Retinoblastoma Program

  • Meet the Team

    The Retinoblastoma Program is home to specialists with a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of focus. As a team, this diversity makes us better prepared to care for your child’s unique needs. Learn more about our faculty and staff.

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    Directors

    A photo of James Geller.

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

    513-636-4266

    james.geller@cchmc.org

    James I. Geller, MD

    Medical Director, Kidney and Liver Tumors Program

    Co-Medical Director, Retinoblastoma Program

    Associate Director, Global Cancer Programs

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4266

    Fax: 513-636-3549

    Email: james.geller@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Developmental therapeutics; renal / liver / retinoblastoma / neuro-oncology

    Research Interests

    Elucidating ways to translate the use of biological response modifiers in combination with conventional chemotherapeutics

    Biography

    James I. Geller, MD, completed his undergraduate training at Dartmouth College, graduate medical training at the Sackler School of Medicine, residency training in pediatrics at New York Medical College and pediatric hematology / oncology training at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. His current appointment is with the University of Cincinnati and Children's Hospital Medical Center in the capacity of associate professor of pediatrics.

    Dr. Geller's clinical and academic interests pertain to children and families affected by solid tumors, including brain tumors. Dr. Geller's expertise is recognized both nationally and internationally in the fields of retinoblastoma, renal tumors, liver tumors and brain tumors, as witnessed by his appointments to the Children's Oncology Group (COG) Rare/Retinoblastoma Committee as both a Steering/Voting Member and as liaison to the COG Young Investigator Committee; the COG Renal Tumor Committee (RTC) as Steering/Voting Member, RTC Sub-Committee Chair of Developmental Therapeutics, and RTC liaison to both the COG Developmental Therapeutics Committee and the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program Guidance Committee; and to the Central Nervous System (Brain Tumor) Committee as a voting member. Dr. Geller has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international meetings and symposia and spearheads both local and national clinical research initiatives in these areas, with an emphasis on finding new treatment options.

    Education and Training

    MD: Sackler School of Medicine, 1997.

    Residency: New York Medical College, 2000.

    Fellowship: St Jude Children's Research Hospital, 2004.

    Certification: Pediatrics, 2000, 2007; Pediatric Hematology / Oncology, 2005.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Oncology

    A photo of Rajaram Nagarajan, MD.

    Rajaram Nagarajan, MD, MS
    Associate Director, Oncology Clinical Operations

    513-636-0670

    rajaram.nagarajan@cchmc.org

    Rajaram Nagarajan, MD, MS

    Associate Director, Oncology Clinical Operations

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-0670

    Fax: 513-636-3549

    Email: rajaram.nagarajan@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Bone tumors; late effects of pediatric cancer therapy

    Research Interests

    Outcomes following cancer therapy and bone sarcomas

    Education and Training

    BA: Pre-Medical Sciences, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, 1991.

    MD: Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1995.

    Internship and Residency: Pediatrics, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA, 1998.

    Fellowship Training: Hematology / Oncology / BMT, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2002.

    MS: Clinical Research, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2002.

    Certifications: Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology / Oncology.

    Publications

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    Interventional Radiology

    A photo of Todd Abruzzo.

    Todd Abruzzo, MD
    Chief, Pediatric Interventional Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging

    513-803-2758

    todd.abruzzo@cchmc.org

    Todd Abruzzo, MD

    Chief, Pediatric Interventional Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Radiology

    Phone: 513-803-2758

    Email: todd.abruzzo@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Pediatric interventional neuroradiology

    Biography

    Todd Abruzzo, MD, has helped establish a national referral center for pediatric vascular malformations, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, and retinoblastoma at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He plays a major role in the endovascular treatment of children at Cincinnati Children’s. Through close collaboration with other members of the Fetal Care Program at Cincinnati Children’s, he has helped to develop a comprehensive care plan for children with vein of Galen malformations and other congenital vascular anomalies. While working with other physicians, he has helped build a nationally recognized program for the treatment of retinoblastoma with intra-arterial chemotherapy.

    Education and Training

    BA: University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA.

    MD: S.U.N.Y Health Science Center, Brooklyn, NY.

    Residency: Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

    Fellowship: Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

    Publications

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    Genetics

    A photo of Sara Knapke.

    Sara C. Knapke, LGC
    Clinical Manager and Certified Genetic Counselor

    513-803-0211

    sara.knapke@cchmc.org

    Sara C. Knapke, LGC

    Clinical Manager and Certified Genetic Counselor

    Phone: 513-803-0211

    Fax: 513-636-7297

    Email: sara.knapke@cchmc.org

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    Education and Training

    BS: Psychology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 2000.

    MS: Medical Genetics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2004.

    Certification: American Board of Genetic Counseling, 2005.
    A photo of Dr. Leslie.

    Nancy Doan Leslie, MD
    Interim Co-Director, Division of Human Genetics

    513-636-2438

    nancy.leslie@cchmc.org

    Nancy Doan Leslie, MD

    Interim Co-Director, Division of Human Genetics

    Director, Clinical Genetics Fellowship Program

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-2438

    Fax: 513-636-7297

    Email: nancy.leslie@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Galactosemia; PKU; inborn errors; newborn screening; lysosomal storage disease

    Research Interests

    Focus on inborn errors of metabolism, with an emphasis on long term outcome in PKU and in the molecular biology of galactosemia

    Education and Training

    MD: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 1975 to 1979. 

    Internship and Residency: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH.

    Fellowship: Pediatric Endocrinology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center,OH, 1982 to 1985; Clinical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, OH, 1993 to 1995.

    Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, 1986; American Board of Pediatrics, Sub-Board of Pediatric Endocrinology, 1989; American Board of Medical Genetics, Board-Certified in Clinical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics, 1996, Active in MOC.

    Publications

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    Researchers

    A photo of Lionel Chow.

    Lionel M. L. Chow, MD, PhD
    Member, Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program

    513-803-1369

    lionel.chow@cchmc.org

    Lionel M.L. Chow, MD, PhD

    Member, Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program

    St. Baldrick’s Foundation Scholar

    Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-803-1369

    Fax: 513-636-3549

    Email: lionel.chow@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Pediatric neuro-oncology

    Research Interests

    Mouse models for glioma; molecular profiling of tumor mutations; biomarkers of tumor progression; novel therapeutic agents for glioma

    Visit the Chow Lab

    Biography

    Lionel Chow, MD, PhD, received his medical and graduate degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where his research focused on the regulation of T-lymphocyte signaling by the intracellular tyrosine protein kinases Lck and Csk.

    Following his clinical training in pediatrics and pediatric hematology / oncology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, he moved to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., to pursue his research interests.

    Chow's research interests have been centered on glioblastoma multiforme, a particularly devastating form of cancer in adults and children. His work has resulted in the development of a number of novel and robust laboratory models for this disease. Using these models and interfacing with clinical trials in the Neuro-Oncology Program as well as those from national consortia such as the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC), Chow’s laboratory will continue research in this area with the goals of better understanding the origins of this form of cancer and improving patient outcomes.

    Education and Training

    PhD: McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1996.

    MDCM: McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1997.

    Residency: The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 1997-2000.

    Clinical Fellowship: The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 2000-2003.

    Postdoctoral Fellowship: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, 2003-2009.

    Clinical Fellowship: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis TN, 2008-2009.

    Certification: Pediatrics, 2000.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    2013 – 2014 Sophie’s Angel Run Foundation
    “Preclinical Testing of Notch and mTor Inhibition in a Mouse Model for High-Grade Glioma” 

    2011 – 2014 St. Baldrick’s Foundation Scholars Award
    "Molecular targeting of pediatric high-grade glioma"

    2011 – 2015 Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award
    "Molecular targeting of high-grade astrocytoma"

    A photo of Dr. Biplab Dasgupta.

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

    513-803-1370

    biplab.dasgupta@cchmc.org

    Biplab Dasgupta, PhD, MS

    Member, Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-803-1370

    Fax: 513-803-1083

    Email: biplab.dasgupta@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Biography

    Biplab Dasgupta, PhD, MS, completed his doctorate in molecular biology and immunology at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Calcutta, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis. Dr. Dasgupta came to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in August 2009 as an assistant professor of pediatrics. He is interested in understanding how neural cell / stem cell metabolic and energy status is linked to cell cycle, lineage commitment, differentiation and tumorigenesis. His other interests include genetic, developmental, post-translational, tissue- and stimuli–specific regulation of the subunits that constitute the AMP kinase complex.

    Education and Training

    PhD: Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Calcutta, 2003

    Postdoctoral Fellowship:
    Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis

    Publications

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    Grants

    Regulation of Forebrain Neurogenesis by the Energy Sensor AMP Kinase. Principal Investigator. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). July 2012 – June 2017.

    A photo of Richard Lang.

    Richard A. Lang, PhD
    Director of the Visual Systems Group

    513-636-2700

    richard.lang@cchmc.org

    Richard A. Lang, PhD

    Director of the Visual Systems Group

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-2700

    Fax: 513-803-0740

    Email: richard.lang@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Wnt Ligands in Tumorigenesis; Vascular Regression and Tissue Regeneration; Lens Induction and Morphogenesis 

    Visit the Lang Lab.

    Education and Training

    BSc: 1984 (with honors), University of Melbourne, Australia. Co-major in genetics and biochemistry.

    PhD: 1988, University of Melbourne, Australia, at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research under Drs. AR Dunn and TJ Gonda.

    Postdoctoral Fellow: 1989-92, The G.W. Hooper Research Foundation, University of California, San Francisco under Dr. JM Bishop. Studied the role of the macrophage in developmentally programmed tissue remodeling.

    Publications

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    Grants

    Rho GTPases in early eye development. National Institute of Health. Apr 2007- Mar 2012. #R01 EY017848. 

    Macrophage and tumor angiogenesis. Co-Principal Investigator. National Institute of Health. Dec 2007- Nov 2012. #R01 CA131270.

    Targeting Survival Factors for Ocular Neovascularization. National Institute of Health. Apr 2008- Mar 2012. #R01 EY012609.

    CRIM1-β-catenin-Cadherin interactions in Eye Development and Disease. MPI with Dr. Rashmi Hegde of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. National Institute of Health. Apr 2009- Mar 2014. #R01 EY019377.

    Sox2 and Pax6 in Eye development. Co-Principal Investigator. US-Israel Binational Science Foundation.  
    Feb 2009- Jan 2013. 

    Eyes absent phosphatase inhibitors in eye disease. MPI with Dr. Rashmi Hegde of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. National Institute of Health. Apr 2009- Mar 2014. #R21 EY019125.
    A photo of Nancy Ratner.

    Nancy Ratner, PhD
    Beatrice C. Lampkin Chair, Cancer Biology

    513-636-9469

    nancy.ratner@cchmc.org

    Nancy Ratner, PhD

    Beatrice C. Lampkin Chair, Cancer Biology

    Program Leader, Cancer and Biology and Neural Tumors Program

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-9469

    Fax: 513-636-3549

    Email: nancy.ratner@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Development of the nervous system; peripheral nerve tumor formation

    Research Interests

    Genetic mutations in tumor suppressor genes

    Visit the Ratner Lab.

    Biography

    Nancy Ratner, PhD, is interested in understanding mechanisms of peripheral nerve tumor (neurofibroma) formation in Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a common inherited disorder in which children are predisposed to cancer of the nervous system, to learning problems, bone disorders, and other cancers. She identified EGFR as a potential therapeutic target in NF1 peripheral nerve tumorigenesis, and has developed cell culture and mouse models of NF1 nerve tumorigenesis. Her laboratory has also used analysis of gene expression to identify critical genes in neurofibroma and their malignant derivatives, MPNST. 

    Dr. Ratner received her bachelor's from Brown University, her doctorate from Indiana University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. She was a member of the faculty at the University of Cincinnati from 1987 to 2004. Dr. Ratner is currently a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati, and the program leader for Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program in the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute where she holds the Beatrice C. Lampkin Endowed chair in cancer biology and serves as PI of the NINDS P50 “Cincinnati Center in NF Research”. 

    Dr. Ratner is an active member of the International Consortium on the Molecular Biology of NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis and was a member of the advisory board for the National Neurofibromatosis Foundation (now Children’s Tumor Foundation) from 1989 to 2007. She chaired the Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Research Program Integration Panel in 2008, and currently serves as a member of the James McDonnell Brain Tumor Research Advisory Board. She received the von Recklinghausen Award from the Children’s Tumor Foundation in 2010.

    Education and Training

    PhD: Indiana University, 1982.

    BA: Brown University, 1975.

    Fellowship: Washington University St. Louis, 1982-1987.

    Publications

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    Grants

    Mitogenic Activities in Neurofibromatosis. Principle Investigator. Sept 2011-2016. NIH-R01 NS 28840-20.