I am a pediatric oncologist with clinical and research interests in primary immunodeficiency and hereditary cancer. Currently, I am a Full Member in the Department of Oncology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where I also serve as Director of the Division of Cancer Predisposition (DCP). The DCP is a new Section within the Department of Oncology with the overall mission to provide quality clinical care and perform innovative research for children and families at increased genetic risk for cancer.
Since its inception in 2015, the DCP has evaluated more than 3,500 children with cancer, of whom 563 (16%) have been identified to harbor an underlying predisposition. Within the Division, we are carrying out several research studies to: 1) integrate clinical whole exome, genome and RNA sequencing of tumor and germline samples into the care of pediatric oncology patients; 2) identify novel cancer predisposing genes via genomic analyses of high risk patients and their families; 3) exame the psychosocial factors that influence parent and adolescent decision making and communication around cancer genetic testing; and 4) elucidate how germline mutations in transcription factor genes impair normal hematopoiesis and contribute to leukemogenesis.