Faculty Spotlights



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Faculty Spotlights honor the excellent work of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute faculty members and provide the opportunity to learn more about their research and roles. These spotlights introduce readers to the diverse, dedicated, and distinctive individuals who lead our research community's mission to improve children’s health. Each year featured scientists are asked about a specific topic — why it matters and how it has influenced their careers.

2023-2024 Theme:

Internal Grant Recipients

The Research Institute offers a variety of internal grant and award programs to support the research activities of our investigators. These internal grants and awards can provide financial support for various research-related activities, from exploring new scientific directions to the development of new ideas and technologies. This year, we are celebrating our internal grant recipients who are pursuing new avenues of research with dedicated funding support. Although we cannot feature all the award recipients this year, we congratulate their continued hard work and scientific contributions to pediatric research.

I hope that through ongoing cancer predisposition research, we can someday not only screen patients for cancer and detect it at its earliest stages, but also prevent cancer from developing in the first place.

Suzanne P. MacFarland Headshot

Suzanne P. MacFarland, MD

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Stay tuned for more from our Faculty Spotlight series throughout this year! To receive these Spotlights to your inbox, sign up for our mailing list.

Past Faculty Spotlights

This past year, we asked our featured scientists about diversity, equity, and inclusion and how they encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion within their labs. Our distinguished scientists remarked, "Building diversity and inclusion in science is a long-term process that should be approached at many levels: There is no "quick fix." Some of our scientists commented on the value of diversity "not only in backgrounds but also thought processes, contributes to team success." Our featured scientists continue to foster diversity through mentorship, active communication, and recruitment.

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Published on Nov 16, 2023 in Cornerstone Blog
The Connor Initiative, a multimillion dollar gift from the Holveck Family, will support precision therapeutics for osteosarcoma and rare cancers.
Published on Jun 28, 2023 in Cornerstone Blog
Kandace Gollomp, MD, attending physician in the Division of Hematology, studies neutrophils to understand how they interact with infections.
Published on May 30, 2023 in Cornerstone Blog
Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Audrey Odom John, studies the microbial metabolism of parasites like malaria to improve diagnoses and available treatments.
Published on Apr 24, 2023 in Cornerstone Blog
Dr. Hwang, an attending radiologist at CHOP, studies ultrasound and microbubbles as a way to deliver therapeutic agents in a targeted manner to treat pediatric diseases.
Published on Jan 27, 2023 in Cornerstone Blog
By studying the molecular basis of pediatric thyroid cancer, Dr. Franco seeks to improve outcomes and quality of life for patients.
Published on Dec 20, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
Our December Faculty Spotlight scientist, Christopher Thom, MD, PhD, works at the intersection of genetics, blood biology, and cellular therapeutics.
Published on Oct 31, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
Liming Pei, PhD, studies how different organs react to energy cues and communicate with each other.
Published on Sep 23, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
September's featured Faculty Spotlight scientist is Kathleen Sullivan, MD, PhD.
Published on Aug 31, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
Our featured Faculty Spotlight for August, Joseph Zackular, PhD, studies the interaction between Clostridioides difficile and microbes.
Published on Jul 25, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
Dr. Goldberg studies how genetic variation in ion channels leads to underlying brain circuit dysfunction in epilepsy and other disorders.

In 2021-2022, we asked our featured scientists about mentorship — why it matters and how it has influenced their careers. Our distinguished scientists remarked that “mentorship is one of the core missions of being a scientist.” It is a “process that must exist from generation to generation” and is “essential to scientific advancement.” View the articles in their entirety below.

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Published on Jun 22, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
Learn what makes these faculty members excellent mentors to their postdocs and research fellows.
Published on May 17, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
Dr. Barzilay studies the factors that drive variability in the development of brain and behavior of youths growing up under stress.
Published on Apr 27, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
Dr. Nissim studies the relationship of the metabolome and the fluxome to the genome in normal and disease states.
Published on Mar 29, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
Dr. Choi, our Faculty Spotlight scientist for March, discusses the important role of mentorship in academia.
Published on Feb 28, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
From bench to bedside, Dr. Bhoj studies rare genetic disorders, particularly neurologic syndromes.
Published on Jan 26, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
Meet our first Faculty Spotlight scientist of 2022, Lan Lin, PhD.
Published on Nov 10, 2021 in Cornerstone Blog
Our Faculty Spotlight features Paul Offit, MD, director of the Vaccine Education Center at CHOP.
Published on Oct 12, 2021 in Cornerstone Blog
Our October Faculty Spotlight, Dr. Sarah Henrickson, is fascinated by the common threads between common inflammatory diseases.
Published on Aug 31, 2021 in Cornerstone Blog
Our August Faculty Spotlight scientist, Naiara Akizu Lopez, PhD, studies the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of neurologic disorders in children.
Published on Jul 26, 2021 in Cornerstone Blog
A scientist in our Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Dr. Song discusses mentorship and his long-term research goals.
Published on Jun 16, 2021 in Cornerstone Blog
Meet our featured Faculty Spotlight scientist for June, Will Bailis, PhD.
Published on May 10, 2021 in Cornerstone Blog
Meet our featured Faculty Spotlight scientist for May, Rebecca Ahrens-Nicklas, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Pediatrics at CHOP.
Published on Apr 13, 2021 in Cornerstone Blog
In our fourth Faculty Spotlight, David Hill, MD, PhD, shares ongoing research in his lab, advice for aspiring scientists, and much more.
Published on Mar 12, 2021 in Cornerstone Blog
Our March featured faculty member, Kathryn Hamilton, PhD, studies gastrointestinal epithelial stem cells.
Published on Feb 15, 2021 in Cornerstone Blog
In the second installment of our Faculty Spotlight series, meet Shaon Sengupta, MBBS, MPH, attending neonatologist and faculty investigator.
Published on Jan 11, 2021 in Cornerstone Blog
Join us in congratulating our 2020 recipients of the Excellence in Mentoring Trainees Award, Akiva Cohen, PhD, and Joseph Zackular, PhD.