Tamir Kanias, PhD

Associate Investigator


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Tamir Kanias, PhD, is an Associate Investigator at the Blood Systems Research Institute at its campus extension in Denver, Colorado.   Dr. Kanias received his BS in Biological Sciences from Tel Aviv University, A MS degree in Agricultural Sciences from the Hebrew University, and a PHD degree in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.  He did his postdoctoral fellowship at the Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and was later appointed as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.  The overarching goal of Dr. Kanias' research is to advance the knowledge of genetic and biologic modifiers of red blood cell (RBC) function and predisposition to hemolysis in transfusion medicine and in hemolytic disease.

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Tamir Kanias, PhD
717 Yosemite St.
Denver, CO 80230
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Phone (303) 361-3107

  • Associate Investigator, Vitalant Research Institute, Denver
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh 
  • BS., Biological Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv Israel
  • MS., Agricultural Sciences, Hebrew University, Rohobot, Israel
  • PHD., Medical Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • Post Doctoral Fellow., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Research Interests


Blood donors represent a genetically diverse population with numerous biological variables including race, sex, and age that may affect RBC storage and transfusion outcomes. A central observation in my research is the sex dichotomy in hemolysis, which led to to my interest in androgens as mediators of hemolysis. I am also interested in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of hemolysis for the discovery of mutations that compromise RBC function in storage and in hemolytic disease. These studies reflect my interest in drug discovery and the development therapeutics against hemolysis.


Effect of testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) in blood donors on RBC storage and transfusion outcomes: TRT has been identified as of one of the most overused medical practices in the US, with a 4-fold increased use in the number of young men (ages 18-45) since 2003. Current FDA regulations allow the collection and transfusion of RBC from most TRT donors. Our studies are aimed to define the impact of TRT on RBC biology and predisposition to hemolysis. Read more here

GWAS & RBC-Omics

Genome-wide association studies of hemolysis: As a member of NHLBI's RBC-Omics' project, we have demonstrated donor-specific differences in RBC predisposition to storage or stress-induced hemolysis. Among the donor characteristics,  race/ethnicity, sex, age, donation history, iron or hormone therapies were identified as significant modulators of hemolysis. Subsequent GWAS have identified known and novel gene variants that impact osmotic or oxidative hemolysis.  Read more here

Anti-Hemolytic Compound Discovery

Discovery of compounds with anti-hemolytic activity that can enhance RBC survival in biopreservation and hemolytic disease: Using GWAS and extensive literature review we have identified several compounds that may be protective in reducing the rates of hemolysis in various blood banking procedures including blood filtration, gamma-irradiation, pathogen reduction, RBC cold storage and cryopreservation.