Dr. Bednarski's clinical practice focuses on bone marrow transplantation for the treatment of malignant and immunological disorders in children and young adults. Dr. Bednarski is a member of the Primary Immune Deficiency Treatment Consortium and currently has an open clinical trial using a new regimen for bone marrow transplant in patients with immune deficiency. In collaboration with adult oncologists, Dr. Bednarski is also opening a trial using immune cells to treat leukemia.
Dr. Bednarski's research centers on the development of the immune system. During lymphocyte differentiation, the rearrangement of the antigen receptor genes is essential to ensure a diverse and function immune response. This process requires the intentional generation of breaks in DNA at specific locations in the genes. These breaks are subsequently repaired with removal of some DNA and joining of the remaining segments. The DNA breaks pose an extreme risk to the developing cells. Mis-repair can lead to cell death or to translocations that can result in leukemias and lymphomas. Therefore, it is critical that the breaks be carefully managed by cellular processes that ensure proper repair and maintenance of genomic integrity. Dr. Bednarski's research focuses on how the signals from this DNA damage cooperate with other developmental processes to direct lymphocyte differentiation and survival. His overall goals are to understand the signals important for lymphocyte development and how these signals may be corrupted and thus contribute to the generation of leukemia and lymphoma.