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CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
LOS ANGELES

Childrens Hospital Los Angeles logo

Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) is ranked the top children’s hospital in California and seventh in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. CHLA has one of the largest clinical trials programs for children with cancer and blood disorders in the U.S. Each year, CHLA’s Cancer and Blood Disease Institute enrolls more than 800 children on over 150 clinical research studies. Currently, there are 83 open interventional studies including multiple CAR T-cell trials. CHLA also serves as the headquarters for multiple leading international pediatric hematology-oncology clinical trials consortia including New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT), and Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma (TACL). Clinical care is led by physicians who are faculty members of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. CHLA is also home to The Saban Research Institute.

Dr. Alan Wayne photo

Alan S. Wayne, MD

Director, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Head, Division of Hematology-Oncology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC)

Associate Director, Pediatric Oncology at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Wayne, an internationally renowned pediatric hematologist-oncologist, is Director of the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Associate Director of Pediatric Oncology at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. He oversees the research, clinical and education programs in pediatric hematology, oncology and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation within USC and CHLA and serves as the Medical Director of the international Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia/Lymphoma (TACL) Consortium. His primary research efforts include development of new treatment approaches for leukemia and lymphoma with a focus on relapsed/refractory disease. He leads collaborative laboratory, translational, and clinical investigations for the development of targeted, immune-based and cellular therapies. He also plays a leadership role in international efforts in the area of post-transplant relapse of hematologic malignancies.

Academic Affiliations

Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine (Clinical Scholar), Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Hisham Abdel-Azim photo

Hisham Abdel-Azim, MD, MS

Director of Blood and Marrow Transplant Fellowship Program, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Abdel-Azim is Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Fellowship Program at CHLA’s Cancer and Blood Disease Institute. Dr. Abdel-Azim is an expert in blood and marrow transplantation, cellular and immunotherapy for a wide variety of cancers, bone marrow disorders, and genetic and non-malignant diseases. He is currently a principal and a co-principal investigator on several investigator-initiated and multi-center studies. Dr. Abdel-Azim also has special expertise in laboratory assessment for minimal residual disease in blood cancers and immune recovery after blood and marrow transplantation. His research interests include infections in immune compromised host, reduction of transplant-associated complications, treatment of graft versus host disease, and use of cell therapy for treatment of malignant and non-malignant diseases.

Academic Affiliations

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Mohamed Abou-el-Enein

Mohamed Abou-el-Enein, MD, PhD, MSPH

Executive Director of the USC/CHLA Cell Therapy Program

Dr. Abou-el-Enein serves as the Executive Director of the Joint USC/CHLA Cell Therapy Program. He is also the Director of the cGMP facility at CHLA and the new unit under construction at USC. Dr. Abou-el-Enein is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in planning and executing clinical development programs, designing and operating academic GMP facilities, and in translating cell and gene therapy products from preclinical stage to clinical applications.

Academic Affiliations

Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr Paibel Aguayo-Hiraldo

Paibel Aguayo-Hiraldo, MD

Outpatient Medical Director, Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Section; Division of Hematology-Oncology, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Aguayo-Hiraldo is an attending physician with the Transplantation and Cellular Therapy team at CHLA’s Cancer and Blood Disease Institute. Her clinical interests include blood and marrow transplantation with a detailed focus on cord blood transplant and immune reconstitution after cord blood transplant. Given her previous work with immunotherapy/virus-specific T cells, she joined forces with the Consortium for Pediatric Cellular Immunotherapy (CPCI) and currently works to understand barriers to care and access to immunotherapy as a treatment for pediatric leukemia among others.

Academic Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Shahab Asgharzadeh photo

Shahab Asgharzadeh, MD

Director, Neuroblastoma Basic and Translational Research, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Shahab Asgharzadeh, MD, is a physician-scientist and internationally recognized expert in neuroblastoma. Dr. Asgharzadeh serves as the Director of Neuroblastoma Basic and Translational Research in the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Asgharzadeh directs efforts to discover new therapies for neuroblastoma and work with the Institute’s neuroblastoma clinical research (NANT) team to design and implement novel clinical trials and is the chair of the NANT Precision Medicine Trial. Dr. Asgharzadeh’s laboratory has been involved in molecular profiling of children diagnosed with neuroblastoma, and was the first to identify contribution of the neuroblastoma tumor microenvironment to children's survival. His laboratory is currently investigating novel approaches to enhance effectiveness of immunotherapies including CAR T-cell, and immune checkpoint therapies through targeting the tumor microenvironment.

Academic Affiliations

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Neena Kapoor photo

Neena Kapoor, MD

Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Laboratory, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Kapoor serves as Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Laboratory, which is responsible for processing all autologous and allogeneic blood and marrow stem cell products, cord blood products, all cell therapy products including genetically modified cells. Her research focuses on patients with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) -- a genetic disorder characterized by the disturbed development of functional T cells and B cells caused by numerous genetic mutations that result in heterogeneous clinical presentations.

Academic Affiliations

Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Araz Marachelian photo

Araz Marachelian, MD, MS

Director, Neuroblastoma Program, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Araz Marachelian, MD, MS is the Director of the Neuroblastoma Program in the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). She also serves as the Medical Director of the New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy Consortium (NANT), which seeks to improve the survival rates and quality of life for children with this aggressive cancer. Her research focuses on immunotherapies and minimal residual disease detection with an aim toward identifying novel agents that both target the cancer cells and the surrounding environment of normal cells that support tumor growth. Dr. Marachelian chairs clinical trials within the NANT consortium and leads the post consolidation task force in Children’s Oncology Group.

Academic Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Leo Mascarenhas photo

Leo Mascarenhas, MD, MS

Deputy Director, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute

Section Head, Oncology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Leo Mascarenhas, MD, MS is an internationally recognized expert in pediatric bone and soft tissue tumors. Dr. Mascarenhas serves as the Deputy Director of the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute and Section Head of Oncology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). He is also the Director of the Solid Tumor Program and the Principal Investigator of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) funded Children’s Oncology Group (COG) at CHLA. Dr. Mascarenhas and his team's research are focused on developmental therapeutics for patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas.

Academic Affiliations

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Babak Mghimi photo

Babak Moghimi, MD

Attending Physician, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Moghimi is an attending physician with the Transplantation and Cellular Therapy team at CHLA’s Cancer and Blood Disease Institute. He performs basic research on novel immunotherapies with a goal of translating his findings into novel translational trials for pediatric cancers. Dr. Moghimi’s major focus is on developing innovative cell therapy for pediatric malignancies.

Academic Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Fariba Navid

Fariba Navid, MD

Medical Director, Clinical Research, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Fariba Navid is an attending physician with the Oncology team at CHLA’s Cancer and Blood Disease Institute. She has extensive experience in research and pediatric early-phase drug development for pediatric solid tumors. She is the Director of the Clinical Trials Program within the Institute and the institutional PI for the Pediatric Early Phase Clinical Trials Network.

Academic Affiliations

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Michael Pulsipher

Michael Pulsipher, MD

Section Head, Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Michael Pulsipher is an internationally renowned expert in cell therapy and transplantation for a wide variety of cancers, bone marrow disorders, and genetic diseases, and he directs the CAR T-cell program at CHLA. He also serves as the immediate past Chair of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium—an 80-member international clinical trials group—and is recognized as a leading influence in the field of pediatric BMT and Cell Therapy. Dr. Pulsipher is currently principal investigator of six national, multi-center studies – including studies for patients with acute leukemia, immunodeficiencies, and bone marrow failure disorders. As part of the leadership team, he was instrumental in the international studies leading to the first FDA approval of CAR T-cell therapy.

Academic Affiliations

Professor of Pediatrics (Clinical Scholar), Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Sarah Richman

Sarah Richman, MD, PhD

Attending Physician, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Cancer and Blood Disease Institute. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Sarah Richman is an attending physician with the Transplantation and Cellular Therapy team at CHLA’s Cancer and Blood Disease Institute. Her research is focused on developing solid tumor-directed CAR T-cells.

Academic Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dr. Rongfu Wang

Rongfu Wang, PhD

Director of the Cell Therapy Research Program and the Endowed Chair in Cell Therapy Research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Wang’s research interest and expertise are focused in the areas of cancer antigen discovery, cancer immunology, and immunotherapy, innate immune signaling and regulation, and epigenetic regulation of stem cells and cancer.

Academic Affiliations

Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC

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