Kent A. Robertson, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP

Kent A. Robertson, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP

Professor of Pediatrics

Phone: 317-944-8784
Email: krobert@iu.edu
705 Riley Hospital Drive, ROC 4340
Indianapolis, IN 46202



Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant


1973 BS, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
1982 Ph.D, University of Wisconsin - Madison
1982 MD, University of Wisconsin - Madison
1982-1984 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin – Madison NIH-NRSA
1984-1987 Residency, University of Washington – Seattle
1987-1990 Fellow- Pediatric Hematology & Oncology, University of Washington – Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center - Seattle

Honors & Awards

  • 1973 Graduate cum laude in Chemistry, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
  • 1973 Selected as a National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research Participant
  • 1987 - 88 American Cancer Society Clinical Fellow
  • 1990 - 91 American Society of Hematology Scholar
  • 1990 - 91 America Society of Clinical Oncology, Young Investigator Award
  • 1991 - 94 Leukemia Society of American, Special Fellow
  • Grant Reviewer for the Department of Defense NF1 Proposals
  • Faculty Affairs Committee, IUPUI


Riley Outpatient Center
705 Riley Hospital Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46202
317-944-2143 phone
317-944-3107 fax

Research & Grants

Dr Robertson’s research activities are focused on translational-clinical research, including: 1) clinical retinoic acid nuclear receptor induction of cellular differentiation in myeloid leukemia, germ cell tumors, and neuroblastoma; 2) therapeutic use of mesenchymal and hematopoietic stem cells in the treatment of inherited marrow failure syndromes; and 3) therapeutic intervention for neurofibromatosis related tumors. Our NF clinical research program is a translational extension of studies in the mechanistic molecular biology of tumor cell growth in neurofibromatosis done here at Indiana University. We have successful past and ongoing clinical protocol development to treat NF-related tumors and have recently become members of the Department of Defense sponsored Clinical NF Consortium based on our work in this area. I am uniquely qualified to function as the PI on the proposed clinical research having been the PI on the initial 2 imatinib trials for plexiform neurofibromas. We identified what appears to be a useful sensitivity of airway plexiforms to imatinib and devised a dose escalation regimen in our 2nd trial allowing patients to tolerate drug for a longer periods of time. These studies set the stage for proposing a trial to establish an indication for the use of imatinib to treat these frustrating and life-threatening tumors in children with NF1.


Thomson, B.G., Robertson, K.A., Gowan, D., Heilman, D., Broxmeyer, H.E., Emanuel, D., Brahmi, Z., and Smith, F.O., Analysis of engraftment, graft vs. host disease and immune recovery following unrelated cord blood transplantation. Blood 96:2703-2711, 2000.

Robertson, K.A., Bullock, H.A.,Xu, Y., Tritt, R., Zimmerman, E., Ulbright, T.M., Foster, R.S., Einhorn, L.H. and Kelley, M.R.. (2001) Altered Expression of APE1/ref-1 in Germ Cell Tumors and Over-expression in NT2 Cells Confers Resistance to Bleomycin and Radiation. Cancer Research, 61:2220-2225.

Smith, F.O., King, R., Nelson, G., Wagner, J.E., Robertson, K.A., Sanders, J.E., Bunin, N., Emanuel, P.D., and Davies, S.M. (2002) Unrelated Donor Bone Marrow Transplantation for Children with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia. British J. Haematology 116:716-724.

Guo, Y., Costa, R., Ramsey, H., Starnes, T., Vance, G., Roberston, K., Kelley, M., Reinbold, R., Scoler, H., and Hromas, R. (2002) The embryonic stem cell transcription factors Oct-4 and FoxD3 interact to regulate endodermal specific promoter expression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 99(9):3663-3667.

George, D.W., Foster, R.S., Hromas, R.A., Robertson, K.A., Vance, G.H., Ulbright, T.M., Gobbett, T.A., Heiber, D.J., Heerema, N.A., Kelley, M.R., Ramsey, H.C., Thurston, V.C., Jung, S.H., Shen, J., Finch, D.E., and Einhorn, L.H. (2003), Update on Late Relapse of Germ Cell Tumors: A Clinical and Molecular Analysis. J Clinical Oncology 21:113-22.

Goebel WS, Nelson RP Jr, Brahmi Z, Gowan DJ, Towell PJ, Robertson KA, Haut PR. Serial transplantation resulting in tolerance to an unrelated cord blood graft. Transplantation. 2006 Jun 15;81(11):1596-9.

Atluri S, Neville K, Davis M, Robertson KA, Marshalleck FE, O'Malley DP, Buckley RH, Nelson RP Jr. Epstein-Barr-associated leiomyomatosis and T-cell chimerism after haploidentical bone marrow transplantation for severe combined immunodeficiency disease. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2007 Mar;29(3):166-72.

Dey N, De PK, Wang M, Zhang H, Dobrota EA, Robertson KA*, Durden DL*. CSK controls retinoic acid receptor (RAR) signaling: a RAR-c-SRC signaling axis is required for neuritogenic differentiation. Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Jun;27(11):4179-97. Epub 2007 Feb 26, *contributed equally as senior author

Yang FC, Ingram DA, Chen S, Zhu Y, Yuan J, Li X, Yang X, Knowles S, Horn W, Li Y, Zhang S, Yang Y, Vakili ST, Yu M, Burns D, Robertson K, Hutchins G, Parada LF, Clapp DW. Nf1-dependent tumors require a microenvironment containing Nf1+/-- and c-kit-dependent bone marrow. Cell 2008 135(3):437-438.

Markel MK, Haut PR, Renbarger JA, Robertson KA, Goebel WS. Unrelated cord blood transplantation for severe congenital neutropenia: report of two cases with very different transplant courses. Pediatric Transplant. 2008 Dec;12(8):896-901. Epub 2008 Apr 22.

Nelson RP Jr, Yu M, Schwartz JE, Robertson MJ, Hromas R, Fausel CA, Vance GH, Dlouhy SR, Baute JA, Cox EA, Wood LL, Srivastava S, Robertson KA, Haut PR, Farag SS, Abonour R, Cornetta K, Cripe LD. Long-term disease-free survival after nonmyeloablative cyclophosphamide/fludarabine conditioning and related/unrelated allotransplantation for acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplasia. 2010 Jan 11, p1-9

Fishel ML, Colvin ES, Luo M, Kelley MR, Robertson KA. (2010) Inhibition of the Redox Function of APE1/Ref-1 in Myeloid Leukemia Cell Lines Results in a Hypersensitive Response to Retinoic Acid-induced Differentiation and Apoptosis. Experimental Hematol. 38(12): 1178-88.

Stevenson, D.A., Yan, J., He, J., Li, H., Liu, Y., Zhang, Q., Jing, Y., Guo, Z., Zhang, W., Ynag, D., Wu, X., Hanson, H., Li, X., Staser, K., Viskochil, D., Carey, J., Chen, S., Miller, L., Robertson, K., Moyer-Mileur, Yu, M., Schwarz, E., Pasquali, M., and Yang, F-C. (2011) Multiple Increased Osteoclast Functions in Individuals with Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Amer J Med Genetics, Part A 155: 1050-1059

Karmazyn, B., Cohen, M.D., Jennings, S.G., and Robertson, K.A. (2012) Marrow signal changes observed in follow-up whole body MRI studies in children and young adults with neurofibromatosis type 1 treated with imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) for plexiform neurofibromas. Pediatric Radiology 42: 1218-1222

Robertson, K.A., Nalepa, G., Yang, FC, Bowers, D.C., Ho, C.Y., Hutchins, G. D., Croop, J.M., Vik, T.A., Denne, S.C., Parada, L.F., Hingtgen, C.M., Walsh, L.E., Yu, M., Pradhan, K.R., Edwards-Brown, M.K., Cohen, M.D., Fletcher, J.W., Travers, J.B., Staser, K.W., Lee, M.W., Sherman, M.R., Davis, C.J., Miller, L.C., Ingram, D.A., and Clapp, D.W. (2012) Imatinib Mesylate for Plexiform Neurofibromas in Patients with Neurofibromatosis type 1: a Phase 2 Trial. The Lancet Oncology. 13(12): 12118-1224