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.
Childhood cancer and blood disorders; immune deficiency
Leukemia biology; cancer biology
Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Cancer and Blood Diseases, Immune Deficiencies and Histiocytosis, Bone Marrow Transplantation BMT, Histiocytosis Center, Rasopathy, Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosisHLH, Rare Lung Diseases
Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Bone Marrow Transplantation and Immune Deficiency, Cancer and Blood Diseases