I am a pediatric oncologist who specializes in the treatment of children and young adults with leukemia. I am particularly interested in developing new therapies that are less toxic and more effective.
The work in my lab has led to several findings that point to potential new therapies for children and adults with leukemia. We have made fundamental discoveries demonstrating that leukemias are related to, but distinct from, normal blood stem cells and are defined by dependence on stem-cell-associated pathways activated in an inappropriate developmental context. We have also recently identified changes in DNA structure as a critical initial step in leukemia development. This has led to the discovery of small molecules that can reverse this process and eradicate leukemia cells. These studies have led to the development of new therapeutic approaches that are now being tested in patients.
This work has been recognized by several awards including the McCulloch and Till Award from the International Society of Experimental Hematology (2009), which recognizes international leaders in stem cell biology; the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2011); and the E. Mead Johnson award for outstanding research from the Society for Pediatric Research.