A photo of Ashish Kumar.

Director, Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Center

Director, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



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My Biography & Research


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.

Additional Languages


Clinical Interests

Childhood cancer and blood disorders; immune deficiency

Research Interests

Leukemia biology; cancer biology

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Cancer and Blood Diseases, Immune Deficiencies and Histiocytosis, Bone Marrow Transplantation BMT, Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, Rasopathy, Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosisHLH, Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Bone Marrow Transplantation, Cancer and Blood Diseases

Blog Posts

A Ride For HLH Research

BlogRare 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

BlogRare and Complex Conditions

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

By Ashish Kumar, MD, PhD9/23/2016

My Locations

My Education

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.

My Publications

MAPK mutations and cigarette smoke promote the pathogenesis of pulmonary Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Liu, H; Osterburg, AR; Flury, J; Swank, Z; McGraw, DW; Gupta, N; Wikenheiser-Brokamp, KA; Kumar, A; Tazi, A; Inoue, Y; et al. JCI insight. 2020; 5.

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.

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-e27400.

Rituximab therapy for patients with Langerhans cell histiocytosis-associated neurologic dysfunction. Eckstein, O; McAtee, CL; Greenberg, J; Kumar, A; Fein-Levy, C; Smith, T; Tran, B; McClain, KL. Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (Informa). 2018; 35:427-433.

Treatment dilemmas in asymptomatic children with primary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Lucchini, G; Marsh, R; Gilmour, K; Worth, A; Nademi, Z; Rao, A; Booth, C; Amrolia, P; Silva, J; Chiesa, R; et al. Blood. 2018; 132:2088-2096.

Diagnosis and management of chronic and refractory immune cytopenias in children, adolescents, and young adults. Rotz, SJ; Ware, RE; Kumar, A. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2018; 65:e27260-e27260.

Partial growth hormone insensitivity and dysregulatory immune disease associated with de novo germline activating STAT3 mutations. Gutierrez, M; Scaglia, P; Keselman, A; Martucci, L; Karabatas, L; Domene, S; Martin, A; Pennisi, P; Blanco, M; Sanguineti, N; et al. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. 2018; 473:166-177.

CNS Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis: Common Hematopoietic Origin for LCH-Associated Neurodegeneration and Mass Lesions. McClain, KL; Picarsic, J; Chakraborty, R; Zinn, D; Lin, H; Abhyankar, H; Scull, B; Shih, A; Lim, KP H; Eckstein, O; et al. Cancer. 2018; 124:2607-2620.