I am attracted to the field of bone marrow transplantation because of its translational nature: We have been able to take findings from laboratory research and translate them into tools to cure immunological diseases in patients. Bone marrow transplantation is a lengthy process, and I enjoy getting to know my patients and their families as we go on this journey together.
In addition, I chair the Research Council here at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. The Research Council is responsible for the scientific review of all clinical protocols (new research studies). All departments, not just the Department of Pediatrics, submit protocols for review. Once a protocol is approved by the Research Council it is submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for ethical review.
Education is one of the missions of Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Throughout the year I have the opportunity to teach medical students, residents and fellows while attending on the inpatient service and seeing patients in the Pediatric Day Hospital. I particularly like one-on-one teaching with focus on a patient who presents a challenging diagnostic or management problem. I am particularly proud to have received the Willet E. Whitmore Award for Clinical Excellence from Memorial Sloan-Kettering in 2004.
I feel enormously gratified when I hear from patients who have graduated from college, married, and had children, and are living healthy and productive lives. Many of them go on to be participants in Memorial Sloan-Kettering's Program for Adult Survivors of Pediatric Cancer.