CureSearch for Children’s Cancer Announces Executive Leadership Changes

For Immediate Release
Tessa Gatz
Director of Communications, CureSearch for Children’s Cancer
(240) 235-2204 | tessa.gatz@curesearch.org

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer Announces Executive Leadership Changes

BETHESDA, Md.– Feb. 19, 2018CureSearch for Children’s Cancer announced Laura Thrall, who has served as CEO of the organization since 2012, has decided to step down. Committed to ensuring that the organization is well positioned for the future with a best-in-class-leadership team, the CureSearch Board of Directors has named Kay Koehler as the new CEO, effective February 15, 2018. Koehler has been serving as the Chief Development Officer of CureSearch since 2017. Thrall will consult with CureSearch during the transition process.

“Laura Thrall joined CureSearch in September 2012, shortly before CureSearch’s 25th anniversary, and immediately following the termination of the organization’s role as fiscal agent for the National Cancer Institute grants to the Children’s Oncology Group members. She led a significant transformation, driving patient-centric results, building critical relationships with the Pharma industry, and creating best-in-class Advisory Committees to advance new therapeutics for children,” said CureSearch Board of Directors Chairman Dr. Stuart Siegel.

Siegel continued, “Of particular note is her leadership in the creation and launch of the CureSearch Catapult Initiative, a broad strategy focused on accelerating new treatments out of academia and into pediatric clinical trials and eventual commercialization, an ‘evergreen’ model recently validated by MIT. The CureSearch Board of Directors is grateful to Thrall for her dedication and commitment to our cause.”

“I’m honored to have made such an impact on children’s cancer during my tenure at CureSearch,” said Thrall. “Creating the Catapult Impact Fund, which will support ‘clinic-ready’ projects, and developing the Scientific, Industry and Catapult Advisory Councils, will not only provide the expertise of leading pediatric cancer researchers and pharmaceutical industry champions, but also venture capital, private equity and tech transfer leadership to ensure children not only survive cancer, but lead long and healthy lives. To know that this will continue is important to me, personally, but, more importantly, to the field of pediatric cancer. I’m confident CureSearch will continue to be a leader in advancing cures.”

As Chief Development Officer, Koehler has been a critical part of the CureSearch management team, responsible for leadership of CureSearch’s donor relations, fundraising and marketing and communications efforts, and effecting sweeping changes to position the organization for success. She has more than 25 years of executive management experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations, focusing the last ten years in executive roles at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and American Heart Association, where she architected and implemented national strategies leading to significant growth in donor, campaign and corporate relationships. Prior to her non-profit career, Koehler was well recognized in the software industry, where she developed and led global strategy, marketing and sales at cutting-edge organizations, including Citrix Systems, Inc, with $3.4B in revenues.

“It’s an exciting time to lead this organization,” said Koehler. “The opportunity for cures for children’s cancer has never been greater, and I look forward to the impact we will undoubtedly make in saving young lives.”


About CureSearch for Children’s Cancer

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a national nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, Md., works to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research with measurable results in an accelerated time frame. CureSearch focuses on advancing the strongest research out of the laboratory and into clinical trials and development, where better, less-toxic treatments can quickly help children.

For more information, visit curesearch.org, follow CureSearch on Twitter @curesearch or join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/curesearch.

For quotes or interview requests, contact Tessa Gatz, director of communications, at (240) 235-2204 or tessa.gatz@curesearch.org.


Let’s stay connected

Get our latest news and research updates delivered to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top