Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
Meet Thomas Alexander
Area of Interest
Thomas Alexander, MD, MPH, is combining cancer genomic sequencing with early phase clinical trials to enhance understanding of disease response dynamics and improve outcomes in childhood leukemia and other hematological malignancies. Alexander is currently investigating new cancer therapeutics and serves as co-investigator or principal investigator for several multi-institutional early phase clinical trials.
Currently, he is involved in testing efficacy of combined venetoclax and navitoclax therapy in patients with relapsed ALL or lymphoblastic lymphoma who are also receiving chemotherapy. He is the co-leader the Pediatric Oncology Developmental Therapeutics and Pharmacology Program at UNC. In the lab, Alexander is focused on exploring the biology of minimal residual disease in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, through RNA sequencing and epigenetic studies, at both a bulk and single cell level. The ultimate goal is to develop more rational therapeutic targets for patients with persistent MRD.
Additionally, he is developing a project to explore a novel sequencing platform for cancer diagnostics, specifically with the goal of improving diagnostic capabilities in low and middle income counties. Alexander works extensively in all of these efforts with collaborators at UNC, including those at the Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences, the Center of Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease, and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Awards and Honors
- Carolina For The Kids Faculty Investigator Award, 2020-2021
- St. Baldrick Research Award Grant, 2019-2020
- Abstract Achievement Award, American Society of Hematology, 2016
- Young Investigator Travel Grant, Society for Hematologic Oncology, 2015
- WakeMed Pediatric Resident of the Year, 2012-2013
- Harvey J. Hamrick Award for Excellence in Teaching, UNC Pediatrics, 2012-2013
- Floyd W. Denny Alumni Society Resident Award, UNC Pediatrics, 2012-2013
- Harvey J. Hamrick Award for Excellence in Teaching, UNC Pediatrics, 2010-2011
News and Stories
Nanotechnology offers lower cost, high accuracy approach to diagnosing leukemias in low resource countries
A newer, less expensive nanotechnology may make it possible to more accurately diagnose children with acute leukemia in lower income countries, according to findings by Thomas Alexander, MD, MPH, and colleagues.
Early phase study finds combination therapy effective against difficult to treat leukemia and lymphoma
Thomas Alexander, MD, MPH, and colleagues published findings from a study that found pairing venetoclax with low-dose navitoclax and chemotherapy had promising efficacy in patients with difficult to treat leukemia and lymphoma.
Alexander outlines efforts to develop pediatric cancer fellowship program in Ethiopia
Thomas Alexander, MD, MPH, and colleagues report on their work to help establish a pediatric hematology-oncology training curriculum in Ethiopia.