Meet Our Researchers
The brightest minds in the field
Children’s Cancer Research Fund provides critical funding to the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center for new cancer research and training related to the prevention, treatment, and cure of childhood cancers. The success of the research is directly impacted by the quality of the researchers. We strive to support, recruit, and retain the brightest minds in the field.
Cancer is the leading cause of death by illness among children, but doctors and researchers supported by Children’s Cancer Research Fund are working hard to change that statistic.
Meet some of the doctors conducting this breakthrough research and see how your contributions are helping to find a cure for childhood cancer:
Dr. Bruce Blazar strives to get early-phase therapies into the clinic. Areas that are currently under investigation include: prevention of graft-versus-host-disease, a common side-effect after blood or marrow transplantation; development of new strategies to enhance immune recovery after transplantation; prevention of tumor and leukemia relapse; and gene therapy and tissue repair. Read More
"As a young child, when someone asked me what I wanted to do when I was older, I always replied, 'Cure cancer,'" recalls Dr. Margaret MacMillan . Her research develops therapies that make stem cell transplants more successful by avoiding graft-versus-host disease. She is world expert in treating Fanconi anemia. Read More
"The opportunity to develop a career that would take on a life-threatening disease in a child has allowed me to do something I believe in every day," says Dr. Joseph Neglia. The Pediatric Hematology and Oncology section chief, Dr. Neglia currently follows childhood cancer survivors into adulthood to figure out "the best ways to make our long-term survivors informed and effective self-advocates." Read More
Paul Orchard, M.D., is "fascinated by using blood and marrow transplantation as a means of therapy." His important research helps discover ways to keep the developing brain as safe as possible through the transplant process. Read More
An assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Epidemiology/Clinical Research, Dr. Logan Spector studies the causes of childhood leukemia, hepatoblastoma, and osteosarcoma. Dr. Spector finds that "childhood cancer is an amazing intellectual challenge to me because there’s just not a lot known about what causes it." Read More
Dr. Jakub Tolar focuses his lab research on stem cell gene therapy for tissue healing, on side effects of stem cell therapy, on novel non-viral gene therapy for correction of immunodeficiencies, and on biology of adult stem cell. Read More
Dr. Michael Verneris researches ways to beat leukemia through bone marrow transplants and keep it from coming back. "My choice to pursue pediatric blood and marrow transplantation grew out of a combination of my love of children, their innocence and incredible resilience, and the inherent need to improve the lives of such children," he says of his patients. Read More
Dr. John E. Wagner is an internationally recognized expert in the field of stem cells and umbilical cord blood transplantation. An expert in successfully treating leukemia with stem cells, he and his team are pursuing potentially game-changing new research for treating cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurological diseases with the use of stem cells. Read More
"My research focuses on new immunotherapy strategies for pediatric cancers especially focused on rhabdomyosarcoma and acute myelogenous leukemia. My team is working on identification of promising new agents that may improve the treatment of childhood cancers. Using laboratory models, these agents can be identified and screened, then translated into clinical trials for patients." Read More
Children’s Cancer Research Fund underwrites an impressive six endowed chairs to that recognize and retain outstanding top faculty researchers and provide a constant stream of funding to keep their research. Read More