Bennett, L, Liao, C, Paulson, Robert, 2018

Mechanisms of erythrocyte development and regeneration: Implications for regenerative medicine and beyond
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, E, Tukaramrao, D, Goodfield, L, Quickel, M, Paulson, Robert, 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, T, Sharma, Arati, Doi, K, Hegde, S, Tan, S, Geffert, L, Fox, T, Sharma, Arun K., Desai, Dhimant, Amin, Shantu, Kester, M, Loughran, T, 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
Advances in cancer research, Diwakar, B, Korwar, A, Paulson, Robert, 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

Regeneration After Injury: Activation of Stem Cell Stress Response Pathways to Rapidly Repair Tissues
ADULT STEM CELLS, 2ND EDITION, Paulson, Robert, Bennett, Laura, Xiang, Jie, 2014