Scientific Executive Committee:
The Scientific Executive Committee is comprised of researchers from STAR centers. It oversees all STAR research.
John Horan, MD, MPH, Chair
John received his bachelor degree from Colgate University and earned his M.D. from Rutgers University. He went on to earn a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Rochester. He completed a residency in pediatrics (University of Rochester Medical Center), a fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology (Children’s National Medical Center and University of Rochester Medical Center) and a fellowship in blood and marrow transplantation (University of Rochester Medical Center). He is on staff of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where he is a member of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center’s Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program. He is also Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. John currently splits his time between Great Barrington, MA (birthplace of W.E.B DuBois) and Atlanta. While in Great Barrington, he helps to develop and lead clinical trials and other studies through Emory, STAR, the Children’s Oncology Group and the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium. He also helps organize the W.E.B. DuBois Educational Series.
Greg Guilcher, MD, Vice Chair of Clinical Operations
Greg Guilcher is Associate Professor of Oncology and Pediatrics at the University of Calgary/Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary, Canada. His practice includes pediatric blood and marrow transplantation as well as general pediatric oncology. Greg leads the local sickle cell BMT program and works closely with the two comprehensive hemoglobinopathy clinics in the province of Alberta. He also co-leads the BMT Long Term Survivor Clinic at Alberta Children's Hospital, and currently chairs the BMT Late Effects Taskforce for the Children's Oncology Group.
Research interests include acute and late toxicities of BMT, as well as the study of novel low-toxicity approaches to transplant for pediatric non-malignant diseases. Greg is interested in studying family BMT decision-making , neuropsychological outcomes and health economics questions as related to BMT for sickle cell disease. He also has an interest in pediatric BMT donor safety. A career goal is to expand access to BMT for sickle cell disease to low and middle income countries.
Greg obtained his BSc with a major in biochemistry from Queen's University at Kingston, followed by a medical degree and subsequent pediatric residency training at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His subspecialty training in pediatric hematatology/oncology/BMT was completed at the University of British Columbia with a focus in BMT and hematopathology.
Monica Bhatia, MD
Monica directs Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center’s pediatric stem cell transplant program as part of her specialty caring for children with noncancerous blood disorders who may benefit from bone marrow transplantation, especially sickle cell anemia. She works to reduce the side effects and complications of this treatment without compromising its effectiveness, and to make it available to more patients. In addition to her leadership in launching STAR, she is a member of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and sits on the Non-Malignant Working Group Committee. She attended Boston University as an undergraduate and attended St. George's University School of Medicine in Grenada. Monica completed her residency at Albany Medical Center Hospital, NY and was a Fellow at Children’s National Medical Center.
Allistair Abraham, MD
Allistair is a member of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program of Children’s National Healthcare in Washington, D.C. and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine. He Co-Chairs the STAR long-term follow-up study (see clinical trials). He also performs research to prevent rejection of blood and marrow transplants.
Leslie S. Kean, MD, PhD
Leslie is a physician scientist. She is a member of the Seattle Children’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, the Associate Director of the Ben Townes Center for Childhood Cancer Research and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington. A major focus of her research, both in the lab and in the clinic, is preventing graft versus host disease after BMT. She currently chairs a National Institute of Health funded, multicenter trial of abatacept (Orencia®) to prevent graft versus host disease in children and adults with leukemia and other blood cancers. STAR’s abatacept clinical trial (see clinical trials) is founded on her research. She oversees the collection, processing and storage of research samples obtained from patients participating in STAR trials.
Lakshmanan Krishnamurti, MD
“Krish” is both a hematologist with expertise in SCD and a blood and marrow transplant physician. He is the Director of Blood and Marrow Transplant Program for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and a Professor of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine. He leads several major clinical studies in SCD including a National Institute of Health funded, multicenter trial of bone marrow transplantation for young adults (STRIDE).
Shalini Shenoy, MD
Shalini is the director of the Stem Cell Transplant Program for St. Louis Children’s Hospital and a Professor of Pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Widely respected in the field, she has been at the forefront of BMT for SCD for over a decade. She Co-Chaired the recently completed National Institute of Health funded trial of unrelated transplantation for children with Sickle Cell Disease (SCURT).
Emily Riehm Meier, M.D.
Dr. Meier is a board certified pediatric hematologist/oncologist who has devoted her career to caring for patients with sickle cell disease. She attended medical school at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Meier completed her Pediatric Residency, Chief Residency and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. After completing her fellowship, she remained at Children’s National as an attending physician in the Division of Hematology for 6 years prior to joining the team at the Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center in September 2015. She was a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health for 8 years while in Washington, DC, and was the Director of the Sickle Cell Program at Children’s National from 2011-2013. As Director, she implemented group clinic visits for newly diagnosed infants with sickle cell disease and their families as well as educational conferences for families and patients living with sickle cell disease to learn more about bone marrow transplant as a curative option.
Monica L Hulbert, M.D.
Monica is the director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease Program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine. As program director, she developed and implemented a primary hematologist care model to improve continuity of care for children with sickle cell disease and oversaw the program’s expanded hydroxyurea use for primary prevention of sickle cell disease complications. Working with a collaborative group of neurologists and neuroimaging specialists at Washington University, her research interests are focused on understanding and treating neurological injury prevalent in children with sickle cell disease, specifically strokes and cerebral vasculopathy.
Alexander Ngwube, M.D.
Alex is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Arizona/Phoenix Children's Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where he leads the sickle cell pediatric blood and marrow transplant program and works closely with the comprehensive hemoglobinopathy clinic in Phoenix, Arizona.
His research interests include acute and late toxicities of blood and marrow transplantation, supportive care and improving the safety of transplantation for pediatric non-malignant diseases, especially sickle cell anemia.
Alex obtained his medical degree from Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria and subsequently performed his pediatric residency training at Medical University of South Carolina. He completed his training in pediatric hematology and oncology at the Washington University in St. Louis/St Louis Children’s Hospital and his training in blood and marrow transplantation fellowship at Baylor University/Texas Children’s Hospital.
Michelle Lee, MD, PhD
Michelle Lee is an Instructor in the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital where she completed fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. She is also an Assistant Physician in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, before she earned MD and PhD degrees from Harvard Medical School. Then she completed internship/residency training at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Michelle has developed clinical expertise in transplantation for non-malignant conditions including sickle cell disease. Her goal is to make transplant safer so that it can be utilized more readily as a treatment to cure children with sickle cell disease. More broadly, her interest is in improving transplant outcomes for persons of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, in particular those of African descent.