Assistant Professor, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Global Health Fellow, UNC Project-Malawi
Area of Interest
I have extensive experience living and working in sub-Saharan Africa through the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Global Health Fellowship in Botswana and the Fogarty Global Health Fellowship in Malawi. During both fellowships, I have gained skills in conducting clinical research in sub-Saharan Africa and have been highly productive with 13 published manuscripts (6 first author, 2 second author). During my Fogarty fellowship at UNC Project-Malawi under the primary mentorship of Satish Gopal, MD, MPH, I gained skills and expertise conducting clinical research in pediatric and adolescent Burkitt Lymphoma and Hodgkin Lymphoma. Additionally, I led the translation and validation of the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information Systems (PROMIS) instrument to measure health-related quality of life (HRQoL) with the mentorship of Bryce Reeve, PhD.
Throughout my clinical work in sub-Saharan Africa, I was challenged by the lack of data to support standardized treatment approaches and optimal dosing for the most common chemotherapy agents. Therefore, I was competitively awarded the UNC-Duke Clinical Pharmacology T32 clinical fellowship which has given me a foundation of knowledge in clinical trial design and pharmacokinetics, with the additional mentorship of Daniel Gonzalez, PharmD, PhD.
After my T32 fellowship in June 2019, I joined faculty at UNC as an Assistant Professor and returned to Malawi full time, where I will be only the second pediatric hematology oncology physician in the entire country. I was recently awarded a Fogarty K01 award and for the next 5 years my research will focus on optimizing treatment outcomes of adolescent and young adult patients with Burkitt Lymphoma in Malawi through a Methotrexate dose escalation phase I clinical trial including methotrexate pharmacokinetics. This award will enable me to become a successful independent global health investigator and to develop an R01 application where I will lead future clinical trials to optimized chemotherapy dosing and improve survival and quality of life for children and adolescents with cancer in sub-Saharan Africa.
Awards and Honors
- Pope Clinical Trainee Award, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, 2018
- Best Global Capacity Building Poster – American Society of Hematology (ASH) Meeting, 2018
- Best Case Report – UNC Day of Scholarship, 2018
- International Society for Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) – Best poster in section, 2017
- Fifth International Symposium on Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma – Best poster at conference, 2015
- Mead Johnson Travel Award, 2012
- Western Society for Clinical Investigation Travel Award, 2011
- Dr. Sergio Huerta Resident Research Award, 2011
- International Elective Award, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011
- Spirit of Residency Award, 2011
- Resident of the Year, Primary Children’s Medical Center, 2011
- Pediatric Global Health Resident Travel Award, 2011
- R.W. Pritchard History of Medicine Award, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 2009
- Wake Forest University School of Medicine International Service Scholarship, 2006, 2009
- Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, 2009