Our Team

The Medical Advisory Board provides guidance on the best childhood cancer researchers in the country who are working everyday to open new paths to find a cure. In addition, the Advisory Board for TeamConnor are dedicated professionals who believe they can make a difference in this battle to find a cure for childhood cancer by offering their talent and resources for the cause.

Ira Dunkel, MD
Pediatric Oncologist
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Ira Dunkel is a board certified pediatric oncologist specializing in brain and eye tumors, including medulloblastoma and retinoblastoma. In his clinical research, he and his colleagues are exploring a new treatment regimen for patients with medulloblastoma that is intended to reduce side effects by limiting the amount of radiation given to areas of the brain without cancer. He is also working to develop new treatments for retinoblastoma.

Dr. Dunkel earned his MD at Duke University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at the Duke University Medical Center, as well as a fellowship at Duke University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Joya Chandra, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics Research
Children’s Cancer Hospital at M.D. Anderson

Dr. Joya Chandra, associate professor in the Division of Pediatrics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, specializes in the study of the oxidative environments of cancer cells and therapeutic strategies that eliminate cancer cells. She serves as a lecturer for The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (GSBS) in Cancer Cell Signaling and Mechanisms in Cancer Therapeutics.

Dr. Chandra received her Ph.D. in cancer biology and immunology from the GSBS. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in apoptosis and oxidative stress in the Division of Toxicology, Institute for Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute.
Kate Matthay, MD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, and Division Chief, University of California Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco

Dr. Katherine Matthay, chief of pediatric hemotology/oncology, is one of the world’s leading doctors and researchers in treatments for childhood cancer. She directs a national study of the Children’s Oncology Group to test new therapies for neuroblastoma. She and her colleagues demonstrated that the outcome of neuroblastoma can be significantly improved by the use of innovative treatment the includes chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, and the vitamin A derivative, 13-cis-retinoic acid.

Dr. Matthay earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and a medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of Colorado in Denver and a fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at UCSF Medical Center.
Meaghan Granger, MD
Hematology/Oncology Physician
Cooks Children’s Medical Center

Dr. Granger is a pediatric physician at the Cook Children’s Hematology and Oncology Center specializing in bone marrow and stem cell transplant and neuroblastoma. She is a neuroblastoma researcher, participating in clinical trial investigations of existing and new treatments for neuroblastoma, an important step in the development of new treatments.

Dr. Granger earned her MD at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She completed a residency at Vanderbilt University and a fellowship at Children’s Memorial, Chicago, IL and at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, TX in both hematology and oncology.
Sarah Tasian, MD
Assistant Professor and Physician Scientist
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Sarah K Tasian, MD is a pediatric oncologist and physician-scientist at the Children’s Hospital of
Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania who is interested in development of molecularly-
targeted therapeutics for children with high-risk leukemias. She is a graduate of the University of
Notre Dame (BS, BA) and Baylor College of Medicine (MD), and she trained in Pediatrics at
Seattle Children’s Hospital and in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at the University of California,
San Francisco (UCSF). She specializes in the clinical care of children with hematologic
malignancies and is an internationally-recognized expert in pediatric ALL and AML. Her bench-
to-bedside and bedside-back-to-bench translational laboratory research program focuses upon
testing of kinase inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapies in
genetic subsets of childhood ALL and AML. Dr. Tasian has leadership roles in the Children’s
Oncology Group (COG) ALL and Myeloid Diseases committees, is the COG Developmental
Therapeutics Committee Vice-Chair of Biology for Hematologic Malignancies, and leads or co-
leads several national or institutional early phase clinical trials testing precision medicine
therapies in children with high-risk leukemias.

Our Featured Hero

Ashley Piltz

Ashley Piltz

Our world completely changed on September 12, 2007..

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Did You Know

Building awareness of childhood cancer is critical to funding and finding a cure. To help, please consider sharing teamconnor.org on your Facebook.

Today, 46 children will be diagnosed with cancer.  Seven will lose their battle.

Did you know September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!

Every day in America, approximately 46 children are diagnosed with cancer.

Childhood cancer does not discriminate, sparing no ethnic group, socio-economic class, or geographic region.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children, accounting for about 3% of childhood cancers.

On average, 1 in every 4 elementary schools has a child with cancer.

About one-third of childhood cancers are leukemias.

Childhood cancer survival rates in the United States have increased from less than 20% in the 1960s to almost 80% today.

Cancer kills more children each year than Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, and Pediatric AIDS combined.

Childhood cancer is not one disease entity, but rather a spectrum of different malignancies. Cancers found in children are biologically different from those seen in adults.

1 in 300 children will develop cancer before age 20.

Neuroblastoma is the most common extra cranial solid tumor cancer in children.

Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured, yet, some forms of childhood cancers have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is illusive.

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