Ona E. Bloom, PhD

Associate Professor, Center for Autoimmune, Musculoskeletal and Hematopoietic Diseases,
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine,
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Associate Professor and Director of Research, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Phone: (516) 562-3839
Email: obloom@northwell.edu

About the Investigator

Dr. Ona Bloom is director of the Laboratory of Spinal Cord Injury Research and associate professor at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. She is jointly appointed as associate professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and of Molecular Medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. Dr. Bloom also serves as the director of research for the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Prior to joining Northwell Health, Dr. Bloom performed her postdoctoral studies and served as an associate research scientist in the Departments of Cell Biology and Immunology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Her studies at Yale focused on understanding how immune cells communicate with each other. Dr. Bloom received her PhD from The Rockefeller University, where she studied molecular and cellular neuroscience in the laboratory of Professor Paul Greengard. Her PhD studies were focused on understanding the molecular anatomy of synapses, the points of communication between nerve cells.

Research Focus

Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) affects more than 17,000 people in the United States each year. The focus of Dr. Bloom’s research is to identify the necessary biological mechanisms and identify potential strategies to promote functional recovery and overall health in adults and children with SCI. To do so, Dr. Bloom’s research group is using biochemical, cell biological, functional genomics, immunological and behavioral methods. In addition to unbiased approaches, Dr. Bloom is particularly interested in understanding how the immune system changes after SCI and how these changes may influence recovery and health after SCI. Her research group performs both clinical and pre-clinical studies, with the hopes of identifying new targets and strategies for potential therapeutic intervention.

Dr. Bloom’s clinical studies on acute and chronic SCI are performed in collaboration with Dr. Adam Benjamin Stein, chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and Dr. Matthew Alan Bank, medical director of the ACS-verified Level One Trauma Center at North Shore University Hospital. Dr. Bloom’s SCI research program has received external funding from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program, the Spinal Cord Injury Research Board of New York State, the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Defense. Dr. Bloom is also an affiliated researcher at the RR&D National Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY.

Dr. Bloom also collaborates with other Northwell Health colleagues, Drs. Betty Diamond and Yousef Al-Abed, to develop novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of lupus.

Lab Members

Ashley Chory
Research Coordinator
Email: AChory@northwell.edu

Paige Herman
Research Assistant
Email: PHerman1@northwell.edu

Debra Morrison, PhD
Assistant Investigator
Email: DMorrison4@northwell.edu

Angelos Papatheodorou
Research Assistant
Email: apapathe@northwell.edu

Camille Pinpin
Research Assistant
Email: CPinpin@northwell.edu

Former Lab Members

Andrew Beaufort, MD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Katie Gibbs, DO
Postdoctoral Fellow

Nawshin Kutub, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Ibrahim Abd El-Shafy, MD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Michael D. Gallo, MD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Collaborators within Northwell Health

Dr. Yousef Al-Abed
Dr. Matthew Bank
Dr. Betty Diamond
Dr. Christine Metz
Dr. Adam Stein

Barnard College
Degree: BA
Field of Study: History

The Rockefeller University
Degree: PhD
Field of Study: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

Yale University School of Medicine
Degree: Postdoc
Field of Study: Cell Biology/Immunology

Awards & Honors

2018 Ide & David Dangoor Scientific Achievement Award, AWSM, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
2016 Sybil Sternlieb Innovation Award, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
2015 Collaborative Women In Science Award, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
2014 Alison Conyngham Neisloss Collaborative Women In Science Award, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
2014 First Place Best Poster Presentation, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Annual Meeting
2014 Outstanding Research in the Field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Award, New York Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
2014 Bell Fellowship Fund in Tissue Engineering, MBL, Woods Hole, MA
2013 Innovation Award, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
2013 Albert and Ellen Grass Foundation Faculty Research Award, MBL, Woods Hole, MA
2012 Susan Claster Educational Award, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
2012 Albert and Ellen Grass Foundation Faculty Research Award, MBL, Woods Hole, MA
2011 Charles Evans Foundation Research Award, MBL, Woods Hole, MA
2010 Charles Evans Foundation Research Award, MBL, Woods Hole, MA
2009 Ann E. Kammer Memorial Fellowship and The Lucy B. Lemann Fund, The Marine Biological Laboratory, (MBL) Woods Hole, MA. $6,430

  1. Bank M, Gibbs K, Sison C, Kutub N, Papaptheodorou A, Lee S, Stein A, Bloom O. Age and Other factors influencing long-term mortality in traumatic cervical spine fracture patients, Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, 2018 May 3;9: 2151459318770882. doi: 10.1177/2151459318770882. eCollection 2018. PMID:29760965
  2. Herman P, Papatheodorou A, Bryant SA, Waterbury CKM, Herdy JR, Arcese AA, Buxbaum JD, Smith JJ, Morgan JR, Bloom O. Highly conserved molecular pathways, including Wnt signaling, promote functional recovery from spinal cord injury in lampreys, Scientific Reports, publication online January 15, 2018, http://rdcu.be/EKQy
  3. Herman P, Stein AB, Gibbs K, Korsunsky I, Gregersen G, Bloom O. Persons with Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Have Decreased NK Cell and Increased TLR/Inflammatory Gene Expression, Journal of Neurotrauma, 2018, April 5. 35: 1-11. doi: 10.1089/neu.2017.5519 PMID: 29310515
  4. Papatheodorou A, Stein A, Bank M, Sison C, Gibbs K, Davies P, Bloom, O. High-Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1) is Elevated Systemically in Persons with Acute or Chronic Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury, Journal of Neurotrauma, 2017 Feb;34(3):746-754. doi: 10.1089/neu.2016.4596. Epub 2016 Oct 26. PMID: 27673428
  5. Weber KT, Alipui DO, Sison C, Bloom O, Quraishi S, Overby C, Levine M, Chahine N. Serum levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 vary based on diagnoses in individuals with lumbar intervertebral disc diseases. Arthritis Research and Therapy, 2016 Jan. 7;18(1):3. PMID: 26743937
  6. Weber KT, Satoh S, Alipui DO, Virojanapa J, Levine M, Sison C, Quraishi S, Bloom O, Chahine N. Exploratory study for identifying systemic biomarkers that correlate with pain response in patients with intervertebral disc disorders. Immunological Resesarch, 2015 Dec. 63;(1-3):170-180. PMID: 26440592
  7. Monahan R, Stein A, Gibbs K, Bank M, Bloom O. Circulating T cell subsets are altered in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury. Immunological Research 2015 Dec. 63(1-3):3-10. PMID: 26440591
  8. Bank M, Stein A, Sison C, Glazer A, Jassal N, McCarthy D, Shatzer M, Hahn B, Chugh R, Davies P, Bloom O. Elevated Levels of the Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) in Acute SCI Patients. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2015; Apr; 96:633-44, PubMed PMID: 25461821
  9. Bloom O. Non-mammalian model systems for studying neuro-immune interactions after spinal cord injury. Experimental Neurology, Aug;258:130-40, 2014. PMID: 25017894

View more at PubMed

Dr. Bloom is interviewed by NPR on her discovery of genes that repair spinal cord in fish that are also in humans.

Click here to listen