On the Pulse

Seattle Children’s Cancer Leaders Recognized for Continued Efforts to Develop and Discover Better Treatments and Cures

6.29.2023 | Ashley Speller

A father holds his daughter in a hospitalIn Seattle Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center (CBDC), patients are treated for some of the most complex and rare conditions seen in children, teens and young adults.

Close ties and dual roles between the CBDC care team and Seattle Children’s researchers extends a unique, team approach to treating pediatric patients in their fight against childhood cancer and blood disorders through new diagnostic tests, novel treatments, pioneering clinical trials and generating new insights on the biology of these diseases.

“Our moonshot is to take kids who have zero chance of survival and haven’t responded to any conventional therapies, and provide them with cures,” shared Dr. Todd Cooper, Oncology section chief and director of Seattle Children’s Pediatric Leukemia/Lymphoma Program.

As providers work toward achieving that goal, their continued efforts are being recognized around the world, most recently by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Leadership appointments and grants from these organizations will enable the Seattle Children’s cancer and blood disorders team to further develop and discover better treatments and therapies and continue bringing more hope, care and cures to the children, teens and young adults who need them.

Dr. Sarah Leary, a pediatric oncologist and the medical director of clinical research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research, received a five-year, renewable Research Specialist Award (R50) from the NIH.

Dr. Tyler Ketterl, the medical director of Seattle Children’s programs in Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology and Comprehensive Fertility Care and Preservation, and a principal investigator in Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research, was awarded a four-year, $1.3 million Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program Translational Team Science Award from the DoD.

Dr. Molly Taylor, an attending physician in the CBDC and researcher in Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research, received a Clinician Scientist Development Grant by the ACS, a five-year award for $729,000.

Dr. Heather Gustafson, principal investigator in the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, received a $4 million Method to Extend Research In Time (MERIT) award from the National Cancer Institute at the NIH.

Dr. Cooper was additionally appointed to chair the Myeloid Committee of COG, the largest consortium of pediatric hospitals providing oncology services in the world. With his appointment, Cooper joins ongoing COG leadership by Seattle Children’s physician-researchers, including Dr. Mignon Loh, who chairs COG’s Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Committee, and Dr. Doug Hawkins, COG’s Group Chair.

More than half of the kids who come to Seattle Children’s live with serious conditions that they will have for the rest of their lives. Research can give them a different future. Learn more about this important work and how you can help support it here.