Emmanuel Zorn, PhD

Profile Headshot


Dr. Zorn is an Associate Professor of Medical Sciences at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Zorn received a Ph.D. in tumor immunology from Paris University in 1999 for his studies on melanoma antigens targeted by tumor infiltrating T cells. He then joined Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he studied the role of regulatory T cells in chronic graft versus host disease in humans. Dr. Zorn moved to the Transplant Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2006 to work on human kidney graft rejection. He then relocated to Columbia University Medical Center in 2014, where he directs a human transplantation immunology research laboratory. He is also the Director of the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology Biobank core. The primary focus of Dr. Zorn’s lab is on B cells and antibodies in mechanisms of rejection or acceptance of kidney and heart transplants.

Lab Projects

Role of B cells infiltrating heart transplants during cardiac allografts vasculopathy: B cell infiltrates are often observed in solid organ grafts during chronic and acute rejection, yet their function is still unclear. Our studies use cardiac al grafts explanted because of rejection to isolate infiltrating B cells and determine their contribution to the rejection mechanism.

Role of Natural Antibodies in solid organ graft rejection: Natural antibodies are broadly reactive serum immunoglobulins implicated in apoptotic cell clearance. Their contribution to inflammatory reactions associated with graft tissue destruction has not been examined. We initiated a large multi-center study using samples collected from kidney transplant recipients at our institution as well as at collaborating centers in the USA, Canada and Europe to investigate the clinical significance of natural antibodies in transplant rejection. We also investigate the function of these natural antibodies in in mechanisms of acute and chronic graft rejection.

We have recently reported the presence of antibody-secreting plasma cells in the human thymus. These cells accumulate with age in the thymic perivascular space and include clones with specificity to common viruses. Ongoing studies in our lab are investigating the role of these plasma cells in anti-viral protection as well as T cell negative selection.

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Medical Sciences (in Medicine)

Administrative Titles

  • Director CCTI Biobank


  • French

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • PhD, 1999 Immunology, University of Paris, France


Dr. Zorn’s laboratory investigates host-graft interactions following solid organ transplantation in humans with a primary focus on B cells and antibodies in mechanisms of rejection of heart and kidney transplants.

Selected Publications

Recent publications:

1. Porcheray, F., Wong, W., Saidman, S.L., DeVito, J., Girouard, T.C., Chittenden, M., Shaffer, J., Tolkoff-Rubin, N., Bimalangshu, D.R., Spitzer, T.R., Colvin, R.B., Cosimi, A.B., Kawai, T., Sachs, D.H., Sykes, M., and Zorn, E. B cell immunity in the context of T cell tolerance after combined kidney and bone marrow transplantation in humans. American J. Transplant, 2009; 9:2126-35. PMCID: PMC2837587

2. Wong, W., Lee, R.A., Saidman, S.L., Smith, R.N. and Zorn, E. Bortezomib in kidney transplant recipients with antibody mediated rejection: three case reports. Clin Transpl, 2009: 401-5. PMID: 20524305.

3. Porcheray, F., DeVito, J., Yeap, B.Y., Xue, L., Dargon, I., Paine, R., Girouard, T.C., Saidman, S.L., Colvin, R.B., Wong, W. and Zorn, E. Chronic humoral rejection of human kidney allografts associates with broad autoantibody responses. Transplantation, 2010; 89:1239-46. PMCID: PMC3744373

4. Wong, W., DeVito, J., Nguyen, H., Sarracino, D., Porcheray, F., Dargon, I., Pelle, P.D., Collins, A.B., Tolkoff-Rubin, N., Smith, R.N., Colvin, R.B. and Zorn, E. Chronic humoral rejection of human kidney allografts is associated with MMP-2 accumulation in podocytes and its release in the urine. American J. Transplant, 2010; 10:2463-71. PMCID: PMC3805271.

5. Porcheray, F., Miklos, D., Floyd, B.H., Sarantopoulos, S., Bellucci, R., Soiffer, R.J., Antin, J.H., Alyea, E.P., Ritz, J. and Zorn, E. Combined CD4 T cell and antibody response to human histocompatibility antigen DBY after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Transplantation, 2011; 92: 359-65. PMCID: PMC3263512

6. Porcheray, F., DeVito, J., Helou, Y., Dargon, I., Fraser, J.W., Nobecourt, P., Ferdman, J., Germana, S., Girouard, T.C., Kawai, T., Saidman, S.L., Wong, W., Colvin, R.B., Leguern, C., and Zorn, E.Expansion of polyreactive B cells cross-reactive to HLA and self in the blood of a patient with kidney graft rejection. American J. Transplant, 2012; 12:2088-97. PMCID: PMC3402627.

7. Porcheray, F, Fraser JW, Gao B, McColl A, DeVito J, Dargon I, Helu Y, Wong W, Girouard TC, Saidman SL, Colvin RB, Palmisano A, Maggiore U, Vaglio A, Smith RN and Zorn E. Polyreactive Antibodies Developing Amidst Humoral Rejection of Human Kidney Grafts Bind Apoptotic Cells and Activate Complement. American J. Transplant. 2013. 10: 2590-600. PMCID: PMC3864117.

8. Mengel M., Chong A., Rothstein D.M., Zorn E. and Maltzman J.S. AST Cutting Edge of Transplantation 2013 Meeting report: A comprehensive look at B cells and antibodies in transplantation. American J. Transplant. 2014. 3: 524-530. PMCID: PMC4046165

9. Kawai T., Sachs D.H., Sprangers B., Sptizer T.R., Saidman S.L., Zorn E., Tolkoff-Rubin N., Preffer F., Crisalli K., Gao B., Wong W., Morri H., LoCscio S.A., Sayer P., Shonts B., Williams W.W., Smith R.N., Colvin R.B., Sykes M. and Cosimi A.B. Long-Term Results in Recipients of Combined HLA mismatched Kidney and Bone Marrow Transplantation Without Maintenance Immunosuppression. American J. Transplant. 2014; 14: 1599-611. PMID: 24903438.

10. Ferdman J., Porcheray F., Gao B., Moore C., DeVito J., Dougherty S., Thomas M.V., Farkash., Elias N., Kawai T., Malek S.K., Tullius S.G., Wong W. and Zorn E. Expansion and somatic hypermutation of B cell clones in rejected human kidney grafts. Transplantation. 2014; 98:766-72. PMID: 24825521

11. Gao B., Moore C, Porcheray F., Rong C., Abidoglu A., DeVito J., Paine R., Girouard T.C., Saidman S.L., Schoenfeld D., Levin B., Wong W., Elias N., Schuetz C., Rosales I.A., Fu Y and Zorn E. Pre-Transplant IgG Reactivity to Apoptotic Cells Correlates with Late kidney Allograft Loss. American J. Transplant. 2014; 14: 1581-91. PMCID: PMC4120834

12. Zuber J, Rosen S, Shonts B, Sprangers B, Savage TM, Richman S, Yang S, Lau SP, DeWolf S, Farber D, Vlad G, Zorn E, Wong W, Emond J, Levin B, Martinez M, Kato T, Sykes M. Macrochimerism in Intestinal Transplantation: Association With Lower Rejection Rates and Multivisceral Transplants, Without GVHD. Am J Transplant. 2015; 10:2691-703. PMID: 25988811

13. Yamada Y, Nadazdin O, Boskovic S, Lee S, Zorn E, Smith RN, Colvin RB, Madsen JC, Cosimi AB, Kawai T, Benichou G. Repeated Injections of IL-2 Break Renal Allograft Tolerance Induced via Mixed Hematopoietic Chimerism in Monkeys. Am J Transplant. 2015. In press.PMID: 26190648.

14. Gao B, Rong C, Porcheray F, Moore C, Girouard TC, Saidman SL, Wong W, Fu Y, Zorn E. Evidence to Support a Contribution of Polyreactive Antibodies to HLA Serum Reactivity. Transplantation. 2015. In press. PMID: 26285015

15. Sarah Nunez, Carolina Moore, Baoshan Gao, Kortney Rogers, Yessia Hidalgo, Pedro J. Del Nido, Susan Restaino, Yoshifumi Naka, Goving Bhagat, Joren C. Madsen, Maria Rosa Bono, Emmanuel Zorn. The human thymus perivascular space is a functional niche for viral-specific plasma cells. Science Immunology. 23 December, 2016. DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aah4447

16. Clerkin KJ, Farr MA, Restaino SW, Zorn E, Latif F, Vasilescu ER, Marboe CC, Colombo PC, Mancini DM. Donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies with antibody-mediated rejection and long-term outcomes following heart transplantation. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2017. 35(5):540-545. PMID: 27916323 PMCID: PMC5654313 [Available on 2018-05-01] DOI: 10.1016/j.healun.2016.10.016

17. Sprangers B, DeWolf S, Savage T, Morokata T, Obradovic A, LoCascio S, Shonts B, Zuber J, Lau SP, Shah R, Morris H, Steshenko V, Zorn E, Preffer F, Olek S, Dombkowski D, Turka L, Colvin R, Winchester R, Kawai T, Sykes M. Origin of enriched regulatory T cells in patients receiving combined kidney/bone marrow transplantation to induce transplantation tolerance. American J. Transplant. 2017. 17: 2020-2032. DOI: 10.1111/ajt.14251

18. See SB, Clerkin KJ, Kennel PJ, Zhang F, Weber MP, Rogers K, Chatterjee D, Vasilescu ER, Vlad G, Naka Y, Restaino S, Farr M, Topkara VK, Colombo PC, Mancini DM, Schulze PC, Levin B, Zorn E. Ventricular assist device elicits serum natural IgG that correlate with the development of primary graft dysfunction following heart transplantation. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2017. 36: 862-870. PMID: 28431981 PMCID: PMC5515682 [Available on 2018-08-01] DOI: 10.1016/j.healun.2017.03.018

19. Zorn E. and See SB. Polyreactive natural antibodies in transplantation. Curr. Opin. Organ Transplant. 2017. 22(1):8-13 DOI: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000376

20. Dieudé M, West LJ, Muruve DA, Gunaratman L, Mohanakumar T, Zorn E, Cairo CW, Freed D, Fairchild R, Schultz KR, Hébert MJ. New answers to old conundrums: what antibodies, exosomes and inflammasomes bring to the conversation. Transplantation. In press. PMID: 28731910 DOI:10.1097/TP.0000000000001872

21. Gao B, Gu Y, Rong C, Moore C, Porcheray F, Wong W, Preffer F, Saidman SL, Fu Y, Cosimi AB, Sachs DH, Kawai T, Sykes M, Zorn E. Dynamics of B cell recovery following kidney/bone marrow transplant recipients. Transplantation. 2017. In press. PMID: 28422925 PMCID:PMC5648631 [Available on 2018-11-01] DOI: 10.1097/TP.0000000000001789

22. Kennel PJ, Saha A, Maldonado DA, Givens R, Brunjes DL, Castillero E, Zhang X, Ji R, Yahi A, George I, Mancini DM, Koller A, Fine B, Zorn E, Colombo PC, Tatonetti N, Chen EI, Schulze PC. Serum exosomal protein profiling for the non-invasive detection of cardiac allograft rejection. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2017. In press. PMID: 28789823 DOI: 10.1016/j.healun.2017.07.012

23. Clerkin KJ, See SB, Farr MA, Restaino SW, Serban G, Farhana Latif F, Li L, Colombo PC, Vlad G, Ray Bryan, Vasilescu ER and Zorn E. Comparative assessment of anti-HLA antibodies using 2 commercially available Luminex-based assays. Transplantation Direct. 2017. In press. doi: 10.1097/TXD.0000000000000734

24. Chatterjee D, Moore, C, Gao B, Clerkin KJ, See SB, Shaked D, Rogers K, Nunez S, Veras Y, Addonizio L, Givertz MM, Naka Y, Mancini D, Vasilescu R, Marboe C, Restaino S, Madsen JC, Zorn E. Prevalence of polyreactive innate clones among graft infiltrating B cells in human cardiac allograft vasculopathy. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2017. In press. PMID: 29055600 DOI: 10.1016/j.healun.2017.09.011