Medical Advisory Board
Our Medical Advisory Board Members are some of the top childhood cancer researchers in the United States and Canada. This allows us to put every grant application that we receive through a competitive peer review process, enabling us to award grants to the highest scoring applications.
DAI CHUNG, MD
Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; Nashville, TN – Professor of Pediatric Surgery
Dr. Dai Chung is the chair of the Rally Medical Advisory Board. He is the professor and chair of the department of Pediatric Surgery and a professor of cancer biology at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. He is the recipient of the Janie Robinson & John Moore Lee Endowed Chair of Pediatric Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Chung is co-director of the Center of Excellence in Neuroblastoma Research at Vanderbilt and has memberships in numerous associations including the American Association for Cancer Research, Children’s Oncology Group, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
PETER C. ADAMSON, MD
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA – Children’s Oncology Group – Chair; Chief, Division of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Dr. Adamson’s laboratory focuses on the clinical pharmacology of new drugs for childhood cancer. His primary research focus has been on pediatric cancer drug development, specifically early phase clinical trials and clinical pharmacologic studies. In January of 2011, he became Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a National Cancer Institute supported consortium of more than 220 centers across North America, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe, which conducts clinical-translational research including large-scale clinical trials in children with cancer. Previously he served as Chair of the COG’s Developmental Therapeutics Program. Other key roles that he has served in include Director of the Office for Clinical and Translational Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, co-Director of the University of Pennsylvania CHOP Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA), Program Director of the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) and Principal Investigator of its NICHD funded Pediatric Pharmacology Research Unit (PPRU).
SARO ARMENIAN, D.O., MPH
City of Hope; Durante, CA – Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Population Sciences
Saro Armenian is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist with expertise in pediatric cancer, epidemiology, and cancer survivorship. Dr. Armenian is leading a clinical research study into whether a low dose of the drug carvedilol can reduce the risk of congestive heart failure in childhood cancer survivors who received chemotherapy with anthracyclines.
SCOTT A. ARMSTRONG, MD, PHD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Boston, MA – Chair, Department of Pediatric Oncology
The goal of Scott Armstrong’s research program is to define genetic and epigenetic programs that control the extensive self-renewal properties associated with leukemia and other cancers. This knowledge is then used to develop rational approaches for potential new therapies. Experiments incorporate the use of sophisticated mouse models of leukemia and the characterization of human leukemia cells.
OREN BECHER, MD
Duke University; Durham, NC – Associate Professor in Pediatrics
Dr. Becher received his MD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, completed his residency at Children’s National Medical Center, and completed his fellowship at NY Presbyterian and Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases. His research areas include the development of novel clinical trials in children with brain tumors and DIPG pathogenesis.
SMITA BHATIA, MD, MPH
University of Alabama at Birmingham; Birmingham, AL – Associate Director for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship
Dr. Bhatia is a graduate of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi where she also completed her residency. She completed her fellowship at the University of Minnesota and was a professor at City of Hope before moving to UAB. Her research focuses on cancer outcomes with an emphasis on the long-term health and well-being of cancer survivors. Her overarching goal is to reduce the burden of morbidity among cancer survivors.
SCOTT BORINSTEIN, MD, PHD
Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; Nashville, TN – Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Scott Borinstein received his M.D and Ph.D. at The Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. He completed his residency and fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, WA. Dr. Borinstein’s research focuses on the development of better treatment for pediatric sarcomas. Specifically, his laboratory investigates how changesin DNA methylation contribute to the pathogensis of Ewing sarcoma.
MICHAEL BURKE, MD
Medical College of Wisconsin; Milwaukee, WI – Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology / Oncology / Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Dr. Burke received his MD from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. He completed his residency at the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and his fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. His research interests revolve around relapsed childhood leukemia.
NAI-KONG V. CHEUNG, MD, PHD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; New York, NY – Neuroblastoma Program Head, Pediatric Oncology
Dr. Cheung is a pediatric oncologist who specializes in immunologic approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cancers. His focus is the treatment of neuroblastoma, a tumor that arises from primitive cells of the sympathetic nervous system and that primarily affects young children.
MARK CHIANG, MD, PHD
University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, MI – Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology / Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine
Dr. Chiang received his M.D., PH.D. and training from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His research interests revolve around T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, NOTCH signaling and mouse modeling of hematological malignancies.
ERIC J. CHOW, MD, MPH
Seattle Children’s Hospital; Seattle, WA – Medical Director, Cancer Survivorship Program
Dr. Chow received his M.D. with thesis from the University of California in San Francisco. His Research is focused on cancer survivorship, with focus on childhood cancer survivors and hematopoietic cell transplantation survivors of all ages. Dr. Chow and his team are interested in better understanding exposures that influence (both good and bad) a cancer survivor’s subsequent risk for developing heart disease and related conditions. Dr. Chow holds leadership positions within the Childrens Oncology Group’s Outcomes and Survivorship Committee and the National Cancer Institute-sponsored Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.
JOHN CRISPINO, PHD, MBA
Northwestern University; Chicago, IL – Professor in Medicine, Hematology / Oncology and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Dr. John Crispino is the Associate Director of Education and Training at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL as well as a Lora S Lurie Professor of Medicine. Dr. Crispino studies the biology of normal and malignant blood cell development. In 2002, his team discovered that GATA1 mutations are associated with acute megakaryocytic leukemia in children with Down syndrome. Since that time, his laboratory has focused on understanding why children with DS face an increased risk of both myeloid and lymphoid leukemia and on developing improved therapies for the malignancies. Dr. Crispino is the Scientific Advisor of the Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Research Foundation and the Chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Leukemia Research Foundation.
BRIAN D. CROMPTON, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Dr. Crompton is a pediatric oncologist who specializes in caring for patients with solid tumor malignancies and cancer predispositions. His laboratory focuses on utilizing proteomic and genomic approaches to expand our understanding of cancer biology and identify novel treatment approaches for pediatric sarcomas. One goal of his laboratory is to validate the use of specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors in combination with other agents in the treatment of Ewing sarcoma. Dr. Crompton’s group is also focused on developing new non-invasive tumor profiling techniques, also known as liquid biopsies, to quantify disease burden, monitor patients for clinical responses to therapy, and discover clinically relevant patterns of tumor evolution.
CHRISTOPHER DERENZO, MD, MBA
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Memphis, TN – Assistant Member, Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy
Dr. DeRenzo’s research is focused on harnessing the body’s immune system to treat pediatric patients with solid tumors. Specifically, he works with T cells, and his efforts are aimed at developing novel methods to enhance T-cell therapies for pediatric patients with solid tumors.
GIRISH DHALL, MD
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; Los Angeles, CA – Director, Neuro-oncology Program
Dr. Girish Dhall is the Director of the Neuro-oncology Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and the Vice Chair of the Institutional Review Board. He is also the Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Dr. Dhall successfully chaired a phase I clinical trial for pediatric recurrent/refractory brain tumor patients at CHLA. Dr. Dhall serves as the Co-Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group study for treatment of CNS germ cell tumors in children. He presently serves as the Vice-Chair for a phase II study for recurrent/refractory pediatric CNC germ cell tumor patients at CHLA. Dr. Dhall earned his degrees from the University of Mumbai and completed his internship and residency at New York Medical College. He completed fellowships with the New York University and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
NEEKESH V. DHARIA, MD, PHD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Dr. Dharia completed his MD PhD training in 2011 in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of California San Diego with his PhD work performed at The Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Dharia completed his pediatric residency at the University of California Los Angeles and Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship at DFCI/BCH. As post-doctoral research fellow in the laboratories of Kimberly Stegmaier, MD, and Todd Golub, MD, at DFCI and the Broad Institute, his research efforts are focused on leveraging functional genomic screens and other deep characterization of pediatric cancers to identify potential new therapeutic approaches with a focus on neuroblastoma, Ewing sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and hematologic malignancies.
JEFFREY DOME, MD, PHD
Children’s National Health Center; Washington, D.C. – Division Chief, Hematology / Oncology
Dr. Jeffrey Dome is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist in Washington, DC. He specializes in pediatric solid tumors, with an emphasis on Wilms tumors and other pediatric kidney tumors. He is also the chair of the Renal Tumor Committee for the Children’s Oncology Group (COG).
ADAM DURBIN, MD, PHD
Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Boston, MA – Fellow in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation
Dr. Durbin received his MD and PhD from the University of Toronto, studying pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma and osteosarcoma. He completed his residency at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center, and then his fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital. He is currently and Instructor in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, studying epigenetic control of transcription and the mechanisms of oncogenesis in pediatric solid tumors.
ADAM J. ESBENSHADE, MD, MSCI
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
Dr. Esbenshade is a pediatric neuro-oncologist. He completed his fellowship and a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation at Vanderbilt University in 2010. His research is focused on cancer control, supportive care and survivorship. His specific interests include establishing evidence-based management for the metabolic and infectious complications of pediatric cancer. In the Children’s Oncology Group, he currently serves as the Vice Chair of both the Cancer Control and Supportive Care Committee and the Young Investigators Committee.
NATIA ESIASHVILI, MD
Emory University; Atlanta, GA – Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology Department
Dr. Esiashvili’s clinical interests include brain tumors and sarcomas. She is a member of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American College of Radiology, the Children’s Oncology Group and the Pediatric Radiation Oncology Society, among others. She serves as a manuscript reviewer for International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, and has published several journal articles and book chapters. She has received various awards for her work in radiation oncology, as well spoken at a number of national and international conferences.
ADOLFO FERRANDO, MD, PHD
Columbia University Medical Center; New York, NY – Associate Professor of Pathology and Pediatrics
Dr. Ferrando is currently conducting research related to T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia. In 1999, he was rewarded the Special Doctorate Award from the University of Oviedo in Spain. He has served on the Editorial Board of Leukemia and is a member of the American Society of Hematology.
DEBRA FRIEDMAN, MD
Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; Nashville, TN – Director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Dr. Friedman’s research emphasis is long term outcomes for cancer survivors. Novel therapeutic protocols for childhood cancer, designed to decrease adverse long-term effects of therapy
GREGORY FRIEDMAN, MD
University of Alabama at Birmingham; Birmingham, AL – Associate Professor of Pediatrics Neuro-Oncology Program
Dr. Friedman is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and the Medical College of Georgia. He completed his pediatric residency and fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at UAB. His primary interests are pediatric neuro-oncology and conducting pediatric brain tumor research. His overarching goal is to improve outcomes for children with malignant brain tumors by developing and improving novel, targeted therapeutics like oncolytic engineered herpes simplex virotherapy in the lab and then translating these therapies to clinical trials.
AMAR GAJJAR, MD
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Memphis, TN – Director of Neuro-Oncology Division
Dr. Gajjar’s current clinical research interests focus on innovative protocols for the treatment of childhood brain tumors, with a focus on medulloblastomas, PNET and Rhabdoid tumors (ATRT). He is co-chair of the Department of Oncology, Interim Chair for the Department of Pediatric Medicine and Co-Leader for the Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program, as well as the Scott and Tracie Hamilton Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research.
JONATHAN GILL, MD
Montefiore Medical Center; Bronx, NY – Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Gill’s main clinical interest is in sarcomas and rare solid tumors in children. His primary research interest is in Developmental Therapeutics and developing clinical trials introducing new agents or novel combination therapies. He is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group, Bone Tumor Committee.
KELLY GOLDSMITH, MD
Emory University; Atlanta, GA – Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Goldsmith received her MD from the University of Alabama School of Medicine, followed by training at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is currently an assistant professor of pediatrics and the director of the MIBG therapy program. Her laboratory focuses on neuroblastoma and experimental therapeutics that restore therapy sensitivity. Her work has led to a first in pediatric phase 1 clinical trial.
VIDYA GOPALAKRISHNAN, PHD
MD Anderson Cancer Center; Houston, TX – Associate Professor of Pediatrics Research and Molecular and Cellular Oncology
Dr. Gopalakrishnan received her PhD from The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on studying the molecular basis of medulloblastoma and identifying novel therapeutic targets for the disease.
YASMIN GOSIENGFIAO, MD
Northwestern University; Chicago, IL – Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Gosiengfiao received her MD from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine followed by her training at University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University. Her focus is on pediatric solid tumors and fertility preservation.
ABHA GUPTA, MD
The Hospital for Sick Children
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Dr. Gupta received her MD at the University of Toronto. She completed her pediatrics residency at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital (New Haven, CT) and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Ottawa) before moving back to Toronto to complete her fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at The Hospital for Sick Children. To complement her training, Dr. Gupta completed a one-year fellowship in Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology with a focus on sarcoma. She is the Medical Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program at Princess Margaret where she is working with a team of people to create the infrastructure to ensure consistent and high-quality delivery of information and services to young people with cancer. At SickKids, along with pediatric urologist, Dr. Armando Lorenzo, she is Co-Medical Director of the Fertility Preservation Program. The goal of this program is to ensure consistent and high-quality delivery of information regarding fertility preservation to children and adolescents with cancer.
RINTARO HASHIZUME, MD, PHD
Northwestern University; Chicago, IL – Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Dr. Hashizume received his MD, PhD and residency training from St. Marianna University School of Medicine followed by his postdoc training at MD Anderson. His current research focuses on the treatment of DIPG. Both his clinical and research areas of interest are treatment of primary adult and pediatric brain tumors, and translation of findings from research into treatment of brain tumor patients.
DOUGLAS S. HAWKINS, MD
Seattle Children’s Hospital; Seattle, WA – Associate Division Chief, Hematology / Oncology
Along with his research roles, Dr. Hawkins is also a clinician at SCH and a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Hawkins is also the principal investigator for COG activity at SCH and chair of the COG Soft Tissue Sarcoma Committee. He is a steering committee member of several COG committees, including the Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Bone Tumor, and Voting Body. He has focused on clinical research, particularly in the treatment of pediatric sarcomas. He is the COG chair of two clinical trials, one for Ewing sarcoma and another for rhabdomyosarcoma.
DOUGLAS HOFFMANN, MD
Marietta, GA – Pathologist / Hematopathologist
Dr. Hoffmann earned his doctorate in medicine from University of Michigan Medical School and completed his pathology residency at University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He completed a fellowship in hematopathology at UCLA’s Center for the Health Sciences in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Hoffmann also has a keen interest in health care finance, and holds an MBA with finance concentration, and a masters degree in finance, both from Georgia State University J.Mack Robinson College of Business.
EUGENE HWANG, MD
Children’s National Medical Center-Washington, D.C.-Director, Neuro-oncology Fellowship Program. Director, Clinical Neuro-oncology Immunotherapeutics Program
Dr. Hwang received his M.D. at Duke University School of Medicine, completed his residency at Brown University, and returned to Duke to finish his fellowships in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Pediatric Neuro-oncology. He is currently an associate professor at Children’s National Medical Center, where he designs and leads developmental therapeutic clinical trials for children with brain cancer, with an emphasis on immunotherapy.
MICHAEL ISAKOFF, MD
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, CT
Dr. Isakoff is a graduate of New York University School of Medicine. He trained in pediatric medicine at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital and completed his fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Isakoff has been practicing medicine since 1999, the last 14 years at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. He is the Clinical Director of The Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders, the Medical Director for the Clinical Trials Unit, The Director for the Sarcoma Program at The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and the Program Director for the Reid R. Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program. Dr. Isakoff is also an Associate Professor at The University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
CIGALL KADOCH, PHD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Boston, MA – Assistant Professor, Pediatric Oncology
Cigall Kadoch, PhD completed her graduate studies at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the Laboratory of Dr. Gerald Crabtree. Here, Dr. Kadoch worked to identify and characterize novel components of a chromatin remodeling complex, among them, SS18, which is translocated in synovial sarcoma (t(X;18)), resulting in the hallmark SS18-SSX oncogenic fusion protein. Through a series of biochemical and mechanistic investigations, Kadoch uncovered a mechanism of oncogenesis driven by SS18-SSX mediated perturbation to mSWI/SNF (BAF) chromatin remodeling complexes.
JONATHAN KAUFMAN, MD
Emory University School of Medicine; Atlanta, GA – Associate Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Dr. Kaufman earned his MD from the Medical College of Georgia and completed his training at Emory University School of Medicine. His research interests include new drug development for relapsed multiple myeloma patients, identification of induction therapy for these patients, new therapies for Amyloidosis and novel conditioning regimens for myeloma transplant patients.
YASMIN KHAKOO, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; New York, NY – Director of Child Neurology Program
Dr. Khakoo is a board-certified pediatric neurologist and neuro-oncologist who cares for children and young adults with primary brain tumors. In collaboration with her colleagues in the Brain Tumor Center, she is involved in several clinical trials to evaluate novel approaches to treating patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent brain tumors. She has an interest and expertise in treating patients with ependymoma, and she is the primary investigator at Memorial Sloan Kettering for the Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network clinical trial for children with recurrent ependymoma.
ORLY KLEIN, MD
Johns Hopkins University; Baltimore, MD – Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Department
Dr. Klein is a board certified pediatric oncologist specializing in blood and marrow transplantation. She attended medical school at Mount Sinai School of Medicine where she also completed her residency in pediatrics. She completed a fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at the joint program of Johns Hopkins and the National Cancer Institute. She is currently an Instructor of Oncology and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins and is studying the mechanisms of lung dysfunction after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. She also is the medical director of Camp Sunrise, Johns Hopkins’ overnight camp for children with or survivors of cancer.
KIM KRAMER, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; New York, NY – Pediatric Oncologist
A pediatric oncologist who specializes in the care of children with neuroblastoma and other cancers that have spread in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Kim is conducting translational research to better understand why this happens and to try to find more-effective treatments, particularly for relapsed disease. In my research, I am investigating novel treatments to eliminate microscopic tumor cells in the central nervous system.
JACQUELINE KRAVEKA, D.O.
Medical University of South Carolina; Charleston, SC – Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Kraveka is actively involved in clinical pediatric research in the Children’s Oncology Group, where she is a member of the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Neuroblastoma Committees. She serves on the Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, Neuroblastoma Developmental Therapeutic and the Neuroblastoma Clinical and Biological Risk Factors Task Force Subcommittees. Dr. Kraveka is also a COG Study Committee Member for ANBL0532, a Phase III Randomized Trial of Single versus Tandem Myeloablative Consolidation Therapy for High-Risk Neuroblastoma.
DAVID LOEB, MD, PHD
Children’s Hospital at Montefiore; New York, NY – Chief, Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Marrow and Blood Cell Transplantation
Dr. Loeb received his MD and PhD from Columbia University in New York City, followed by training in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Johns Hopkins University, where he was currently an Associate Professor. He is currently the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Marrow and Blood Cell at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. His research interests revolve around translational research related to childhood sarcomas. He has a laboratory research effort aimed at understanding the role of a transcription factor called WT1 in the biology of sarcomas, another project aimed at identifying and targeting sarcoma stem cells, and is involved in numerous clinical trials, both investigator-initiated trials at Johns Hopkins as well as trials run through cooperative groups.
JOHN M. MARIS, MD
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA – Director, Center for Childhood Cancer Research, Giulio D’Angio Chair in Neuroblastoma Research, Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Maris received his MD from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed his residency at CHOP. He completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology at CHOP and has board certifications for the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Pediatrics/Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. He has special interest in the molecular genetics and treatment of neuroblastoma.
MELINDA MERCHANT, MD, PHD
AstraZeneca; Waltham, MA – Senior Medical Director, Oncology
Dr. Merchant received her doctorate in medicine from the University of Miami School of Medicine. She was an Assistant Attending at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and also worked at the National Cancer Institute as a Staff Clinician and Head of the Clinical Sarcoma Program. Before joining AstraZeneca, she was the Clinical Director of the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the NCI.
SHAKEEL MODAK, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; New York, NY – Pediatric Oncologist
Dr. Modak is a pediatric oncologist who specializes in the treatment of children and young adults with neuroblastoma and other solid tumors, such as desmoplastic small round cell tumors. His multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals discusses each patient’s case in order to put together an individualized treatment plan. Memorial Sloan-Kettering treats a large number of patients with neuroblastoma, and this volume has afforded him and his team a wealth of knowledge and depth of expertise that benefits all patients.
SABINE MUELLER, MD, PHD
University of California; San Francisco, CA – Associate Professor, Neurology
Dr. Mueller received her M.D. and PH.D. from the University of Hamburg followed by her training at Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Francisco. Her research focus is on testing new therapeutic approaches for children with brain tumors and long-term follow up can assessing the vascular side effects in pediatric brain tumor survivors. She is also the Director of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Center where she oversees the overall program including clinical services and research.
RENEE READ, PHD
Emory University; Atlanta, GA – Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Dr. Read received her PH.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, MO followed by training at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Her current research focuses on Glioblastomas and the roles of developmental signaling pathways in neural progenitor cells that give rise to Glioblastomas. Her research has led to an early-phase clinical trial of a drug that targets the Hippo pathway transcriptional effector YAP.
DAMON REED, MD
Moffitt Cancer Center; Tampa, FL – Associate Professor
Dr. Reed’s main clinical interest is in sarcomas. He is currently conducting a phase I/II study of TH-302 in combination with Doxorubicin in patients with advanced soft tissue sarcomas. He has been published twice in peer review journals.
MARTA SANCHEZ-MARTIN, PHD
IBM-Watson Health – Cancer Expert; Cambridge, MA
Dr. Sanchez-Martin is a translational scientist committed to bringing new therapies to the clinic of pediatric oncology patients. She now serves as a Cancer Expert for IBM-Watson Health. Previously, she focused on the discovery and pre-clinical development of new targeted therapies and combinations for the treatment of pediatric lymphoid leukemias and generating a repository of patient-derived mouse models to implement precision medicine approaches in pediatric cancers.
ELIAS SAYOUR, MD, PHD
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Dr. Sayour trained at Duke University where he completed a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship and NIH research fellowship in cancer biology and developmental therapeutics. He enrolled in the Duke University Graduate School and completed his Ph.D. Dr. Sayour has been involved in translating bench work into clinical trials governing the development of dendritic cell vaccines with adoptively transferred cytotoxic T cells against recurrent medulloblastoma. He has also started an integrative pediatric immunotherapy working group at the University of Florida that includes surgeons, clinicians, veterinarians, and pre-clinical scientists working to advance novel directed therapeutics against refractory malignancies. Their goals are to identify novel antigen targets and construct robust immunotherapeutic treatments against these malignancies.
KEVIN SHANNON, MD
University of California; San Francisco, CA – Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Dr. Shannon received his MD from Cornell University Medical Center followed by training at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX. His research program focuses on hematopoietic growth control, leukemogenesis, RAS signaling, mouse cancer modeling and molecular therapeutics. He was also director of the USCF Medical Scientist Training Program.
SANFORD SIMON, PHD
Rockefeller University; New York, NY – Professor, Laboratory of Cellular Biophysics
Dr. Simon received his PhD from NYU Medical Center in New York City followed by his fellowship at Rockefeller University where he’s currently a professor. His background is in basic cellular events with a particular emphasis on biophysical analysis. Over the past 20 years, however, he has focused primarily on cancer biology. He’s currently studying liver cancer and is collaborating with a researcher at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. His results from this work have formed the foundation of new clinical trials and a blood test he’s developing. This work was highlighted by President Obama at the launch of the Precision Medicine Initiative.
SIMONE SREDNI, MD, PHD
Northwestern University; Chicago, IL – Research Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
Dr. Sredni is currently involved in the study of childhood tumors of the kidney and of the central nervous system with special interest in the epigenetic mechanisms of regulation of the aggressive behavior of malignant rhabdoid tumors. Her purpose is to better understand the biology of these rare tumors and to uncover novel targets for future therapy development.
SARAH TASIAN, MD
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA – Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Tasian is a pediatric oncologist and physician-scientist interested in development of molecularly-targeted therapeutics for children with high-risk leukemias. Her laboratory research program focuses upon testing of signal transduction inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cell therapies in genetic subsets of ALL and AML. Dr. Tasian has leadership roles in the Children’s Oncology Group ALL and Myeloid Diseases committees and is involved in several early phase clinical trials testing new agents in children with leukemia.
MIREYA PAULINA VELASQUEZ, MD
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Assistant Member, Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy
Dr. Velasquez received her MD from the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala followed by her training at Baylor College of Medicine. She is interested in adoptive immunotherapy of hematological malignancies. Her current work is focused on using genetically modified T cells to target hematological malignancies, their functional characterization in vitro and working with leukemia and lymphoma xenograft models.
JAMES WHITLOCK, MD
The Hospital for Sick Children; Toronto, Canada – Division Head of Hematology / Oncology
Dr. Whitlock is the Division Head of Hematology/Oncology and the Women’s Auxiliary Millennium Chair in Hematology/Oncology at The Hospital for Sick Children and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. He is presently a member of the COG Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Executive Committee and Vice-Chair for New Agents and Relapse and served that organization as Chair and Vice-Chair of national clinical trials and strategic committees.. He has also served on a number of committees for other national and international organizations including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, the Histiocytosis Association of America and the Histiocyte Society.
JASON T. YUSTEIN, MD, PHD
Baylor College of Medicine; Houston, TX – Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Dr. Jason Yustein’s research interests include furthering the biological, molecular and genetic understanding of pediatric sarcomas, including osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma, through the formation of novel model systems that will lead to the discovery of new therapeutic targets and subsequent development of new treatment interventions. For example, Dr. Yustein is utilizing osteoblast-specific expression of an oncogenic p53 mutant to form a novel, applicable transgenic mouse model of metastatic osteosarcoma, a condition that has a particularly poor prognosis. Such models will allow for further understanding of critical genes and microRNAs involved in sarcoma development, progression and metastasis and utilized as preclinical models for therapeutic testing and efficacy. Dr. Yustein is Director of the Faris D. Virani Ewing Sarcoma Center and a member of the Bone Tumor Program.
WAFIK ZAKY, MD
MD Anderson Cancer Center; Houston, TX – Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Patient Care
Dr. Zaky received his MD from Cairo University in Egypt followed by his residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University and his fellowships at NYU Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. His main career goal is to improve the lives affected by brain tumors, especially those with recurrent or progressive disease. Currently, he is the PI of a novel study of targeted therapy in relapsed brain tumors including high grade gliomas using drugs that target most common deregulated pathways in these tumors He is also Co-PI in series of locoregional therapy trials and was on the planning committee for the first pediatric neurooncology symposium at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
JIWANG ZHANG, MD, PHD
Loyola University; Chicago, IL – Associate Professor of Pathology
Dr. Zhang received his MD and MS from Lanzhou Medical College in China, followed by his PhD at Shanghai Second Medical University. He is not the Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of the Stem Cell Biology program at Loyola University in Chicago. His interests involve hematopoietic disorders including leukemia, MPD, MDS, and bone marrow failure.