B.S., Western Michigan University, Biomedical Science, Magna Cum Laude, 1984
Ph.D., University of Michigan, Pharmacology, 1989
M.D., University of Michigan, Medicine, 1991
1991 - 1992 Internship in Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine / Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle
1992 - 1994 Residency in Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine / Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle
1994 - 1997 Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine / Children’s Hospital and Medical Center / Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
My scientific and medical career has been devoted primarily to discovering and advancing new therapies for children with brain cancer. Our team invented “Tumor Paint”, a scorpion-derived peptide that delivers fluorescent molecules to cancer, with the goal of helping surgeons maximize tumor removal and minimize damage to normal tissues such as brain. Our lab’s work has led to over 10 human clinical trials, of which I lead a Phase III Children’s Oncology Group trial in 250 institutions. We have generated over 45 well characterized mouse models of pediatric brain cancer, which we share worldwide through www.btrl.org. Building on the Tumor Paint platform, we are exploring ways to deliver therapeutic drugs or immune modulators directly to cancer cell using similar targeting peptides. We are also leading a Center-wide program in protein and peptide therapeutics. In this program, we have identified over 80,000 peptide drugs in nature that we use as blueprints for drugs to treat human diseases for which there is a big unmet medical need.
As a pediatric hematologist-oncologist, I care for children with brain tumors at Seattle Children’s.
My lab completed pre-clinical mouse studies that led to four national clinical trials. I currently lead a 250-institution Children’s Oncology Group Phase III trial of a new treatment for young patients with medulloblastoma/PNET, the most common malignant childhood brain cancer. Three more trials are in development.