Leading pediatric oncologists join CureSearch Scientific Advisory Council

Media Contact: Margetta Thomas
Communications Manager

Leading pediatric oncologists join CureSearch Scientific Advisory Council 
Thought leaders work to accelerate the pace of pediatric drug development

Bethesda, Md. – August 18, 2021– CureSearch for Children’s Cancer announced today three new members of its Scientific Advisory Council (SAC). The SAC includes best-in-class pediatric oncologists who set the academic priorities for CureSearch research initiatives and evaluate projects on scientific merit. 

New members are:  

  • Elizabeth R. Lawlor, MD, PhD, University of Washington 
  • Duane A. Mitchell, MD, PhD, University of Florida College of Medicine 
  • Christine A. Pratilas, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 

Dr. Lawlor is professor of pediatrics and adjunct professor of pathology at the University of Washington, and the associate director of cancer biology at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Lawlor is also an affiliate member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) and associate program leader for Cancer Basic Biology in the Fred Hutch / University of Washington Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium. The Lawlor Lab’s research focus is on basic and translational biology of pediatric solid tumors, particularly Ewing sarcoma.  

Dr. Mitchell is the Phyllis Kottler Friedman Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine and serves as director of the UF Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and co-director of the Preston A. Wells, Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy where he leads a comprehensive neuro-oncology program focused on translational brain tumor research. Dr. Mitchell is a leading expert in the development of innovative immunotherapy treatments for adults and children with malignant brain tumors. He has pioneered many novel brain tumor immunotherapies that have been translated into first-in-human clinical trials and multi-center phase 2 studies.  

Dr. Pratilas is a pediatric oncologist at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and Associate Professor of Oncology, Pediatrics & Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Pratilas’s clinical expertise is in the management of children and adolescents and young adults with sarcomas, with particular research interests in rhabdomyosarcoma and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST). In addition, she sees children with melanocytic neoplasms and melanoma; children with NF1-associated non-CNS neoplasms; and other rare pediatric cancers. She has a strong interest in pediatric cancer genetics, and together with the Clinical Genetics service and the Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Center at Johns Hopkins, provides care for children with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), RASopathies, and other cancer predisposition syndromes. 

CureSearch is a national nonprofit that works to accelerate the development of less-toxic, more effective pediatric cancer treatments by investing in large-scale grants that address areas of critical unmet need. The SAC’s expert leadership helps ensure that funding is awarded to research projects with the highest potential to quickly advance into the clinic or towards regulatory approval.  

“CureSearch Scientific Advisory Council membership is balanced to cover the major scientific areas of childhood cancer, ranging from the basic to translational and clinical research perspectives. These three new members provide outstanding expertise in the areas of sarcoma, brain tumors and immunotherapy that is reflective of critical research foci in pediatric oncology,” said Brenda Weigel, MD, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Council. “I am thrilled to welcome these three committed and engaged pediatric oncologists and researchers to our already stellar Scientific Advisory Council.” 

 To learn more about the CureSearch SAC, visit https://curesearch.org/advisory-councils  


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. To learn more visit curesearch.org. 

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