Clinical Focus

  • Hematopathology
  • Clinical hematology laboratory management
  • Clinical Pathology
  • Anatomic Pathology

Academic Appointments

  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Pathology

Administrative Appointments

  • Laboratory Director, Stanford Health Care, Emeryville (2016 - Present)
  • Section Director, Clinical Hematology Laboratory, Stanford (2016 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Pathology, Hematology (2011)
  • Residency: Stanford University Pathology Residency (2016) CA
  • Medical Education: University of Michigan School of Medicine (2007) MI
  • Residency: Stanford University Pathology Residency (2011) CA
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Hemapathology Fellowship (2010) CA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Pathology, Clinical Pathology (2016)
  • American Board of Pathology, Clinical Pathology (2016)
  • Residency, Stanford Health Care, Clinical Pathology (2016)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Pathology, Anatomic Pathology (2011)
  • Residency, Stanford Health Care, Anatomic Pathology (2011)
  • Fellowship, Stanford Health Care, Hematopathology (2010)

2021-22 Courses

All Publications

  • Acute Leukemias of Ambiguous Lineage: Clarification on Lineage Specificity. Surgical pathology clinics Kurzer, J. H., Weinberg, O. K. 2019; 12 (3): 687–97


    Acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage (ALAL) include acute undifferentiated leukemia and mixed-phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL). This article provides an overview of the diagnosis of ALAL and focuses on the data accounting for the current lineage-assignment criteria for blasts harboring more than one lineage-associated marker. In addition, the currently known molecular data are reviewed, which show that MPAL-associated gene mutations, methylation signatures, and expression profiles are a mixture of those seen in both acute myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Finally, the prognosis and current treatments of MPAL are briefly discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.path.2019.03.008

    View details for PubMedID 31352981

  • Clinical, immunophenotypic, and genomic findings of acute undifferentiated leukemia and comparison to acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation: a study from the bone marrow pathology group MODERN PATHOLOGY Weinberg, O. K., Hasserjian, R. P., Baraban, E., Ok, C., Geyer, J. T., Philip, J. S., Kurzer, J. H., Rogers, H. J., Nardi, V., Stone, R. M., Garcia, J. S., Hsi, E. D., Bagg, A., Wang, S. A., Orazi, A., Arber, D. A. 2019; 32 (9): 1373–85
  • Impact of Pretransplant Donor BK Viruria in Kidney Transplant Recipients JOURNAL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES Tan, S. K., Huang, C., Sahoo, M. K., Weber, J., Kurzer, J., Stedman, M. R., Concepcion, W., Gallo, A. E., Alonso, D., Srinivas, T., Storch, G. A., Subramanian, A. K., Tan, J. C., Pinsky, B. A. 2019; 220 (3): 370–76
  • Rationale and Feasibility of Using a Standardized Screening Tube on the FACSCanto II and the FACSLyric Jackson, R., Oak, J., Kurzer, J. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2019
  • Clinical, Immunophenotypic and Genomic Findings of Acute Undifferentiated Leukemia and Comparison to AML with Minimal Differentiation: A Study from the Bone Marrow Pathology Group Weinberg, O. K., Hasserjian, R. P., Baraban, E., Ok, C., Geyer, J. T., Philip, J. S., Kurzer, J. H., Rogers, H. J., Nardi, V., Stone, R. M., Garcia, J. S., Hsi, E. D., Bagg, A., Wang, S. A., Orazi, A., Arber, D. A. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2018
  • Flow Immunophenotyping of Benign Lymph Nodes Sampled by FNA: Representative With Diagnostic Pitfalls. Cancer cytopathology Scott, G. D., Lau, H. D., Kurzer, J. H., Kong, C. S., Gratzinger, D. A. 2018


    BACKGROUND: Fine-needle aspiration with flow cytometry (FNA-FC) is routinely used in the evaluation of lymph nodes suspicious for lymphoma, yet data comparing immunophenotype distributions and outliers in benign lymph nodes sampled by fine-needle aspiration (FNA) versus excision are lacking.METHODS: Flow cytometry data from 289 benign lymph node FNA cases were assessed for the overall antigen distribution, with a focus on outliers relevant to the diagnosis of lymphoma. Distributions and outlier proportions were compared with those of a separate cohort of 298 excisional biopsies.RESULTS: Compared with excisional biopsies, FNA specimens overrepresented CD3+ events (72% vs 63%), underrepresented CD19+ events (22% vs 29%), and had 25% fewer large cell-gated events. Normalized antigen distributions in FNA were equivalent to those in excisional biopsy. Twenty-three percent of FNA-FC cases exhibited an outlier, including a skewed kappa:lambda light-chain ratio, increased CD5+ or CD10+ B-cell events, a skewed CD4:CD8 ratio, and increased CD7 loss on T cells, with no significant differences in frequency or type in comparison with excisional specimens. Outliers for the light-chain ratio and T-cell antigens were enriched among older patients and included patients with a variety of autoimmune/rheumatologic conditions.CONCLUSIONS: Benign lymph node FNA yields flow immunophenotypes remarkably similar to those from excisional biopsies. Outlier flow immunophenotypes are identified in benign lymph nodes sampled by FNA at a frequency similar to that with excisional biopsies. Older patients, who have a higher baseline risk of lymphoma, are more likely to exhibit lymphoma-mimicking outliers such as a light-chain predominance on B cells and skewed CD4:CD8 ratios or increased CD7 loss on T cells, and they warrant additional diagnostic caution.

    View details for PubMedID 30194715

  • Identification of early B cell precursors (stage 1 and 2 hematogones) in the peripheral blood. Journal of clinical pathology Kurzer, J. H., Weinberg, O. K. 2018


    Differentiating malignant B-lymphoblasts from early benign B cell precursors (hematogones) is a vital component of the diagnosis of B-lymphoblastic leukaemia. It has been previously reported that only late-stage B cell precursors circulate in the peripheral blood. Consequently, flow cytometric detection of cells with immunophenotypic findings similar to earlier stage precursors in the peripheral blood justifiably raises concern for involvement by B-lymphoblastic leukaemia. We report here, however, that benign early B cell precursors can indeed be detected in the peripheral blood, thus complicating the interpretation of flow cytometric findings derived from these sample types. A retrospective search of our collective databases identified 13 cases containing circulating early stage B cell precursors. The patients ranged in age from 15 days to 85years old. All positive cases demonstrated that the earlier B cell precursors were associated with later stage precursors, a finding that could help differentiate these cells from B-lymphoblastic leukaemia.

    View details for PubMedID 29802226

  • SETDB2 Links E2A-PBX1 to Cell-Cycle Dysregulation in Acute Leukemia through CDKN2C Repression. Cell reports Lin, C., Wong, S. H., Kurzer, J. H., Schneidawind, C., Wei, M. C., Duque-Afonso, J., Jeong, J., Feng, X., Cleary, M. L. 2018; 23 (4): 1166–77


    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, necessitating further improvements in diagnosis and therapy. Targeted therapies directed against chromatin regulators are emerging as promising approaches in preclinical studies and early clinical trials. Here, we demonstrate an oncogenic role for the protein lysine methyltransferase SETDB2 in leukemia pathogenesis. It is overexpressed in pre-BCR+ ALL and required for their maintenance invitro and invivo. SETDB2 expression is maintained as a direct target gene of the chimeric transcription factor E2A-PBX1 in a subset of ALL and suppresses expression of the cell-cycle inhibitor CDKN2C through histone H3K9 tri-methylation, thus establishing an oncogenic pathway subordinate to E2A-PBX1 that silences a major tumor suppressor in ALL. In contrast, SETDB2 was relatively dispensable for normal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell proliferation. SETDB2 knockdown enhances sensitivity to kinase and chromatin inhibitors, providing a mechanistic rationale for targeting SETDB2 therapeutically in ALL.

    View details for PubMedID 29694893

  • Identification of Early Hematogones in the Peripheral Blood Kurzer, J. H., Weinberg, O. K. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2018: 530
  • A replicable CD271+ mesenchymal stromal cell density score: bringing the dysfunctional myelodysplastic syndrome niche to the diagnostic laboratory. Leukemia & lymphoma Gars, E., Yousry, S. M., Babu, D., Kurzer, J. H., George, T. I., Gratzinger, D. 2016: 1-3

    View details for PubMedID 27808583

  • E2A-PBX1 remodels oncogenic signaling networks in B-cell precursor acute lymphoid leukemia. Cancer research Duque-Afonso, J., Lin, C., Han, K., Wei, M. C., Feng, J., Kurzer, J., Schneidawind, C., Wong, S. H., Bassik, M. C., Cleary, M. L. 2016


    There is limited understanding of how signaling pathways are altered by oncogenic fusion transcription factors that drive leukemogenesis. To address this, we interrogated activated signaling pathways in a comparative analysis of mouse and human leukemias expressing the fusion protein E2A-PBX1, which is present in 5%-7% of pediatric and 50% of pre-B-cell receptor (preBCR(+)) acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). In this study, we describe remodeling of signaling networks by E2A-PBX1 in pre-B-ALL, which results in hyperactivation of the key oncogenic effector enzyme PLCγ2. Depletion of PLCγ2 reduced proliferation of mouse and human ALLs, including E2A-PBX1 leukemias, and increased disease-free survival after secondary transplantation. Mechanistically, E2A-PBX1 bound promoter regulatory regions and activated the transcription of its key target genes ZAP70, SYK, and LCK, which encode kinases upstream of PLCγ2. Depletion of the respective upstream kinases decreased cell proliferation and phosphorylated levels of PLCγ2 (pPLCγ2). Pairwise silencing of ZAP70, SYK, or LCK showed additive effects on cell growth inhibition, providing a rationale for combination therapy with inhibitors of these kinases. Accordingly, inhibitors such as the SRC family kinase (SFK) inhibitor dasatinib reduced pPLCγ2 and inhibited proliferation of human and mouse preBCR(+)/E2A-PBX1(+) leukemias in vitro and in vivo Furthermore, combining small-molecule inhibition of SYK, LCK, and SFK showed synergistic interactions and preclinical efficacy in the same setting. Our results show how the oncogenic fusion protein E2A-PBX1 perturbs signaling pathways upstream of PLCγ2 and renders leukemias amenable to targeted therapeutic inhibition. Cancer Res; 76(23); 6937-49. ©2016 AACR.

    View details for PubMedID 27758892

  • Mesenchymal stromal cell density is increased in higher grade myelodysplastic syndromes and independently predicts survival. American journal of clinical pathology Johnson, R. C., Kurzer, J. H., Greenberg, P. L., Gratzinger, D. 2014; 142 (6): 795-802


    We retrospectively tested the prognostic and diagnostic significance of CD271+ mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) density in cytopenic patients who underwent bone marrow biopsy to evaluate for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).CD271+ MSC density was quantitated by automated image analysis of tissue microarray cores in 125 cytopenic patients: 40 lower grade MDS (<5% marrow blasts), 24 higher grade MDS, and 61 benign.CD271+ MSC density was increased in higher grade MDS compared with benign (P = .006) and lower grade MDS (P = .02). CD271+ MSC density was predictive of survival among patients with MDS independent of Revised International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS-R), history of transfusion, therapy-related MDS, and fibrosis (hazard ratio, 3.4; P < .001). Among low or intermediate IPSS-R patients, median survival was significantly shorter in the high CD271+ MSC density group (47 vs 18 months, P < .02).High CD271+ MSC density is characteristic of higher grade MDS and is associated with poor risk independent of known prognostic factors.

    View details for DOI 10.1309/AJCP71OPHKOTLSUG

    View details for PubMedID 25389333

  • SH2B1 (SH2-B) and JAK2: a multifunctional adaptor protein and kinase made for each other TRENDS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY AND METABOLISM Maures, T. J., Kurzer, J. H., Carter-Su, C. 2007; 18 (1): 38-45


    Src homology 2 (SH2) B adaptor protein 1 (SH2B1; originally named SH2-B) is a member of a family of adaptor proteins that influences a variety of signaling pathways mediated by Janus kinase (JAK) and receptor tyrosine kinases. Although SH2B1 performs classical adaptor functions, such as recruitment of specific proteins to activated receptors, it also demonstrates a unique ability to enhance the kinase activity of the cytokine receptor-associated tyrosine kinase JAK2, as well as that of several receptor tyrosine kinases. SH2B1 is also among a small number of adaptor proteins shown to undergo nucleocytoplasmic shuttling, although its exact role within the nucleus is not yet clear. Deletion of the SH2B1 gene results in severe obesity and both leptin and insulin resistance, as well as infertility, which might be a consequence of resistance to insulin-like growth factor I. Thus, knockout mice support a role for SH2B1 as a positive regulator of JAK2 signaling pathways initiated by leptin, as well as of pathways initiated by insulin and, potentially, by insulin-like growth factor I.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.tem.2006.11.007

    View details for Web of Science ID 000243706900006

    View details for PubMedID 17140804

  • Binding of SH2-B family members within a potential negative regulatory region maintains JAK2 in an active state MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY Kurzer, J. H., Saharinen, P., Silvennoinen, O., Carter-Su, C. 2006; 26 (17): 6381-6394


    The tyrosine kinase Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) transduces signaling for the majority of known cytokine receptor family members and is constitutively activated in some cancers. Here we examine the mechanisms by which the adapter proteins SH2-Bbeta and APS regulate the activity of JAK2. We show that like SH2-Bbeta, APS binds JAK2 at multiple sites and that binding to phosphotyrosine 813 is essential for APS to increase active JAK2 and to be phosphorylated by JAK2. Binding of APS to a phosphotyrosine 813-independent site inhibits JAK2. Both APS and SH2-Bbeta increase JAK2 activity independent of their N-terminal dimerization domains. SH2-Bbeta-induced increases in JAK2 dimerization require only the SH2 domain and only one SH2-Bbeta to be bound to a JAK2 dimer. JAK2 mutations and truncations revealed that amino acids 809 to 811 in JAK2 are a critical component of a larger regulatory region within JAK2, most likely including amino acids within the JAK homology 1 (JH1) and JH2 domains and possibly the FERM domain. Together, our data suggest that SH2-Bbeta and APS do not activate JAK2 as a consequence of their own dimerization, recruitment of an activator of JAK2, or direct competition with a JAK2 inhibitor for binding to JAK2. Rather, they most likely induce or stabilize an active conformation of JAK2.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/MCB.00570-06

    View details for Web of Science ID 000239848800006

    View details for PubMedID 16914724

  • Capillary electrophoresis and fluorescence anisotropy for quantitative analysis of peptide-protein interactions using JAK2 and SH2-B beta as a model system ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY Yang, P. L., Whelan, R. J., Jameson, E. E., Kurzer, J. H., Argetsinger, L. S., Carter-Su, C., Kabir, A., Malik, A., Kennedy, R. T. 2005; 77 (8): 2482-2489


    Fluorescence anisotropy capillary electrophoresis (FACE) and affinity probe capillary electrophoresis (APCE) with laser-induced fluorescence detection were evaluated for analysis of peptide-protein interactions with rapid binding kinetics. The Src homology 2 domain of protein SH2-Bbeta (SH2-Bbeta (525-670)) and a tyrosine-phosphorylated peptide corresponding to the binding sequence of JAK2 were used as a model system. For peptide labeled with fluorescein, the K(d) = 82 +/- 7 nM as measured by fluorescence anisotropy (FA). APCE assays had a limit of detection (LOD) of 100 nM or 12 amol injected for SH2-Bbeta (525-670). The separation time of 4 s, achieved using an electric field of 2860 V/cm on 7-cm-long capillaries, was on the same time scale as complex dissociation allowing K(d) (101 +/- 12 nM in good agreement with FA measurements) and dissociation rate (k(off) = 0.95 +/- 0.02 s(-)(1) corresponding to a half-life of 0.73 s) to be determined. This measurement represents a 30-fold higher rate of complex dissociation than what had previously been measurable by nonequilibrium CE analysis of equilibrium mixtures. Using FACE, the protein was detected with an LOD of 300 nM or 7.5 fmol injected. FACE was not used for determining K(d) or k(off); however, this method provided better separation resolution for multiple forms of the protein than APCE. Both methods were found suitable for analysis of cell lysate. These results demonstrate that FACE and APCE may be useful complements to existing techniques for exploring binding interactions with rapid kinetics.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/ac048307u

    View details for Web of Science ID 000228605100027

    View details for PubMedID 15828784

  • Tyrosine 813 is a site of JAK2 autophosphorylation critical for activation of JAK2 by SH2-B beta MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY Kurzer, J. H., Argetsinger, L. S., Zhou, Y. J., Kouadio, J. L., O'Shea, J. J., Carter-Su, C. 2004; 24 (10): 4557-4570


    The tyrosine kinase Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) binds to the majority of the known members of the cytokine family of receptors. Ligand-receptor binding leads to activation of the associated JAK2 molecules, resulting in rapid autophosphorylation of multiple tyrosines within JAK2. Phosphotyrosines can then serve as docking sites for downstream JAK2 signaling molecules. Despite the importance of these phosphotyrosines in JAK2 function, only a few sites and binding partners have been identified. Using two-dimensional phosphopeptide mapping and a phosphospecific antibody, we identified tyrosine 813 as a site of JAK2 autophosphorylation of overexpressed JAK2 and endogenous JAK2 activated by growth hormone. Tyrosine 813 is contained within a YXXL sequence motif associated with several other identified JAK2 phosphorylation sites. We show that phosphorylation of tyrosine 813 is required for the SH2 domain-containing adapter protein SH2-B beta to bind JAK2 and to enhance the activity of JAK2 and STAT5B. The homologous tyrosine in JAK3, tyrosine 785, is autophosphorylated in response to interleukin-2 stimulation and is required for SH2-B beta to bind JAK3. Taken together these data strongly suggest that tyrosine 813 is a site of autophosphorylation in JAK2 and is the SH2-B beta-binding site within JAK2 that is required for SH2-B beta to enhance activation of JAK2.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/MCB.24.10.4557-4570.2004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000221440900042

    View details for PubMedID 15121872