School of Medicine
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Professor of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology) and of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly Interests We investigate the mechanisms by which normal cells become tumor cells, and we combine genetics, genomics, and proteomics approaches to investigate the differences between the proliferative response in response to injury and the hyperproliferative phenotype of cancer cells and to identify novel therapeutic targets in cancer cells.
Kathleen M. Sakamoto
Shelagh Galligan Professor in the School of Medicine
Current Research and Scholarly Interests My research focuses on the molecular pathways that regulate normal and aberrant blood cell development, including acute leukemia and bone marrow failure syndromes. We are also studying novel drugs for treatment of cancer.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatrics - Hematology & Oncology
Bio I am currently postdoctoral research fellow pursuing immunotherapy research in the oncology department at Stanford University. My clinical training as a pediatric hematology oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center highlighted the desperate need for novel therapeutic options for a subtype of aggressive pediatric leukemia, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Despite our best standard of care for AML, long term survival rates range from 50-60% with an unacceptably high relapse rate of 40%. The urgent need for novel treatments inspired me to pursue a research project in adoptive immunotherapy, genetically modifying Tcells to express artificial T cell receptors, termed chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), that target AML specific antigens. In parallel to my clinical training, I constructed an AML specific CAR and demonstrated its ability to redirect T cell function mediating eradication of AML cells. As the field of CAR therapy rapidly advances, novel methods to optimize this therapeutic modality are imperative. To this end, supported by research demonstrating superior antitumor function of naïve derived effector T cells compared to central memory derived effector T cells, I am investigating whether preferential modification of naïve T cells to express CARs will generate a T cell subpopulation with increased efficacy. Consolidating my clinical and research experiences within highly academic institutes allows me to synthesize my pursuit of scientific rigor and commitment to the field of oncology, with a mission to achieve productive research and translatable results.
Stephanie Melissa Smith
Instructor, Pediatrics - Hematology & Oncology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests I am involved with clinical research related to cancer survivorship, with a particular focus on late effects of childhood cancer treatments. My current research relates to the use of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors for CML and Ph+ ALL, as little is known about the long-term and late effects of these therapies in young people. I also collaborated with several others to develop an online cancer survivorship course for primary care physicians and other healthcare providers.
Endowed Professor of Pediatric Cancer
Current Research and Scholarly Interests My research focuses primarily on the management of children, adolescents, and young adults with soft tissue sarcomas. I also have an interest in developmental therapeutics and late effects of cancer therapy,