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Medical Board

Dr. Sabine Mueller

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Dr. Sabine Mueller,  is a board certified paediatric neuro-oncologist at UCSF in California who specializes in caring for children with brain tumours and related genetic syndromes, with a research program focused on novel therapies for paediatric brain tumours. Before completing medical school, she worked as a scientist, director of genomics and a project leader for a brain tumour programme at AGY, a biotechnology company in South San Francisco.

In her research, she studies treatments for children with brain tumours and improving the long-term cognitive outcome. Mueller earned a medical degree at the Universitat Hamburg School of Medicine and earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology in collaboration with AGY. After a paediatric residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mueller completed a fellowship in paediatric oncology at UCSF, where she received dedicated training in clinical research methodology through the Masters of Clinical Research Program at UCSF. She is an assistant clinical professor of neurology, neurological surgery and paediatrics.

Sabine has significant experience conducting multi-centre trials through established consortia, such as the Children's Oncology Group and the Pacific Paediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium, which she is co-leading. She also collaborates with the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study for her late effect research.

Dr. Javad Nazarian, Phd.

Dr. Nazarian is the Scientific Director of the Brain Tumor Institute, including the DIPG Program, at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University. In his role, Dr. Nazarian pioneers strong national and international collaborations in an effort to establish a robust pediatric brain tumor program. 

Over the past year the DIPG Program has advanced its mission by strengthening its partnership with the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC). Dedicated to the study and treatment of all pediatric brain tumors, CBTTC’s 15 member institutions, paired with the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC), recently launched CAVATICA, the first ever pediatric genomic cloud. This has allowed for an unprecedented level of data sharing in order to find risk-factor biomarkers and effective therapies for all pediatric brain tumors. In late 2016, Dr. Nazarian was named Co-Chair of the consortium’s Scientific Committee, bringing his expertise to help guide the CBTTC’s growing collaborations and research strategies.  

In addition to CBTTC’s work, a public-private research collective that includes Children’s National was awarded $14.8 million (PI Dr. Adam Resnick, CHOP) over five years by the NIH Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program. The grant will help researchers build the “Kids First” Data Resource Center (DRC), which will bring an additional 18,000 genomes to the data-sharing initiatives already under way. Dr. Nazarian leads the DRC’s DIPG-focused initiative—Project Open DIPG— to bring all known DIPG data and resources under one umbrella. This will enhance the data’s accessibility by researchers and accelerate their discoveries.

 Dr. Stefaan Van Gool PhD

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Pediatric oncologist Prof. Stefaan Van Gool (1963) developed himself as a pioneer immunotherapist for brain tumours in children.

Stefaan does not see himself as an inventor, but as someone who has integrated several pieces of the puzzle. As an assistant in pediatrics, he worked with Prof. Casteels Van Daele, the main pediatric oncology in Leuven. She was his early stage guide. She wanted to understand better the immune system to treat childhood cancers and brain tumors. Then, he worked in the lab of Prof. Jan Ceuppens learning basic immunology research.

He followed clinical training in Germany to learn to treat brain tumors in children, where Prof. John Wolff introduced him to put his knowledge of immunology to develop a new treatment strategy for brain tumors. In Leuven, in 1999 he collaborated with the “king” of brain tumor research in Germany, Prof. Joachim Kühl, and with dermatologist Prof. Eckhart Kämpgen who used immunotherapy for cancer, and they decided to be more experimental.  

He has deliberately chosen pediatrics, because the children's department is an atmosphere of growth and development of positivism and naivety too. The body of a child has a tremendous resilience, where one can administer complex treatments and the cure rate is higher. One of the problems of immunotherapy is that we still do not know why a cure to one patient does not work as well in another. He is working to improve the vaccine, for example using nanotechnology, with the addition of oncolytic viruses (i.e. viruses that attack cancer) and reinforce the tumor antigen (molecule that triggers the immune response).

Dr. Josef Jarosz

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Dr Jarosz is Clinical Director of Neurosciences at King's College Hospital and consultant neuro radiologist and co-leader of the Clinical Neurosciences Clinical Academic Group.

Professor Justin Stebbings

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Professor Justin Stebbing trained in medicine at Trinity College Oxford, where he gained a first class degree. He undertook training and a residency programme at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in the US, returning to The Royal Marsden and then St Bartholomew's Hospitals in London. His original PhD research investigated the interplay between the immune system and cancer; he was appointed a senior lecturer in 2007, and a Professor in 2009.

He has published over 550 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as the Lancet, New England Journal, Blood, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Internal Medicine, as well as writing regularly for national newspapers and presenting new data on optimal cancer therapies at the major international conferences. His focus at Imperial is on new therapies in cancer, and the systemic management of patients with solid malignancies including a number of new biomarker-based approaches, with an emphasis on circulating tumour cells and cell free DNA. His laboratory work is concentrated on new druggable target discovery and gene regulation examining the role of non-coding RNAs in stem cells.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Royal College of Pathologists, and sits on the advisory Boards of a number of international cancer committees. He chairs the World Vaccine Congress and the Irish Cancer Society oversight committee and is on the editorial board of a number of world leading general medical and cancer journals such as the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Lancet Oncology; he was awarded the Silvia Lawler prize in 2015.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) awarded Justin Stebbing its first translational research professorship in oncology, aiming to bridge the gap between the laboratory and the patient to ensure therapy is personalised. He has an extensive clinical practice and links this to a wide number of translational research studies and immunotherapy trials. In 2016 Justin was internationally recognised with his appointment as Editor-in-Chief of Oncogene (Springer Nature's foremost cancer journal) and election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

John G Kuhn Pharm.D

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John Kuhn is an Emeritus Professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas. His research is concentrated on deriving information related to the clinical pharmacology of anticancer agents. He establishes suitable analytical (HPLC, CE, LC/MS) or molecular (PCR, Western, Elisa) methods for the measurement of the compounds in biological fluids or tissue. We explore the relationships between the pharmacokinetic parameters (clearance, AUC) of the agent and their biological targets, activity and/or toxicity. These correlations permit the development of rational dosing and scheduling regimens for the optimization of the compound's therapeutic index. He also evaluates genetic variations responsible for drug metabolism, transport or target affinity.

Dr. Stergios Zacharoulis

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Dr Stergios Zacharoulis is a Consultant Paediatric Oncologist specialising in brain tumours and other solid malignancies of childhood. He is an American Board Certified Paediatrician (trained at Yale and SUNY at Syracuse) and Paediatric Oncologist (trained at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York). Dr Zacharoulis sub-specialised further in Neuro-Oncology (brain, spinal cord and neurogenic tumours) at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Paediatric Oncology at Keck School Of Medicine, University of Southern California, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. His bibliography includes several original papers in peer review journals and book chapters, and he has been an invited speaker about child cancer and its treatment at Paediatric Oncology meetings worldwide.

Dr Zacharoulis has a major interest in childhood tumour angiogenesis: how tumours create their own blood vessels. He was the Programme Leader of the DIPG CED programme at the Harley Street Clinic in London, and the Principal Investigator of a prospective 43 patient DIPG clinical trial being funded by the NHS in the UK later in 2017. He is currently the Associate Professor of Paediatrics at Columbia University Medical Centre.

Mark Souweidane M.D.

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Vice Chairman, Neurological Surgery, New York Presbyterian / The Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center. Medical Specialties: Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Neurological Surgery, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Neurological Surgery, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology


Mark has dedicated his career to the surgical treatment of children with brain and spinal disorders. Mark has contributed significantly of the growth in reputation of the Weill Cornell Medical College, which he joined in 1995 and is now a recognized leader in Pediatric Neurosurgery. Specialized surgical skills have gained him an international reputation for specific procedures, including CED. In addition to the development of a world-class Pediatric Neurosurgery service, he has championed minimal access neurosurgery. His commitment to the education of future pediatric neurosurgeons is reflected in his participation on the Committee of Admissions for the medical college, his lectures to medical school students, his role as resident advisor, and resident mentoring at one of the country’s premier training programs. Dr. Souweidane currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery and the Director of Pediatric Neurological Surgery at the Weill Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He is an associate professor in Neurological Surgery and Pediatrics. 

Residencies – NYU Medical Center; University of Michigan Medical Center.

Fellowships – The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto)

Oren J. Becher, M.D.

 

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Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.

Oren’s laboratory interests are to apply genetic mouse models of pediatric brain tumors to prioritize the translation of novel agents into clinical trials. In particular, his laboratory is using a genetic mouse model of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas to determine therapeutic targets, mechanisms of resistance to targeted agents, unravel new ways to bypass the blood-brain-barrier, and investigate region-specific differences between glioma genesis in the brainstem and the cortex.

His laboratory is also developing improved genetic mouse models of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). His clinical Interests include central nervous system tumors in children and teenagers; new treatment regimens for children and young adults with gliomas; interest in discovering novel, highly targeted, potent, and less toxic molecular inhibitors to treat brain tumors, and in testing novel drugs in genetic models of brain-stem gliomas or DIPGs.

Residency - Pediatrics, Children’s National Medical Center (Washington, DC), 2003.
Fellowships - Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Cornell/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York), 2006, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York), 2007.