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Jennifer M. Kalish, MD, PhD
Jennifer M. Kalish
Director, Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome Program of Excellence

Dr. Kalish's research focuses on understanding the molecular and epigenetic mechanisms that contribute to the predisposition to cancer that is characteristic of pediatric patients with rare imprinted gene disorders, including the overgrowth disorder Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS).

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Bio

Dr. Kalish leads a research program aimed at understanding the molecular and epigenetic mechanisms that contribute to the predisposition to cancer that is characteristic of pediatric patients with rare imprinted gene disorders, including the overgrowth disorder Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS).

Using human cell-based models (derived from patients with BWS), Dr. Kalish and her team conduct molecular profiling and genome-wide analysis to identify possible cellular pathways that contribute to tumor formation and overgrowth in BWS patients. She is also developing novel animal models to evaluate genetic and/or epigenetic changes that have been associated with BWS and cancer development.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s cohort of BWS patients is the largest in the country, and many patients participate in the clinical registry and biorepository initiated by Dr. Kalish and Dr. Matthew Deardorff that has become a vital resource to filling critical gaps in clinical knowledge about BWS and 11p Overgrowth Spectrum. Individuals of all ages with BWS or other forms of growth differences and cancer predisposition are welcome to participate in the registry, even if not treated at CHOP.

Dr. Kalish shared her expertise in the development of an international consensus statement for overall management of BWS and authored screening recommendations for North America that suggest children with overgrowth syndromes be evaluated and monitored by geneticists and cancer predisposition specialists. She implements these latest guidelines as an attending physician in a multidisciplinary clinic at CHOP for children with BWS and related disorders. Dr. Kalish also organized the first Deciphering Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome Conference held at CHOP in 2017 to engage patients, families, and healthcare providers in a dialogue about BWS research and new clinical guidelines.

Education and Training

BA, Harvard University (Chemistry and Physics), 1998

PhD, Yale University (Genetics), 2006

MD, Yale University, 2007

Fellowship, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Genetics and Epigenetics), 2015

MTR, University of Pennsylvania (Translational Research), 2015

Titles and Academic Titles

Director, Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome Program of Excellence

Director, Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome Clinic

Attending Physician

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Assistant Professor of Genetics

Professional Awards

Peter Duncan Fellow Award, 33rd David W. Smith Workshop, 2012

KL2 Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics Scholar, 2013

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Young Investigator Award , 2013

Distinguished Trainee Award, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 2014

John M. Opitz Young Investigator Award, American Journal of Medical Genetics, 2014

Publication Highlights