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ATRT Investigators -


Sridharan Gururangan, FRCP

University of Florida [Gainesville, FL]

Sridharan Gururangan, FRCP (Edin.), received his medical degree in 1981 from the University of Madras Chennai, India, proceeded to train in pediatrics in the United Kingdom and eventually became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians, U.K, in 1988. He was subsequently elected to fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh, U.K. in 2015. He became interested in treating children with cancer during his pediatric training in the U.K. and completed a leukemia research fellowship in Manchester, England.

Dr. Gururangan moved to the United States in 1991 to pursue his interest in pediatric oncology at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York where he completed his fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology in 1999. Dr. Gururangan moved to North Carolina to practice at Duke University Medical Center as the director of pediatric neuro-oncology at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center. For 17 years, he treated more than 1,200 children with brain tumors there and led several innovative clinical trials through his interaction with other investigators nationwide.

Dr. Gururangan joined the UF faculty as an endowed professor in the UF department of neurosurgery in 2016. He also holds a joint appointment in the UF department of pediatrics. He is board certified in pediatric hematology-oncology and neuro-oncology.

He is passionate about treating children with brain cancer and has been a resource and source of support for countless patients and family members.

Dr. Gururangan’s research interests are in developing new strategies for treatment of children with brain tumors with a special focus in the development of phase I and II trials of new drugs, including novel chemotherapy agents, small molecule inhibitors targeting receptor tyrosine kinases, anti-angiogenesis inhibitors, pharmacologic strategies that lead to reversal of drug resistance to alkylating agents, immunotherapy approaches to the treatment of recurrent medulloblastoma, and oncolytic viral therapy for neoplastic meningitis. His clinical research has led to more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals, five book chapters and more than 115 abstracts presented at various national and international scientific meetings.

Dr. Gururangan has earned several awards for his work with pediatric cancer patients, including the Excellence in Pediatric Clinical Research Award from the Society for Neuro-Oncology and two Shining Star Awards from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Dr. Gururangan is a member of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium and the Children’s Oncology Group.

Investigator on Clinical Trial:   MV-NIS  (NCT 02962167)


Joanne Lagmay, MD

University of Florida [Gainesville, FL]

Joanne Lagmay, M.D., is board-certified in general pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology.  Her main focus has been the multidisciplinary treatment of pediatric solid tumors, specifically pediatric sarcoma of the bone and soft tissue.  She also has special interest in pediatric palliative care.  Dr. Lagmay participates in several national professional societies and committees, including the Children’s Oncology Group, American Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, American Society of Hematology and Connective Tissue Oncologic Society.  Her practice integrates translational research in targeted radionuclide therapies for osteosarcoma in collaboration with UF Veterinary Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Material Science Engineering and Radiation Oncology.  Her direct collaboration with pediatric oncology colleagues in Florida has resulting phase I clinical trials for pediatric cancer patients in the state.  Dr. Lagmay came to UF in 2009 from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University where she was a fellow in pediatric hematology/oncology.  She did her pediatric residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Monmouth in New Jersey, where she also served as chief resident.

Research Interests

Her interest in ATRT research stem from how rare but very aggressive this cancer is and without new knowledge garnered from research about the biology of this disease, it will be very hard to improve the outcome and survival of these patients.  Research may reveal intrinsic vulnerabilities of this specific cancer, which can in turn lead to novel treatments that may afford non-overlapping toxicities to current treatment.

Dr. Lagmay leads the Pediatric Solid Tumor program. She is collaborating with members of the Departments of Veterinary Medicine, Radiological Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science and Radiation Oncology, in the development of polymerase mediated radionuclide therapies in a canine model for targeting osteosarcoma.

Investigator on Clinical Trial:  NCT03213665


Duane Mitchell, MD, PhD

University of Florida [Gainesville, FL]

Duane Anthony Mitchell, MD, PhD, is co-director of the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy and director of the UF Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program. He is the Phyllis Kottler Friedman Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and the State of Florida Endowed Cancer Research Chair at the UF College of Medicine.

Dr. Mitchell graduated from Rutgers College in New Brunswick  with a bachelor’s degree in biology before receiving his medical degree and doctorate degree in immunology from Duke University in Durham in 2001. Dr. Mitchell conducted his postgraduate training in pathology and neuro-oncology research fellowship at Duke University Medical Center prior to joining the faculty as an assistant professor.

During his tenure at Duke, Dr. Mitchell held positions as director of preclinical research at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center and associate director of the Duke Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program. He served as an active member of several institutional regulatory boards governing the conduct of human clinical trials.

In 2013, Dr. Mitchell joined the University of Florida faculty and leads a comprehensive brain tumor program focused on translational research. His addition to the brain tumor program at UF was made possible by the Wells Foundation gift, combined with matching funds from other university sources, totaling $20 million dedicated to brain tumor treatment and research.

He has considerable clinical and translational research experience having served as principal investigator on several first-in-human protocols through FDA-approved clinical trials. The goal of these trials is to see improvements in patient outcomes by using novel approaches that stimulate immune responses against malignant brain tumor cells in combination with current standard treatments. Dr. Mitchell’s research team will expand upon early successes observed in these personalized cancer treatment approaches and offer unique clinical options at UF Health for adult and pediatric patients diagnosed with malignant brain tumors.

Dr. Mitchell currently serves as a chartered member of the National Institutes of Health Study Section on Cancer Immunopathology and Immunotherapy, chair of the NCI Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium Immunotherapy Committee and gubernatorial appointee to the Florida Center for Brain Tumor Research Scientific Advisory Council.  He has published over 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and scientific reviews and is an inventor on many filed United States patents on findings from his oncological research. Dr. Mitchell has been invited to serve on numerous scientific advisory boards and to speak on neuro-oncology in local, national, and international venues.

Investigator on Clinical Trial:   MV-NIS (NCT 02962167)


Ziad Khatib, MD

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital [Miami, FL]

Dr. Khatib received his medical degree from American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He completed his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and a fellowship in hematology-oncology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Khatib is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, and the Society of Neuro-Oncology.

Dr. Khatib is the Director of NeuroOncology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital- Miami where he has been practicing for over 24 years. He is a clinical associate professor at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.

He participates in conducting research studies involving children with brain tumors and testing new approaches for cancer treatment.

Areas of Specialty:

  1. Brain tumors in children

  2. Retinoblastoma

  3. Vascular and lymphatic malformations

  4. Stroke and thrombosis

  5. Cancer genetics

  6. Complimentary and integrative approaches to brain tumors

PI on Clinical Trial:   NCT 02684071

Not Recruiting Patients


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