Dr. David Poplack is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of pediatric oncology and served as Director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center for 25 years. Under his leadership, Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center grew exponentially – from seven faculty members, 42 employees, 1 laboratory and less than $350,000 in annual external grant funding in 1993 to nearly 200 faculty members, 1,100 employees, 46 laboratories with >100,000 square feet of laboratory space and $50 million in annual external grant funding.
In July 2018, Dr. Poplack transitioned to serve as Associate Director of the Cancer and Hematology Center and to become Director of Global Hematology-Oncology Pediatric Excellence (HOPE), a comprehensive capacity building program aimed at improving pediatric cancer treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. Global HOPE is building Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Centers of Excellence in 7 sub-Saharan African countries.
In addition to previously serving as the Director of Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Center from 1993-2018, he served as Deputy Director of Baylor College of Medicine's Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center; as Section Head, Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, BCM; and as Hematology/Oncology Service Chief, Texas Children's Hospital.
Dr. Poplack has authored more than 365 original articles and book chapters in the field of pediatric oncology and is a founding co-editor of Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology, the leading textbook in the field of pediatric oncology, which is in its eighth edition.
Dr. Poplack serves on the editorial board of numerous subspecialty journals. He is the Editor for Pediatric Oncology for Up to Date. He is also the developer of the Passport for Care®, an interactive website that addresses the need to provide long-term survivors of childhood cancer and their caregivers with screening guidelines and resources individualized to the survivor’s treatment history.
Dr. Poplack has served on many national and international committees, including panel appointments at the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Institute of Medicine and a term as an appointed member of the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Counselors. In 2016, Dr. Poplack was awarded the American Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Distinguished Career Award, as well as the Hyundai Hope on Wheels Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018, Dr. Poplack was the inaugural Angel Award recipient, for lifetime achievement, from the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation. In 2019, Dr. Poplack received the Leonard M. Rosen Memorial Research Award from the Children’s Cancer Cause in recognition and support of his life-saving work around the world. Also, in 2019, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
In 2023, Dr. Poplack received the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Excellence in Teaching Award, a reflection of his vision, drive, and his ability to engage teams of people in collaborative initiatives to move the field of pediatric hematology/oncology forward. Dr. Poplack has been an inspirational leader in his field from its earliest days, has mentored and inspired countless pediatric hematologist/oncologists who are now leaders in the field across the globe, and has positively impacted the lives of countless children around the world.
Dr. Poplack is a graduate of Tufts University. He received his M.D. degree from Boston University School of Medicine, completed his pediatric internship at Stanford University, his residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, and his fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Poplack has been the Principal Investigator on numerous high impact grants and has raised millions of dollars for cancer and hematology research through his philanthropic activities.