• Research Faculty

  • A photo of John Perentesis.

    John P. Perentesis, MD, FAAP Director, Division of Oncology and Cancer Programs

    is a nationally recognized expert in the development of new therapies for pediatric cancers, leading new clinical trials through the Children’s Oncology Group, the NCI Phase I/Pilot Consortium, and the Department of Defense-funded Neurofibromatosis Consortium. His laboratory focuses on leukemia/lymphoma pharmacogenetics and has developed novel anticancer drugs and discovered genes important in the growth of normal and malignant cells.


    A photo of Michael Absalon.

    Michael J. Absalon, MD, PhD Director, Medical Education Program

    focuses on developing new therapies and combinations of therapies for pediatric leukemias and lymphomas. He is currently investigating the therapeutic potential of combining the new targeted drug sorafenib with conventional chemotherapy for relapsed AML.


    A photo of Erin H. Breese.
    A photo of Karen Burns.

    Karen C. Burns, MD, MS Clinical Director, Cancer Survivorship Center

    conducts research on cancer survivorship and serious late effects of cancer treatment, including obesity, heart problems, fertility issues, increased risk of second cancers, and long-term outcomes of cancer survivors. She is also leading development of a fertility preservation program for children and adolescents undergoing chemotherapy as well as other unique medical and support services for adolescent and young adult cancer patients.


    A photo of Lionel Chow.

    Lionel M.L. Chow, MD, PhD St. Baldrick’s Foundation Scholar

    studies high-grade gliomas, which are aggressive brain tumors in adults and children with limited treatment options. Using a combination of novel and robust laboratory models coupled with the study of human tumor material, the lab’s goals are to better understand the cellular origins and molecular underpinnings of these diseases in order to design and test novel therapies that will hopefully improve patient outcome.
    Visit the Chow Lab.


    A photo of Biplab Dasgupta.

    Biplab Dasgupta, PhD, MS Member, Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program

    focuses on the integration of metabolic and signaling pathways in neural cells including neural and brain cancer stem cells. He is particularly interested in understanding the link between cellular energy sensing pathways with cellular signaling circuits that are controlled by growth factors and their receptors. Mouse models are used to understand the development of high grade human and mouse brain tumor (glioma).
    Visit the Dasgupta Lab.


    A photo of Rachid Drissi.

    Rachid Drissi, PhD

    studies replicative senescence or cellular aging, believed to be a tumor suppressor mechanism by which normal cells limit cell proliferation to prevent genome instability and cancer. The long-term goal of their research program is to examine telomere disruption signaling to DNA damage pathway and senescence. They are also developing a combination therapy that includes telomere disruption to improve the outcome for children with brain tumors.


    A photo of Maryam Fouladi.

    Maryam Fouladi, MD, MSc, FRCPC Medical Director, Brain Tumor Center

    serves as chair for the CNS Tumor New Agents/Relapse Committee for the Children’s Oncology Group, and as member of the steering committee for the COG CNS Tumor Committee and the Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network (CERN). She serves as local and national study chair for active open clinical trials that test new approaches to treat children with very poor prognosis tumors such as high-grade gliomas and diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas.


    A photo of James Geller.

    James I. Geller, MD Medical Director, Kidney and Liver Tumors Program

    focuses on children and young adults affected by solid tumors. Dr. Geller's expertise is recognized internationally, as witnessed by his appointments to the Children's Oncology Group (COG) Renal Tumor, Liver Tumor, Retinoblastoma and Central Nervous System (Brain Tumor) Committees. Dr. Geller directs and spearheads local and national studies in these areas, with an emphasis on novel therapeutics.


    A photo of Adrienne M. Hammill.

    Adrienne M. Hammill, MD, PhD Director, Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) Center

    conducts clinical research on hemangiomas and vascular malformations, focusing on development of new therapies for these conditions and new tools for assessing response to therapy, including novel imaging modalities. 


    A photo of Trent Hummel.

    Trent R. Hummel, MD

    focuses on developing novel therapeutics to treat children with all central nervous system tumors including those with very poor prognosis tumors such as high-grade gliomas and diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas. Dr. Hummel is leading a national Phase 1 clinical trial investigating temozolomide in combination with vorinostat.


    A photo of Jennifer Mangino.

    Jennifer L. Mangino, MD

    has clinical and academic interests that pertain to children and young adults with leukemias and lymphomas, with a focus on clinical trials for patients with relapsed or refractory disease. She also has a special interest in adolescent and young adult oncology patients.


    A photo of Benjamin Mizukawa.

    Benjamin E. Mizukawa, MD Scholar, St. Baldrick's Foundation

    is trained in pediatric hematology/oncology with a research emphasis in leukemia biology and novel therapeutics. His work is focused on understanding the role of small Rho GTPases in myeloid leukemia development and progression, with the translational goal of identifying new targets for drug development.


    A photo of Rajaram Nagarajan.

    Rajaram Nagarajan, MD, MS Clinical Director, Division of Oncology

    focuses on quality of life and outcomes following cancer therapy. His large collaborative studies involve the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the Children's Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) and National Children’s Hospital and Related Institutions (NACHRI) initiative. Dr. Nagarajan co-directs the Long-Term Follow-up Program which follows over 1,400 survivors, a unique program that follows “children” who are now well into adulthood.


    A photo of Maureen O'Brien.

    Maureen M. O'Brien, MD, MS Associate Director, Leukemia / Lymphoma Program

    is a clinical researcher developing new therapies for children, adolescents, and young adults with leukemia and lymphoma including combination of the mTOR inhibitor sirolimus with chemotherapy for patients with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Her other research interests include improvements in the supportive care of patients with cancer, with a focus on identification of genetic risk factors and biomarkers for chemotherapy-related toxicity and infectious complications.


    A photo of Christine Phillips.

    Christine L. Phillips, MD

    is a clinical oncologist with a clinical and translational research focus on the development of novel therapies for pediatric leukemia and in leukemia pharmacogenetics. Recent work has involved examining common genetic polymorphisms and their contribution to efficacy of therapy and risk for side effects in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.


    A photo of Joseph G. Pressey.
    A photo of Lisa M. Privette Vinnedge.

    Lisa M. Privette Vinnedge, PhD Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

    investigates the transcriptional regulation of cancer-associated genes and the downstream effects on signaling pathways and cell behaviors in breast cancer. The goal of her research is to understand the molecular drivers of breast cancer initiation and progression in order to improve treatment outcomes. She also conducts pre-clinical studies to both identify new cancer biomarkers and test novel therapeutics.
    Visit the Privette Vinnedge Lab.


    A photo of Susan Rose.

    Susan R. Rose, MD Member, Division of Endocrinology

    investigates hypothalamic pituitary function and disorders of growth, puberty or thyroid hormone. She has special interest in the effects of neural injury on hypothalamic-pituitary function, such as after traumatic brain injury, cranial radiation, anoxia, iron overload.


    A photo of William Seibel.

    William L. Seibel, PhD

    is a synthetic medicinal chemist with over 20 years of industrial and academic experience in the discovery of biologically active molecules and optimization toward human clinical trials. His lab provides advice in lead discovery, hit-to-lead and lead optimization approaches, including medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry and screening.


    A photo of Brian Turpin.
    A photo of Brian Weiss.

    Brian D. Weiss, MD Medical Director, Neuroblastoma Program

    focuses on new approaches to treat high-risk neuroblastoma, including novel ways to use 131I-MIBG therapy, and on targeted agents for neurofibromatosis type 1-related tumors and malignancies. In addition, he is researching methods and processes to ensure error-free delivery of therapy.


    A photo of Susanne Wells.

    Susanne Wells, PhD Director, Epithelial Carcinogenesis and Stem Cell Program

    focuses on new targets of the HPV E6/E7 oncogenes, and characterizing these as potential risk factors for HPV infection and transformation. Research approaches include bioinformatics; analyses of primary, transformed and 3D cell culture systems; and mouse tumor models to facilitate translational endeavors. 
    Visit the Wells Lab.