Cancer Biology Program
Cincinnati Children’s is a nationally recognized center for diagnostic evaluation and management of children with malignancies of the hematopoietic system, committed to developing a world class research program in cancer. This is the result of a joint program and commitment that includes the divisions of Hematology/Oncology Research, Immunobiology, Hematology and Pathology under the leadership of Yi Zheng, PhD, and Lee Grimes, PhD. This effort has brought together a team of collaborative and nationally recognized leaders in cancer cell research and has provided an infrastructure of core laboratories and technologies supported by these divisions to provide the latest technology and support to the growing research program. Faculty members of the Division of Pathology, including Gang Huang, PhD, and Mohammad Azam, PhD, have funded research programs supporting this effort. The success of this joint effort to establish a strong program in cancer biology was evident at the Ninth International Workshop on Molecular Aspects of Myeloid Stem Cell Development in Leukemia jointly sponsored by the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute of Cincinnati, and division of Pathology and organized by Lee Grimes, PhD, Division of Immunobiology. This high profile and successful meeting brought investigators and leaders in the field of cancer biology from all across the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan.
Molecular Basis for Lung Disease
Kathryn Wikenheiser-Brokamp, PhD, studies the genetic and developmental basis of lung disease with specific interest in identifying the molecular basis of lung cancer and pediatric cystic lung disease. She has identified critical functions for the RB/P16 and P53 tumor suppressant pathway in pulmonary epithelial cell growth in the context of lung development, injury repair and carcinogenesis. Her studies are supported by a National Institutes of Health RO1 grant and funding from the American Cancer Society. Wikenheiser-Brokamp is part of a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary team of physicians and researchers that recently discovered DICER1 mutations in a familial tumor predisposition syndrome that develop pleural pulmonary blastoma. She now leads a consortium towards elucidating how DICER1 and the micro RNAs it generates, controls organogenesis and oncogenesis. In addition, Wikenheiser-Brokamp has recently continued her research funding through the Saint Baldrick’s Research Consortium grant support for basic science studies and development of the international pleural pulmonary blastoma treatment in biology registry.
Recently under the direction of Maryam Fouladi, MD, Cincinnati Children’s has been selected to become a full member institution in the NCI Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium. This consortium is the National Cancer Institute’s primary mechanism for developing new drugs for children with brain tumors. The collaboration will involve Neurosurgery, Neuroimaging, Pathology, Neuropsychology, Neurology, Endocrinology, Physical Medical and Rehabilitation and the University of Cincinnati Department of Radiation Oncology to allow Cincinnati Children’s to become a national center for the treatment and management of pediatric brain tumors. Lili Miles, MD, will head up the pathology diagnostic service and review of children referred for pediatric brain tumors. She will also work with the division to establish and provide core laboratory support to develop pathology-based markers to support this effort.