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Kristina A. Cole, MD, PhD
Kristina A. Cole
Attending Physician

Dr. Cole is a pediatric neuro-oncologist who has dedicated her career to translational and clinical research, combining her expertise in molecular pathology, cancer genomics, and developmental therapeutics to identify novel treatments for children with cancer.



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Dr. Cole’s research program involves the clinical translation of molecular targets, single-cell analysis of pediatric solid tumors, and studies of pediatric malignant glioma with ATRX deficiency.

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Cole is highly committed to translating scientific discoveries to the clinic. In this regard, her laboratory has performed loss of function genetic screens supporting four pediatric oncology clinical trials. She developed and leads a Children’s Oncology Group multi-institution clinical trial of the Wee1 inhibitor Adavosertib /AZD1775 and Irinotecan (ADVL1312). The Phase I dose finding portion is complete and the Phase II portion of the study is currently accruing patients to determine the clinical activity for children with relapsed neuroblastoma, medulloblastoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma.

As a lead investigator of the NIH Cancer Moonshot Center for Pediatric Tumor Cell Atlas, Dr. Cole is contributing her expertise in molecular pathology and pediatric cancer genomics to this project performing temporal and spatial multi-omic single cell analyses from prospectively collected pediatric neuroblastoma, malignant glioma, and high-risk leukemia patient specimens.

Pediatric malignant glioma is the deadliest pediatric cancer. Since about a third have ATRX deficiency and alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), Dr. Cole’s recent laboratory efforts have been to target these vulnerabilities. In collaboration with the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium, Dr. Cole has created reagents to accomplish this, including an integrated set of 70 sequenced tumors with corresponding cell lines, patient-derived xenografts, and a tissue microarray.

Education and Training

BS, Dickinson College (Chemistry), 1992

PhD, University of Maryland (Pathology), 1999

MD, University of Maryland, 2001

Residency, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Pediatrics), 2004

Fellowship, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Hematology/Oncology), 2007

Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Physician

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Professional Memberships

American Association for Cancer Research, 1994-

American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2007-

American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 2007-

Children's Oncology Group, 2007-

Abramson Cancer Center, 2013-

Pacific Neuro-Oncology Consortium (Site Co-PI), 2015-

Society for Neuro-Oncology, 2015-

Professional Awards

The David G. Nathan Award, SPR/ASPHO, 2007

William Guy Forbeck Scholar Award, 2007

Best Abstract and Presentation Award, Advances in Neuroblastoma Research, 2010

Publication Highlights