Keynote Speakers

Elaine R. Mardis, PhD.

Elaine Mardis, PhD is co-Executive Director of the Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and holds the Rasmussen Nationwide Foundation Endowed Chair in Genomic Medicine. She also is Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Dr. Mardis was previously on faculty at Washington University School of Medicine for 22 years, where she was named the Robert E. and Louise F. Dunn Distinguished Professor of Medicine. Dr. Mardis serves on the Supervisory Board of Qiagen N.V. and on the Board of Directors of Singular Genomics Systems, Inc.

She is an internationally recognized expert in cancer genomics and immunogenomics, with over 430 published manuscripts. Her ongoing research interests lie in the integrated characterization of cancer genomes, defining DNA-based somatic and germline interactions and RNA-based pathways and immune microenvironments that lead to cancer onset and progression, with a focus on pediatric cancers and precision oncology.

Dr. Mardis is the former President of the American Association for Cancer Research. In 2019 she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine.

Elaine R. Mardis, PhD.

Praveen Raju, MD, PhD

Dr. Praveen Raju is Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York

He completed his MD and PhD training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, his Pediatrics residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, and his Pediatric Neurology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He performed postdoctoral research work at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center developing sophisticated mouse genetics tools to better model human diseases before moving on to setting up his independent pediatric brain tumor research lab in 2010. He was recently recruited to his current position in 2020 where he established and co-directs the Mount Sinai Children’s Brain and Spinal Tumor Center.

In addition to his clinical duties as a pediatric neurologist with a focus on neuro-oncology, Dr. Raju runs a translational research lab focused on medulloblastoma and other pediatric brain tumors and has been recently working on nanomedicine-based drug delivery approaches to bypass the blood-brain barrier with the goal of enhancing drug efficacy and minimizing treatment-related side effects.

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Praveen Raju, MD, PhD

Victoria W. Willard, PhD

PhD – Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
MA – Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
BA – Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri

  • Research Interests
  • Social outcomes in children with cancer
  • Impact of medical, demographic, and psychological factors on social dysfunction and/or resilience
  • Interaction between neurocognitive and social functioning
  • Development of evidence-based interventions to target social dysfunction in children with cancer
  • Impact of diagnosis during early childhood on social-emotional development

Research Links and Profile

Google Scholar Profile

Victoria W. Willard