Current research interests include innovative stem cell transplant preparative regimens, coagulation assays, novel therapeutic interventions and chemotherapy disposition. In addition, the division is developing a robust program on cancer survivorship and outcomes research, with multiple collaborators both inside and outside the department and institution.
Please see below to learn more about our investigators and their research efforts.
Scott C. Borinstein, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Borinstein's research focuses on the development of better treatment for pediatric sarcomas. Specifically, his laboratory investigates how changes in DNA methylation contribute to the pathogenesis of Ewing Sarcoma. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that contributes to the regulation of genes. His laboratory is trying to understand how DNA methylation contributes to Ewing Sarcoma tumor formation and spread and to determine if methylation of certain genes could play a role in diagnosis, treatment, or the development of novel treatments for this disease.
Michael R. DeBaun, M.D., MPH
Dr. DeBaun is a leading expert in the care of children with sickle cell disease. His research has focused on understanding cerebrovascular injury, or stroke, in children with sickle cell disease, and improving management of their care. DeBaun's work is also focused on better defining the impact and biological reasons asthma increases sickle cell disease morbidity and mortality. He is principal investigator for a second NIH study and is currently collaborating nationally and internationally to develop the first longitudinal cohort of children with sickle cell anemia who have been evaluated with repeated pulmonary function tests and sleep studies. DeBaun is also an expert in genetic cancer predisposition syndromes. His work defined the natural history and biological basis of malformation and cancer in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) as an epigenetic syndrome, related to the expression of DNA through cell division, or phenotype, rather than the structure of DNA itself.
Jennifer Domm, M.D.
Dr. Domm's research interests are pediatric hemostasis and thrombosis. She is also participating in multi-institutional clinical
trials evaluating novel coagulation assays.
Haydar Frangoul, M.D.
Dr. Frangoul's main research interest is in evaluating alternative Stem Cell sources such as unrelated donors for Stem Cell transplant. The main focus of interest is the role of the growth factor stimulated Bone Marrow in related donor transplant setting. Dr. Frangoul is also a national PI for a multi-center funded clinical trial evaluating a novel SCT preparative regimen.
Debra Friedman, M.D.
Dr. Friedman's research interests lie in the long term outcomes for cancer survivors, as well as in the design of novel therapeutic protocols for childhood cancer, designed to decrease adverse long-term effects of therapy. She has leadership roles in the Children's Oncology Group (COG) in Hodgkin Lymphoma, Retinoblastoma, Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology and Cancer Control and Survivorship. She is a principal or co-investigator on ten grants funded by the National Cancer Institute or the Lance Armstrong Foundation and is an internationally recognized expert in cancer survivorship, participating in projects evaluating best practices and models of care. She is investigating a diverse group of physiologic and psychosocial outcomes among survivors of pediatric cancer, hematopoietic stem cell transplant and medical oncology.
Richard Ho, M.D.
The main focus of Dr. Ho's research centers on the identification and functional characterization of naturally occurring polymorphisms in drug transport proteins as they relate to drug disposition. To this extent, the focus is on pharmacogenetics, the study of the role of inheritance in the individual variation in drug response. Dr. Ho is currently studying several transport proteins important to the disposition of a number of chemotherapeutics agents and include such transporters as the multi-drug resistance associated proteins (MRPs), the bile salt export pump (BSEP), and the breast cancer related protein (BCRP).
Robert Sidonio, Jr., M.D.
Dr. Sidonio's research interests are in thrombosis and hemostasis. His focus is on von Willebrand disease (VWD) particularly in the setting of menorrhagia. His data has shown that it is cost effective to screen for VWD in all adolescents that present with menorrhagia prior to starting oral contraceptive pills. He is hoping to build collaborations across the department to better manage VWD associated menorrhagia with novel therapies. His current clinical research projects include evaluating predictors of bleeding in children with von Willebrand disease undergoing tonsillectomy in an effort to further reduce the rate of delayed post tonsillectomy hemorrhage. He will be both in the pediatric hematology clinic evaluating benign hematology referrals and in the hemophilia treatment center caring for the many children with hemophilia and VWD in the middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky region.
Emmanuel Volanakis, M.D.
Dr. Volanakis is interested in the genetic and epigenetic events that contribute to the pathogenesis and progression of acute leukemia. The lab uses experimental models of disease to investigate how pathways that contribute to normal lymphopoiesis are hijacked during leukemogenesis, and invoke the protective response of tumor suppressors.