Sam Milanovich

Sam Milanovich M.D.

Cancer Biology & Immunotherapies Group


Phone: (605)312-6409


Education: M.D., University of North Dakota School of Medicine

External Funding: Hyundai Hope on Wheels, MACC Fund, MCM/American Cancer Society

Research Interests

Sam Milanovich, MD, and his lab’s team focus on studying the genetic and epigenetic regulation of normal blood cell development and how mutations on these processes lead to leukemic transformation. The goal is to define mechanisms that lead to the formation of leukemia stem cells.

Defining critical oncogenic molecular mechanisms and pathways in leukemia stem cells will improve understanding of leukemogenesis, and why some patients are cured by conventional therapies while others relapse. These understandings will help Dr. Milanovich’s team to identify distinct subsets of patients who may benefit from different therapeutic approaches.

This information can ultimately be used when designing novel therapies to specifically target leukemia stem cells while limiting toxicities to normal blood development, ultimately improving outcomes for pediatric leukemia patients.

The Milanovich Lab utilizes a variety of methods to study molecular genetics in leukemia patient samples, leukemia cell lines and mouse models of normal blood and leukemia development.

Selected Publications

Gundry, R., Riordon, D., Tarasova, Y., Chuppa, S., Bhattacharya, S.,Juhasz, O., Wiedemeier, O., Milanovich, S.,Noto, F., Tchernyshyov, I., Raginski, K., Bausch-Fluck, D., Tae, H-J., Marshall, S., Duncan, S., Wollscheid, B., Wersto, R., Rao, S., Van Eyk, J., Boheler, K.  “A Cell Surfaceome Map for Immunophenotyping and Sorting Pluripotent Stem Cells”, Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, 11(8), 303-316, August 2012.

Marsh, R., Rao, K., Satwani, P., Lehmberg, K., Müller, I., Fischer, A., Latour, S., Sedlacek, P., Barlogis, V., Hamamoto, K., Kanegane, H., Milanovich, S., Margolis, D., Dimmock, D., Casper, J., Douglas, D., Henry, M., Amrolia, P., Veys, P., Kumar, A., Jordan, M., Bleesing, J., and Filipovich, A.  “Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for XIAP Deficiency: An International Survey Reveals Poor Outcomes.” Blood, 121(6), 877-883, February 7, 2013.

Gheorghe, G., Radu, O., Milanovich, S., Hamilton, R., Jaffe, R., Southern, J., Ozolek, J.  “Pathology of central nervous system post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders: lessons from pediatric autopsies”, Pediatric and Developmental Pathology, 16(2), 67-73, April 2013.

Pulakanti, K., Pinello, L., Stelloh, C., Blinka, S., Allred, J., Milanovich, S., Kiblawi, S., Peterson, J., Wang, A., Guo-Cheng, Y., Rao, S.  “Enhancer transcribed RNAs arise from hypomethylated, Tet-occupied genomic regions”, Epigenetics, 8(12), 1303-1320, December 2013.

Milanovich, S.*, Peterson, J., Allred, J., Stelloh, C., Rajasekaran, K., Fisher, J., Duncan, S., Malarkannan, S., Rao, S.  “Sall4 overexpression blocks murine hematopoiesis in a dose-dependent manner.” Experimental Hematology, 43(1), 53-64, December 2014.

Stelloh, C., Pulakanti, K., Milanovich, S., Peterson, J., Pinello, L., Jia, S., Roumiantsev, S., Hessner, M., Orkin, S.H., Yuan, G.C., and Rao, S.  “The cohesin offloading factor Wapal is required for H3K27me3 maintenance at bivalent promoters.”  Manuscript under revision.

*Corresponding author