I am a pediatric hematologist/oncologist, and I have developed interest and expertise in hemangiomas and vascular anomalies. These can be birthmarks or growths made up of blood vessels that formed incorrectly. I am especially interested in conditions that have associated vascular malformations in the brain, such as Sturge-Weber syndrome or hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT).
My path to becoming a physician started when I was 8 years old, when I read an article about retinoblastoma, which is a cancer with a genetic cause. I decided then that I wanted to cure cancer.
During my medical training, I became interested in vascular anomalies. These conditions are not cancers, but share some of the same growth pathways. We are starting to use medicines borrowed from cancer treatment for vascular anomalies.
At Cincinnati Children’s, I am the research director of the Hemangioma and Vascular Malformations Center, and I also participate in our Cerebrovascular Clinic. I am the director of both the HHT Center of Excellence and the Sturge-Weber Clinical Care Network Center.
Cincinnati Children’s has one of only 26 North American Centers of Excellence designated by Cure HHT, and one of approximately 25 centers in the U.S. designated by the Sturge-Weber Foundation. The goal of these centers is to centralize care and improve communication among specialists, in order to improve the patient and family experience for these rare diseases.
I was pleased to be able to serve as a pediatric expert panelist at the HHT Guidelines Consensus Conference in Toronto in 2019, where we updated guidelines for this condition.
In my clinic, I strive to understand the symptoms and issues for each patient so that I can know when, how and even if they should be treated. Each person is unique and has their own challenges from their disease.
In addition to seeing patients, I conduct research. My colleagues and I seek to understand the natural history of these diseases and their complications and work toward better treatments through clinical trials.
Outside the hospital, I love to read and work in my flower garden. I have two teenage/young adult children and enjoy being a soccer mom.