Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Jennifer Baldi - Program Manager


john maris, md - leader

Dr. John Maris is Giulio D’Angio Professor of Pediatrics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is a physician-scientist who has focused for over three decades on the childhood cancer neuroblastoma with the dual goals of improving patient outcomes and also using the disease as a model to understand cancer in general.. His group has discovered all of the known neuroblastoma susceptibility genes and his group has also identified many of the oncogenic drivers of the disease. Dr. Maris has steadfastly sought to translate these discoveries to the clinic using precision medicine approaches and more recently by co-leading a multi-institutional St. Baldrick’s Foundation- Stand Up to Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team project to bring the fields of genomics and immunology together to combat childhood cancers, and more recently a Beau Biden Moonshot Center Award to extend this rapidly evolving area of research. Dr. Maris is an internationally recognized practicing pediatric oncologist who cares for children with refractory neuroblastoma from around the world, typically in the context of early phase clinical trials. Dr. Maris has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health and many other funding bodies. He currently holds a National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award and has received several prestigious awards including election into the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Oski award for outstanding pediatric oncologists, and the Berwick award at Penn for melding basic and clinical teaching, and the William Osler Patient Oriented Research Award at Penn.

Sharon diskin, phd - investigator


Stephan Grupp, md phd - Investigator

Stephan Grupp, MD PhD, is the Chief of the Cellular Therapy and Transplant Section, Director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program, and Medical Director of The Cell and Gene Therapy Lab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), as well as the Yetta Dietch Novotny Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Grupp graduated from the University of Cincinnati after completing the MD/PhD program with a PhD in Immunology.

He completed pediatric residency at the Boston Children’s Hospital, followed by a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and postdoctoral work in Immunology at Harvard University. He then joined the faculty at Harvard University until 1996, when he came to CHOP. His primary area of clinical research is the use of CAR T and other engineered cell therapies in pediatric cancers and other life-threatening disorders such as sickle cell disease. The work in sickle cell disease includes running the study steering committee for the CRISPR/Vertex trial of whether gene-engineered stem cells could cure this disease(1). He led all of the pediatric ALL trials of CTL019 (now approved as Kymriah), including the largest and most successful engineered T cell therapy clinical trial conducted to date (2, 3), as well as the global registration trial for CTL019 (4). As a result of this work, he presented the Clinical Perspective at the July 2017 FDA ODAC meeting, at which reviewers voted 10-0 for recommendation of approval for Kymriah in pediatric ALL. His primary laboratory interest is the development of new cell therapy treatments for pediatric cancers. Dr. Grupp was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019.

Yael mosse, md - investigator

Sarah tasian, md - investigator

Sarah K Tasian, MD is a pediatric oncologist and physician-scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 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 University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She specialises 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 and Leukemia Lymphoma Society PedAL/EUpAL consortium, is the COG Developmental Therapeutics committee Vice-Chair of Biology for Hematologic Malignancies, and leads or co-leads several national or international early phase clinical trials testing precision medicine therapies in children with high-risk leukemias.

andrei thomas-tikhoneko, phd - investigator


Kristopher Bosse, md - Young investigator

Dr. Kristopher Bosse is an Instructor in the Division of Oncology and the Department of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). Dr. Bosse graduated summa cum laude with honors from Bowdoin College and he completed his medical degree and training at Penn and CHOP. Dr. Bosse is a physician-scientist focused on the pediatric cancer neuroblastoma. After starting his research career focused in the physical sciences, he was awarded a prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Training Award during medical school to investigate the functional mechanisms underlying several neuroblastoma predisposition loci discovered via a genome-wide association study approach. Dr. Bosse remains interested in defining how both common and rare genomic variation predisposes to pediatric cancers. Dr. Bosse is also currently part of a large collaborative effort funded by a St. Baldrick’s Foundation-Stand Up to Cancer grant to bring the fields of genomics and immunology together to develop new immunotherapies to combat childhood cancers. Specifically, Dr. Bosse is using an integrated genomic and functional approach to identify and validate novel cell surface molecules for immunotherapeutic targeting in high-risk neuroblastoma, including novel GPC2-directed immunotherapies. During his brief medical and research career, Dr. Bosse has published 17 peer reviewed manuscripts and has received several fellowships and awards to support and recognize his laboratory research. Dr. Bosse ultimately aims to develop a translational research career with the goal of bringing novel laboratory discoveries in the most aggressive pediatric malignancies to the clinic to make impactful improvements in clinical care.

Jessica Foster, md - young investigator

Jessica Foster is a young investigator at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) who is part of the St. Baldrick’s – SU2C Pediatric Cancer Dream Team. Jessica completed her undergraduate degree at Columbia University, followed by medical school at the University of Virginia. She then travelled to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to complete her residency in pediatrics followed by a chief residency. She then returned to the east coast to complete fellowship in Pediatric Hematology- Oncology at CHOP in 2017 and has remained there as an Instructor. Jessica is working on the pre-clinical development of RNA chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy and other immunotherapeutic approaches for pediatric solid and brain tumors. Her ultimate goal is to be translational physician-scientist, taking the findings from the lab to her patients.

shannon maude, md phd - young investigator

mark yarmarkovich, phd - young investigator


Amber Weiner, phd - young investigator

Amber K. Weiner, PhD is a postdoctoral fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the Division of Oncology and Center for Childhood Cancer Research. She graduated from Arcadia University with a Bachelor’s in Biology and completed her PhD in Genomics and Computational Biology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She is a member of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation – Stand Up 2 Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team (SBF-SU2C) and Pediatric Immunotherapy Discovery and Development Network (PI-DDN). During her PhD, she was co-advised by Drs. Sharon Diskin, John Maris and Benjamin Garcia. Her interdisciplinary thesis project involves integrating mass spectrometry based proteomics and RNA-sequencing/microarray data to discover novel immunotherapeutic targets for validation in preparation for preclinical testing and clinical trials. We have prioritized DLK1, an epigenetically regulation protein and showed potent/specific activity of a DLK1 directed antibody drug conjugate. She has also focused on developing shiny applications for mass spectrometry data analysis (GiaPronto) and data release to the scientific community (PIONEER). She is also a member of the SBF-SU2C advocacy committee where she has worked to advance childhood cancer research through young investigator and advocate collaboration.

Past Members

Bruce Pawel, MD PhD

David Barrett, MD PhD

Hamid Bassiri, MD PhD

Mike Hogarty, MD

Mariarita Santi-Vicini, MD PhD

Yimei Li, PhD