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Magali Fontaine M.D., Ph.D.

Academic Title: Associate Professor
Primary Appointment: Pathology
Secondary Appointments: Medicine
Location: UMMC N2W50A
Phone: 410-328-3834
Fax: 443-462-3248
Cell: 6565 (pager)

Personal History:

Dr Fontaine has been practicing in the field of transfusion medicine and cellular therapy for over ten years. At the frontier of transfusion medicine and whole organ transplantation, the emerging field of cellular therapy has become an alternative therapeutic modality for diseases such as Type 1 diabetes (T1D). Dr Fontaine has a unique experience in the clinical practice of transfusion medicine combined with skills in cell transplantation research. Dr Fontaine's contributions to the field of cellular therapy are a continuation of her post-doctoral training spent at Harvard Medical School, where she was mentored by pioneers in tissue engineering, Drs. Langer and Vacanti, optimizing new techniques of hepatocyte transplantation for end stage liver diseases in neonates. She then moved to the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) to complete a combined residency in surgery and clinical pathology with a PhD degree in pancreatic islet transplantation and contributed to the development of the islet cell transplant program at UIC. Following a Fellowship in Transfusion Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, she moved to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston where she was integral in starting their islet cell transplant program as well. Most recently, she held the title of Associate Director of the Blood Bank at Stanford University School of Medicine and served as Chair of the National Committee on Standards for Cellular Therapies for the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). She currently serves as the co-Chair on the Novel Cellular Therapies and Product Development Subsection for the AABB.

Research Interests:

Her research interest in cellular therapy is focused on improving the success of islet cell transplantation for patients with T1D, significant challenges remain to be addressed including improved preservation of islet cells during isolation, revascularization of islets after implantation, and prevention of inflammation/rejection and autoimmune destruction of the islet graft. To address these issues, her laboratory is testing bio-encapsulation platforms using materials such as silk-based hydrogel containing mesenchymal stromal cells to enhance islet cell survival and function while preventing or minimizing immune mediated cell damage in vivo.

Clinical Speciality:

Her contributions to the field of transfusion medicine are associated with her interest in management of the blood supply chain and prevention of transfusion adverse events.

Lab Techniques and Equipment:

Recently, she implemented several innovative new tests and approaches that are important for patient safety and inventory management:

  • Established a model for management of red blood cell and platelet inventories; this model was developed through a collaboration between the Stanford Hospital Transfusion Service, Stanford Blood Center and the Department of Management Science and Engineering (MS&E).
  • Improved the platelet transfusion support for refractory, HLA allosensitized patients: Stanford Hospital Transfusion Service implemented a platelet transfusion management algorithm based on a new assay developed in the Stanford HLA lab that detects only HLA antibodies capable of binding the first complement component (C1q).
  • Participated in the development of a guideline for massive transfusion: this promptly and adequately supports patients with acute and severe bleeding.
  • Participated in the implementation of a two specimen requirement for verification of ABO/Rh type for blood transfusion.
  • Developed novel red blood cell inventory management strategies to meet the higher demand for fresher blood


Fontaine MJ, Hansen LK, Thompson S, Uyama S, Ingber DE, Langer R, Vacanti JP. Transplantation of genetically altered hepatocytes using cell-polymer-constructs. Transplantation Proceedings. 1993; (25):1102-1104.

Fontaine MJ*, Schloo B, Jenkins R, Uyama S, Hansen L, Vacanti JP#. "Human hepatocyte transplantation using cell polymer constructs." Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 1995; (30):56-60.35. Fontaine MJ*, Chung YT, Erhun F, LT Goodnough#. Response to "Modeling the effect of reducing maximum shelf life on RBC Availability". Transfusion 2011;51(3):662

Fontaine MJ*, Kuo JK, Miller E, Chen Ge, Vayntrub T, Galel S, Viele M, Goodnough LT, Tyan D#. Complement fixing solid phase screening for HLA antibodies increases the availability of compatible platelet components for refractory patients. Transfusion 2011;51(12):2611-8

Atkinson MP, Fontaine MJ, Goodnough LT, A Novel Allocation Strategy for Blood Transfusions: Investigating the Tradeoff between the Age and Availability of Transfused Blood. Wein LM. Transfusion 2012; 52(1):108-17.

Fontaine MJ*, Mills AM, Weiss S, Hong WJ, Ferrer Z, Dunlap M, Gonzalez C, Viele M, Goodnough LT. Platelet Inventory Management to Reduce ABO Incompatible Plasma Following a Sentinel Event. Transfusion 2012; 52(10):2081-5.

Davis NE, Rothkopf LN, Mirsoian A, Kojic N, Kaplan D, Barron AE, Fontaine MJ#. Enhanced function of pancreatic islets co-encapsulated with ECM proteins and mesenchymal stromal cells in a silk scaffold. Biomaterials 2012. 33(28):6691-7.

Pate LL, Myers J, Palma J, Viele M, Galel SA, Ferrer Z, Gonzalez CL, Benitz WE, Garratty G and Fontaine MJ#. Anti-Ge3 Causes Late-Onset Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn: The Fourth Reported Case in Three Hispanic Families. Transfusion. 2013. 53(10):2152-2157.

Rothkopf LN, Karfeld-Sulzer LS, Zhang X, Kissler H, Michie SA, Kaufman DB, Fontaine MJ and Barron AE. Protein Polymer Hydrogels: Effects of Endotoxin on Biocompatibility. Journal of Biomaterial Applications 2013. 28(3):395-406.43. Davis NE*, Hamilton D, Fontaine MJ. Harnessing the immunomodulatory and tissue repair properties of mesenchymal stem cells to restore β-cell function. Current Diabetes Reports 2012. 12(5):612-22.

Hughes J, Gonzalez C, Layon A, Galel S, Fontaine MJ#. Transfusion Associated Hepatitis A Infection: A Case Report. CBBS Today 2013. 30(5):21-23.

Beenken-Rothkopf LN, Karfeld-Sulzer LS, Davis NE, Forster R, Barron AE, Fontaine MJ#. The Incorporation of Extracellular Matrix Proteins in Protein Polymer Hydrogels to Improve Encapsulated Beta-cell Function. Annals of clinical and laboratory Science 2013. 43(2):111-21.

Fontaine MJ, Allickson J. Standards for Cellular therapy. Sixth edition. American Association of Blood Banks. 2013, Bethesda, MD .