COVID-19 Update

Center Chief

Douglas K. Graham, MD, PhD

Professor and Chief, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Douglas K. Graham, MD, PhD, is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) investigator with an active lab developing novel therapeutics for pediatric cancer, recently validating MerTK as a novel cancer agent in leukemia, melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer and glioblastoma. He has served in multiple leadership roles with the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and has an appointment as a full member of the NIH Molecular and Cellular Hematology Study Section.

Our Fellowship Program leadership

Kathryn Sutton, MD
Fellowship Program Director, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine

Dan Wechsler, MD, PhD
Fellowship Program Director, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine

Glen Lew, MD
Fellowship Program Assistant Director, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine

Shanmuganathan Chandrakasan, MD: Hematopoietic cell transplant/gene therapy for immune deficiency, immune deficiency, immune dysregulation and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), immunohematology and bone marrow failure, stem cell biology

Ann E. Haight, MD: BMT in sickle cell disease and other nonmalignant diseases, supportive care in BMT and infections in the immunocompromised host, and clinical research ethics

Edwin Horwitz, MD, PhD: Transplantation of marrow cells and mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to treat cancer and genetic disorders of childhood

Lakshmanan Krishnamurti, MD, Director of BMT: Newborn screening and counseling for hemoglobinopathies, novel approaches to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hemoglobinopathies, mechanisms of vascular complications of sickle cell disease and bioinformatics systems in clinical care and research in sickle cell disease

Kathryn Leung, MD, Clinical Director of BMT: Pediatric bone marrow or stem cell transplant for patients with bone marrow failure due to multiple causes and for patients with hemoglobinopathies

Suhag Parikh, MD, Clinical Director of Cellular Therapies for Nonmalignant Diseases: Bone marrow and stem cell transplantation; gene therapy for nonmalignant disorders, including hemoglobinopathies (sickle cell disease, thalassemia); primary immune deficiencies; and inherited metabolic disorders

Muna Qayed, MD, MSCR: Incorporation of novel agents into the treatment of relapsed solid tumors, improving current treatments for patients with high-risk disease, including autologous stem cell transplant and developing more effective prophylaxis and treatment against GVHD in patients undergoing allogeneic BMT

Michelle Schoettler, MD: Investigating disorders of endothelial dysfunction after hematopoietic cellular therapy using multiple clinical research methods, including retrospective studies, prospective cohort studies, biomarker studies and interventional clinical trials

Benjamin Watkins, MD: Clinical trials and research in developing more effective prophylaxis and treatment against GVHD in patients undergoing allogeneic BMT

Kirsten Williams, MD: Translational research to address major complications of hematopoietic cell transplantation, including studies to treat leukemia relapse by advancing immunotherapeutic approaches with novel biomarkers of response, studies to elucidate immune recovery and biomarkers of graft failure, and the diagnosis and treatment of chronic GVHD of the lungs

General hematology

Staci Arnold, MD: Health outcomes, cost-benefit analysis, comparative effectiveness research for sickle cell disease and bone marrow failure syndromes

Jeanne M. Boudreaux, MD, Clinical Director of Hematology: Thalassemia, bone marrow failure syndromes, hemolytic anemias and white cell disorders

Michael A. Briones, DO: Vascular anomalies, histiocytic disorders, general hematology and inherited bone marrow failure syndrome

Shanmuganathan Chandrakasan, MD: Hematopoietic cell transplant and gene therapy for immune deficiency, immune deficiency, immune dysregulation and HLH, immunohematology and bone marrow failure, and stem cell biology

Satheesh Chonat, MD: Red cell enzyme and red membrane deficiencies

Kirshma Khemani, MD: Benign hematology, sickle cell disease and post-transplant late effects

Marianne E. Yee, MD, MSc: Clinical research in sickle cell disease, hemoglobin disorders, transfusion therapy and BMT for patients with sickle cell disease

Hemophilia and thrombosis

Glaivy Batsuli, MD: Basic and translational research in hemophilia A and inhibitors

Carolyn M. Bennett, MD: Platelet disorders, including immune thrombocytopenia (ITP)

Renhao Li, PhD: Development of novel reagents to improve bleeding diagnostics and platelet storage

Pete Lollar, MD: Development of novel recombinant Factor VIII molecules for use in preventing and treating hemophilia patients with inhibitors, basic research in biosynthesis and expression of Factor VIII

Shannon Meeks, MD, Research Director of Hemostasis: Basic and translational research in hemophilia A and inhibitors

Robert Sidonio Jr., MD, Clinical Director of Hemostasis and Thrombosis: von Willebrand disease, particularly in the setting of menorrhagia

Yingchun Wang, MD, PhD: Clinical basic and translational research in hemophilia and thrombosis

Michael White, MD: Thrombosis in unique pediatric populations and management of heavy menstrual bleeding in adolescents with bleeding disorders and those taking anticoagulation

Gary Woods, MD: Venous thromboembolism, especially in chronic diseases like sickle cell disease and pediatric heart disease, and coagulation disorders

Karen Zimowski, MD: Regulation of coagulation and the intricate processes that maintain balance between hemostasis and thrombosis

Sickle cell disease

David R. Archer, PhD: Hematopoietic stem cell transplant for genetic disease, particularly sickle cell disease, and use of stem cells in regenerative medicine

R. Clark Brown, MD, PhD, Clinical Director of Sickle Cell Disease Program: Targeted therapies for thalassemia and sickle cell disease

Nitya Bakshi, MD: Pain in sickle cell disease, including psychophysical pain phenotyping in pediatric patients with sickle cell disease, and development and validation of electronic pain diaries for children with sickle cell disease

Carlton D. Dampier, MD: Clinical trials in sickle cell disease, measurement science of patient- and parent-reported outcomes, and symptom management in sickle cell disease, particularly pain

Beatrice Gee, MD, Clinical Director of Sickle Cell Disease Program: Clinical research in sickle cell disease

Elaissa Hardy, PhD: Effects of applied electricity with hemostasis

Anne G. James-Herry, MD: Clinical trials in sickle cell disease, comprehensive sickle cell disease and specialty clinics, particularly pulmonary and GI- and age-based clinics

Hyacinth Hyacinth, MD, PhD: Stroke and other neurovascular complications of sickle cell disease

Clinton H. Joiner, MD, PhD, Director of Hematology: Red cell physiology, specifically cation transport and volume regulation and their perturbation in sickle cell disease

Wilbur A. Lam, MD, PhD: Development and application of novel bioengineering technologies to study, diagnose and treat hematologic disorders

Peter A. Lane, MD, Program Director of Sickle Cell Disease Program: Newborn screening, health outcomes and clinical trials in sickle cell disease

David Myers, PhD: Developing novel microsystems for clinical diagnosis and high-throughput single cell studies

Tamara N. New, MD: Clinical trials in sickle cell disease and interest in chronic pain, pulmonary complications and global impact of sickle cell in economically poor countries

Elna Saah, MD: Erythrocyte rheology and multi-omics applications in sickle cell disease

Amy Tang, MD: Sickle cell anemia and transfusional iron overload

Marianne E. Yee, MD, MSc, Clinical Director of Sickle Cell Disease Program: Clinical research in sickle cell disease, hemoglobin disorders, transfusion therapy and BMT for patients with sickle cell disease

Transfusion medicine

Ross Fasano, MD: Clinical transfusion medicine and blood safety in patients with sickle cell disease, thalassemia and oncologic diseases

Cassandra D. Josephson, MD: Clinical transfusion medicine and blood safety in hemophilia, sickle cell disease, neonatology and open heart surgery

Margo Rollins, MD: Clinical transfusion medicine, red blood cell alloimmunization, transfusion-associated hemosiderosis and apheresis

Patty Zerra, MD: Investigating the initiating immune events underlying factor VIII inhibitor formation and red blood cell alloimmunization

Leukemia and lymphoma

Waitman Aumann, MD: The fusion protein CALM-AF10, which leads to leukemia; how CALM-AF10 interacts with DNA; and downstream effector genes, including the HOXA gene cluster, MEIS1 and SIX1

D. John Bergsagel, MD: Clinical trials in leukemia and lymphoma

Kevin D. Bunting, PhD, Research Director of Leukemia and Lymphoma Program: Normal cytokine signaling in hematopoiesis and dysregulated signaling associated with inflammation and cancer

Sharon Castellino, MD: Hodgkin lymphoma and survivorship

Deborah DeRyckere, PhD: Preclinical development of novel small molecule MerTK inhibitors for oncology applications, TAM-family receptor tyrosine signaling and biology, and murine xenograft models of acute leukemia

Kavita Dhodapkar, MD, PhD, Translational Research Director: Mechanisms of immune regulation, in the context of autoimmunity as well as tumor immunity; in vivo effects of immune checkpoint blocking therapies, including the role for B cells in development of autoimmunity following treatment with these agents; and methods to boost anti-tumor immunity using dendritic cells

Douglas K. Graham, MD, PhD, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center Chief: Developing novel therapeutics for pediatric cancer, recently validating MerTK as a novel cancer agent in leukemia, melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer and glioblastoma

Lubing Gu, MD: Molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in childhood cancer and leukemia

Curtis Henry, PhD: How chronic inflammation associated with aging and obesity impacts leukemia development and therapeutic responses

Frank G. Keller, MD, Clinical Director of Leukemia Program: Children’s Oncology Group (COG) trial for low-risk Hodgkin lymphoma (principal investigator) and clinical trials in Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia

Glen Lew, MD: COG Phase 3 trial for relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) (study chair) and the etiology, treatment and outcomes in childhood ALL

Tamara Miller, MD, MSCE: Understanding and improving reporting of adverse events of therapy for pediatric cancer

Melinda Pauly, MD, Director of Leukemia and Lymphoma Program: Relationship of the BCL-2 family of proteins within the intrinsic apoptotic pathway to members of the autophagy pathway

Christopher Porter, MD: Cancer genetics and leukemia research

Cheng-Kui Qu, MD, PhD: Cell signaling and metabolic regulation of hematopoietic stem cells focusing on the role of protein and lipid phosphatases in normal hematopoietic cell development and leukemogenesis; development of novel therapeutics for phosphatases-associated blood disorders, such as juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia

Himalee Sabnis, MD, MS: Biology of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), signaling pathways in leukemic cells and new therapeutic agents in AML

Ryan Summers, MD: Translational research focused on identifying novel therapeutic targets in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), precision oncology, developing drug sensitivity assays and correlating the results with tumor sequencing data as part of the Precision Medicine Program

Zhengqi Wang, PhD: Study of STAT5 and its function in signaling mechanisms in leukemogenesis, hematopoietic stem cell biology and transplant

Daniel Wechsler, MD, PhD, Director of Oncology: Infant leukemias, pathogenesis of poor prognosis CALM-associated leukemias and MYC antagonism in neuroblastoma

William G. Woods, MD: Clinical trials within COG in myeloid leukemia

Dan Yan, PhD: The role of MerTK on human non-small cell lung cancer

Muxiang Zhou, MD: Signaling pathways and regulators of apoptosis relating to drug resistance in ALL

Palliative care

Katharine Brock, MD, MS: Clinical research in palliative care, assessing and improving access and quality of pediatric palliative care within oncology, and metrics and outcomes associated with a pediatric supportive care clinic

Solid tumors

Thomas Cash, MD, MSc, Clinical Director of Solid Tumors: Testing novel therapeutic agents and combinations in Phase 1 and 2 trials for patients with relapsed or refractory pediatric solid tumors; clinical trials of immunotherapy in combination with other agents, including radiation and chemotherapy; therapeutic meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG); neuroblastoma; and sarcomas

Bradley A. George, MD: Solid tumors and histiocytosis

Kelly Goldsmith, MD: Basic and translational research of neuroblastoma, with a primary focus on mechanisms of therapy resistance

Andrew Hong, MD: Patient-derived models, next-generation sequencing, functional genomics to identify new biology and therapeutic targets in high-risk childhood solid tumor cancers

Sarah Mitchell, MD: Solid tumors and rare tumors and underlying hereditary cancer syndrome

Thomas A. Olson, MD, Program Director of Solid Tumors: Committee chair for COG germ cell disease and clinical trials in germ cell tumors, retinoblastoma and bone tumors

Claire Stokes, MD: Quality improvement and patient safety, particularly as it relates to guideline development and implementation

Kathryn Sutton, MD: Clinical research in solid tumors, including sarcomas, rare tumors and histiocytosis

Karen Wasilewski, MD, MPH, Overall Clinical Director of Solid Tumors: Survivorship and solid tumors clinical trials

Neuro-oncology

Dolly Aguilera, MD: Development of Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials for children with recurrent brain tumors

Robert C. Castellino, MD: Pediatric neuro-oncology and interactions between p53, Hedgehog and PI-3 Kinase cell signaling in neuronal development, brain tumor development or progression, and as targets for drug development

Jason Fangusaro, MD, Director of Developmental Therapeutics: Development of early-phase clinical trials, novel therapeutics and relevant biologic correlates for children with brain tumors in an effort to improve survival outcomes and minimize toxicities

Anna J. Janss, MD, PhD: Phase 1 COG clinical trials and innovative therapeutics for brain tumors

Anna M. Kenney, PhD: How Sonic hedgehog and interacting signal transduction pathways control normal and neoplastic development within the cerebellum

Tobey J. MacDonald, MD, Director of Neuro-oncology: Basic and translational research of childhood brain tumors with a primary research focus on the metastasis and role of platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) signaling

Claire M. Mazewski, MD: COG high-risk medulloblastoma trial for young children (principal investigator) and clinical trials, innovative therapeutics and late-effects studies for children with brain tumors

Shubin Shahab, MD: The biology of the high-grade pediatric brain tumor medulloblastoma and the role of non-bonding RNAs as well as RNA-binding proteins in their carcinogenesis

Christopher B. Doering, PhD: Development of modified blood coagulation factors and implementation in gene transfer-based therapies

Sunil Raikar, MD: Development of novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) natural killer cells against T-cell malignancies

H. Trent Spencer, PhD, Program Director of Gene Therapy: Developing and implementing cell and gene therapy for the treatment of childhood cancer and inherited diseases, with a specific emphasis on the genetic engineering of hematopoietic stem cells

Jason Fangusaro, MD, Director of Developmental TherapeuticsDevelopment of early-phase clinical trials, novel therapeutics and relevant biologic correlates for children with brain tumors in an effort to improve survival outcomes and minimize toxicities

Dolly Aguilera, MD: Development of Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials for children with recurrent brain tumors

Thomas Cash, MD, MScOutcomes and epidemiology in rare pediatric tumors, the role of ezrin and tumor necrosis in patients with Ewing’s sarcoma, and innovative therapy and Phase 1 and 2 trials

Melinda Pauly, MDRelationship of the BCL-2 family of proteins within the intrinsic apoptotic pathway to members of the autophagy pathway

Himalee Sabnis, MD, MS: Biology of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), signaling pathways in leukemic cells and new therapeutic agents in AML

Karen Effinger, MD, Clinical Director of Survivorship: Physical and psychosocial functioning in children, adolescents and young adults after cancer treatment, with a particular focus in cardiovascular health, health risk behaviors, wellness and physical functioning

Lillian R. Meacham, MD, Medical Director of Survivorship: Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, educating survivors and providers about survivor care, and endocrine late effects in oncology patients

Ann C. Mertens, PhD, Research Director of Survivorship: Childhood and adolescent cancer survivorship

Briana C. Patterson, MD: Late effects of cancer therapy in brain tumor patients and endocrine problems following cancer treatment

Manoj Bhasin, PhD, Director, Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology: Developing novel single cell omics approaches to understand disease heterogeneity and impact of treatments at single cell resolution

Swati Bhasin, PhD: Exploring new therapeutic targets using multidimensional single cell profiling to improve outcomes in pediatric leukemias

Joanna Grossman Newton, MD: Racial and ethnic disparities in pediatric AML outcomes; expression of CD36 and the presence of cytoplasmic granules in blasts predicting poor prognosis in children with B-lymphoblastic leukemia

Grace Fong, PhD: Acquired brain injury and clinical trials for late effects

Lisa Ingerski, PhD: Childhood psychology

James Klosky, PhD, Director of Psychology: Childhood cancer psychology

Jennifer Lee, PhD: Childhood cancer psychology

Jordan Marchak, PhD: Childhood cancer survivorship and transition to adult care

Laura Mee, PhD: Childhood cancer psychology issues with transplant patients, pain management and coping with chronic medical conditions

Soumitri Sil, PhD: Research on pediatric pain management focused on the development and evaluation of behavioral interventions to promote the health and functioning of children and adolescents with complex chronic pain conditions

Elizabeth Thompson, PsyD: Pain management, pica and coping with chronic illness

Angela Roddenberry Vaz, PhD: Consultation liaison in pediatric psycho-oncology, parent-child coping with pediatric chronic illness, and chronic stress and bereavement

Naadira Upshaw, PsyD: Improvement of health-related quality of life, with a specific emphasis on pediatric patients with cancer and blood disorders, and health-related quality improvement projects

Justin Williams, PhD: Psychosocial functioning of and resiliency among youth with sickle cell disease and transition to adult care for youth with sickle cell disease