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Our Researchers

Director

Dr. Philip Lupo is a genetic epidemiologist with a focus on susceptibility to childhood cancer and congenital conditions. He is the Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Epidemiology Committee and has served in various capacities in the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN), including President and Chair of the Data Committee.

The ultimate goal of Dr. Lupo’s research is to discover factors that can be used in new prevention efforts and targeted interventions to limit the adverse consequences of pediatric diseases.

Phone
713-798-2960

Hematology/Oncology

Austin Brown is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Co-Director of the Long-term Survivor Research Program at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center. He leads a research program focused on characterizing the acute and long-term adverse effects of pediatric cancer therapy.

Phone
713-798-6634

Thanh Hoang is a member of the Epidemiology and Population Sciences Program at Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Center. Her research sits at the intersection between environmental health and molecular biology – with a direct application to pediatric populations.

Dr. Kala Kamdar's principal research interest is in the prevention of long-term complications of childhood cancer therapies. Due to the need for cancer therapies at a young age, adult survivors of childhood cancer face unique long-term health problems, including neurocognitive impairment and learning difficulties.

Phone
832-824-4163

Dr. Lubega's research interests focus on the mechanisms of malignant transformation of immune cells by infections (EBV, Herpes Viruses, HIV, Malaria, etc) and other immunological alterations that may result in lymphoma, histiocytosis and possibly leukemia. He is a zealous advocate for building capacity for pediatric cancer care and research in Africa.

Phone
832-822-4242

Dr. Philip Lupo is a genetic epidemiologist with a focus on susceptibility to childhood cancer and congenital conditions. He is the Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Epidemiology Committee and has served in various capacities in the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN), including President and Chair of the Data Committee.

The ultimate goal of Dr. Lupo’s research is to discover factors that can be used in new prevention efforts and targeted interventions to limit the adverse consequences of pediatric diseases.

Phone
713-798-2960

His clinical and research interests are focused in pediatric oncology in the developing world. Survival rates from common cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma which are relatively high in high-income countries such as the United States are dramatically lower in low and middle-income countries in places such as sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

Phone
832-822-4242

Jane Montealegre is a Behavioral Epidemiologist with research expertise in health disparities and preventive healthcare utilization among immigrants, racial/ethnic minorities, and the medically underserved.

She is particularly interested in the intersection of nativity, race/ethnicity, and cervical cancer. Much of her work focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of behavioral and health system interventions to address cancer health disparities among the medically underserved.

Phone
713-798-2296

Dr. Fatih Okcu has ongoing studies include late effects after proton radiation therapy in brain tumor patients, reasons for lack of adherence to follow up care in survivors and relationship between genetic polymorphisms and late permanent treatment effects in childhood cancer survivors.

Research Interests

  • Molecular cancer epidemiology
  • Genetic polymorphisms that modify therapy modalities
  • Adverse events secondary to treatment
  • Neurocognitive impairments in childhood long-term survivors
Phone
832-822-4242

Erin Peckham-Gregory's primary research focus is to elucidate inherited genetic factors underlying susceptibility to pediatric lymphoproliferative and hematologic malignancies, with particular emphasis on Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH).

She is interested in how inherited genetic and epigenetic factors contribute to the development of pediatric lymphoproliferative malignancies, and am dedicated to a research career focused on the molecular epidemiology of these disorders.

Phone
713-798-5643

Dr. Melissa Richard is a genetic epidemiologist with a focus on using integrative, modern genetic-based approaches to uncover the molecular basis of disease. 

She has a particular focus on using multi-omic measures to characterize cardiometabolic traits as both a cause and consequence of health outcomes.

Her current work uses genetic epidemiologic techniques to uncover the molecular basis of disrupted metabolism in survivors of childhood cancer, as well as the influence of metabolic traits on human development.

Phone
713-798-2971

Dr. Michael Scheurer is a molecular epidemiologist at Texas Children’s Cancer Center and in the Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Program of the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Scheurer’s research focuses on viruses and immune function as risk factors for cancer development and progression.

Phone
713-798-5547

Dr. Jeremy Schraw is a molecular epidemiologist whose research interests include structural birth defects and childhood cancer. He uses large-scale, population-based registry data and genomics to identify risk factors for these phenotypes and to understand the basis for their co-occurrence. He has a background in nutritional epidemiology, and is also interested in how diet and body composition affect cancer risk and outcomes.

Phone
713-798-2924

Dr. Zobeck also does research in the area of pharmacogenomics. He applies insights from advanced genetic testing to help individualize medication dosing to avoid serious adverse effects. Specifically, he is looking at the prevalence of certain genes that are known be associated with medication side effects in the population of patients at Texas Children's Hospital. He correlates these genes to clinical and financial outcomes for the patients, to better understanding which patients are at highest risk for medication-related complicaitons.

Phone
832-822-4242

Clinical Research Manager

Director, Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory

Fellows and Trainees

Dr. Omar Shakeel's research interest includes better understanding the environmental determinants of pediatric cancers. The incidence of pediatric cancers has steadily increased since 1975, which could suggest that other exogenous factors are accounting for an increasing proportion of cases. There has been growing concern over environmental exposures (e.g., toxicants) on the development of pediatric cancers.

Phone
832-822-4242