A photo of Ashish Kumar.

Ashish R. Kumar, MD, PhD

  • Director, Histiocytosis Center
  • Director, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
I try to individualize my delivery of information and care to each patient and their family, while maintaining a high quality of care and treatment.
Ashish R. Kumar, MD, PhD



I've always been fascinated by nature and science. Diseases of the blood and immune system have been called "experiments of nature," which have led to a better understanding of natural biology itself.

As a pediatric hematologist/oncologist, I specialize in histiocyte disorders, primary immune deficiency diseases and bone marrow transplantation. Working with children who have these disorders has provided me valuable lessons about life and medicine. In my practice, I try to individualize my delivery of information and care to each patient and their family, while maintaining a high quality of care and treatment.

Based on research and experience, we have completely changed our approach to treatment for diseases like Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), where we don't use chemotherapy at all. Instead, novel oral inhibitors have revolutionized the outcomes for patients with this condition. We also have a different way of diagnosing patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which has resulted in improved outcomes.

In my research, my colleagues and I are looking at two childhood diseases: LCH and infant leukemia. With newer therapies, we have improved outcomes of patients with LCH. However, we still don't have a cure, which would relieve patients of the need to take medications. Infant leukemia remains a largely incurable disease. We are studying the biology of LCH and infant leukemia in the laboratory to develop novel therapies.

One of my most significant honors was participating in the 700 Miles to Hope bike ride, where I rode my bicycle 700 miles over seven days with families of patients affected by HLH. The goal was to raise awareness and funds for HLH research and care, but it ended up doing much more. I learned and discovered so much about people and myself and made many long-lasting friendships.

In my free time, I enjoy traveling, hiking and cooking. I love music, although the only instrument I can play is the air guitar.

MD: LTM Medical College, Mumbai, India.

Residency: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Fellowship: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

PhD: University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Certification: General Pediatrics; Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Subspecialty.

Licenses: State of Ohio; State of Minnesota.


Childhood cancer and blood disorders; immune deficiency

Services and Specialties

Cancer and Blood Diseases, Immune Deficiencies and Histiocytosis, Bone Marrow Transplantation BMT, Histiocytosis Center, Rasopathy, Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosisHLH, Rare Lung Diseases


Leukemia biology; cancer biology

Research Areas

Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Bone Marrow Transplantation and Immune Deficiency, Cancer and Blood Diseases

Additional Languages


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Discrepancies between F-18-FDG PET/CT findings and conventional imaging in Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Ferrell, J; Sharp, S; Kumar, A; Jordan, M; Picarsic, J; Nelson, A. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2021; 68:e28891.


High-risk LCH in infants is serially transplantable in a xenograft model but responds durably to targeted therapy. Lee, LH; Krupski, C; Clark, J; Wunderlich, M; Lorsbach, RB; Grimley, MS; Burwinkel, M; Nelson, A; Kumar, AR. Blood Advances. 2020; 4:717-727.


Challenges in the diagnosis of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis: Recommendations from the North American Consortium for Histiocytosis (NACHO). Jordan, MB; Allen, CE; Greenberg, J; Henry, M; Hermiston, ML; Kumar, A; Hines, M; Eckstein, O; Ladisch, S; Nichols, KE; et al. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2019; 66:e27929.


Recommendations for the management of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in adults. La Rosee, P; Horne, A; Hines, M; Greenwood, TV B; Machowicz, R; Berliner, N; Birndt, S; Gil-Herrera, J; Girschikofsky, M; Jordan, MB; et al. Blood. 2019; 133:2465-2477.


Limitations of HLH-2004 criteria in distinguishing malignancy-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Gurunathan, A; Boucher, AA; Mark, M; Prus, KM; O'Brien, MM; Breese, EH; Mizukawa, BE; Absalon, MJ; Nelson, AS; Jordan, MB; et al. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2018; 65:e27400.


Real-time genomic profiling of histiocytoses identifies early-kinase domain BRAF alterations while improving treatment outcomes. Lee, LH; Gasilina, A; Roychoudhury, J; McCormack, FX; Pressey, J; Grimley, MS; Lorsbach, R; Ali, S; Bailey, M; Stephens, P; et al. JCI insight. 2017; 2:e89473.

Age Impacts Risk of Mixed Chimerism Following Reduced-Intensity Conditioning Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Non-Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Inborn Errors of Immunity. Fitch, T; Lane, A; McDonnell, J; Bleesing, J; Jordan, M; Kumar, A; Khandelwal, P; Khoury, R; Marsh, R; Chandra, S. Transplantation and cellular therapy. 2024; 30:101.e1-101.e12.

Lorlatinib use in an infant with thalamic ALK-positive histiocytosis. Eldem, I; Picarsic, J; Kumar, A; Mossé, YP; Roberts, KF; Armstrong, AE; Sisk, BA. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2023; 70:e30378.

Lineage switching of the cellular distribution of BRAFV600E in multisystem Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Milne, P; Bomken, S; Slater, O; Kumar, A; Nelson, A; Roy, S; Velazquez, J; Mankad, K; Nicholson, J; Yeomanson, D; et al. Blood Advances. 2023; 7:2171-2176.

Monogenic early-onset lymphoproliferation and autoimmunity: Natural history of STAT3 gain-of-function syndrome. Leiding, JW; Vogel, TP; Santarlas, VG J; Mhaskar, R; Smith, MR; Carisey, A; Vargas-Hernández, A; Silva-Carmona, M; Heeg, M; Rensing-Ehl, A; et al. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2023; 151:1081-1095.

From the Blog

A Ride For HLH Research
Blog Rare and Complex Conditions

A Ride For HLH Research

By Ashish Kumar, MD, PhD1/17/2019

A Message from Dr. Kumar – Learn about HLH, Become a Donor
Blog Rare and Complex Conditions

A Message from Dr. Kumar – Learn about HLH, Become a Donor

By Ashish Kumar, MD, PhD9/23/2016

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