July 2021

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July 16, 2021

Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center Ranks Top 10

U.S. News & World Report has ranked the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta the top pediatric cancer program in the Southeast and No. 6 in the nation on its list of “Best Children’s Hospitals” for 2021-22. In 2020, our Center generated over $50 million in extramural research funding from the NIH to support basic science research, which supports our mission as a cancer and blood disorders center that is committed to exceptional patient care, innovation and research.
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Dr. Naadira Upshaw Selected as Inaugural Recipient of the DEI Award in Psychology
On June 23, 2021, it was announced that Dr. Naadira Upshaw was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Keith A. Wood, PhD, ABPP Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award in Psychology. This award was created to recognize the Emory University School of Medicine doctoral intern, postdoctoral resident, or faculty member in psychology who best demonstrates the spirit and action of commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and community engagement that promotes the advancement of impactful change in our community. Dr. Upshaw is recognized for her achievements in service, teaching, training and leadership.
FDA Phase 3 Trial Approval of ULTOMIRIS® for Children and Adolescents with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)
Researchers at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta have been at the forefront of the treatment of rare anemias. The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center was one of two sites in the United States to study patients with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) through Phase 3 clinical trial of long-acting complement C5 inhibitor, Ravulizumab (Ultomiris). Under the leadership of Dr. Satheesh Chonat, our contributions have been key to the FDA approval of Ultomiris, the first approved complement inhibitor for the treatment of children and adolescents with PNH. Dr. Chonat presented the interim findings from the multinational clinical trial at the recent European Hematology Association meeting in June 2021.
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Welcome New Providers and Staff
Joining our team are Caroline Scales, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for the Hemostasis/Thrombosis team, and Rachel True, Egleston Campus Practice Manager. (Pictured left to right)
AJC Announces 2021 "Celebrating Nurses" Award
Congratulations to Cinnamon Coffey, Lindsey Goldberg, James Ludemann, Laney Perdue, and Karen Wilson on being nominated for the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s (AJC) 2021 “Celebrating Nurses” award.
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Aflac Sickle Cell Disease Center Transition

Since 2002, Dr. Peter Lane has served as Director of the Aflac Sickle Cell Disease Program, which has grown to become the largest in the nation. Dr. Lane has been the Aflac Field Force Chair for Sickle Cell Disease since 2008, was the Emory Department of Pediatrics Teacher of the Year in Sub-specialty Pediatrics in 2016, and the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia’s Volunteer Partner of the Year in 2017. Thank you Dr. Lane for your outstanding service and contribution to Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center for the last 19 years!

Dr. Lane plans to continue his teaching and service within the Sickle Cell Disease program and Dr. Beatrice Gee will serve as the Interim Program Director. Dr. Jason Payne will be the Medical Director for the Sickle Cell Disease Program at Hughes Spalding. (Pictured left to right)
From Bench to Bedside, Dr. Manoj Bhasin is Moving High Dimensional Genomic Data into Clinical Practice
On June 29, during the 81st Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association, Dr. Manoj Bhasin unveiled some of the latest developments in multi-dimensional and spatial single-cell omics during the session High Dimensional Data in Epidemiologic Research—Gentle Introduction to Methods and Survey of Strengths and Limitations.
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Congratulations to Our 2021 Graduating Fellows
We are so proud of our incredible fellows for successfully completing a 3-year fellowship program in Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and BMT. We are excited to have Drs. Holly Edington (Clinical Instructor), Diana Fridlyand (Sr. Associate) and Julie Gilbert (Sr. Associate) continue their careers at the Aflac Cancer Center. Dr. Juhi Jain has accepted an Assistant Professor position in Arizona and Dr. Pratik Patel will be undertaking an Emory Pediatric Infectious Disease fellowship. Congratulations to Dr. Elna Saah who received the 2021 Fellows' Appreciation Award and to Dr. Brad George on receiving the Fellows’ Teaching Award!
CURE Childhood Cancer Funds Aflac Precision Medicine Program and Investigators
The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center was recently awarded more than $1.8M by CURE Childhood Cancer to fund seven individual research projects and the Aflac Precision Medicine Program. With this year’s commitment, CURE continues their mission of conquering childhood cancer through funding targeted research while supporting patients and their families.
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ISTH 2021 Virtual Congress
The XXIX Congress of the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) will be virtually hosted from Philadelphia on July 17-21. Our faculty will play many key roles including members of the planning committee, moderators, poster presentations and invited speakers.
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Join us for the Annual 95.5 WSB Care-a-Thon

The 21st annual WSB Care-a-Thon will take place Thursday, July 29 and Friday, July 30. Each year patients, families and staff share stories of hope and inspiration to help raise funds for research, fellowship and the family support team at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
Learn more and donate today!


Brown MC, *White MH, Friedberg R, Woods K, Childress K, Kulkarni M, *Sidonio RF
“Elevated von Willebrand Factor Levels During Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Episodes Limit the Diagnostic Utility for von Willebrand Disease” – Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis

Gish J, Jarvis L, Childers KC, Peters SC, Garrels CS, Smith IW, *Spencer HT, *Doering CB, *Lollar P, Spiegel PC
“Structure of Blood Coagulation Factor VIII in Complex with an Anti-C1 Domain Pathogenic Antibody Inhibitor” – Blood

*Ji X, *Castellino S, *Mertens A, Zhao J, Nogueira L, Jeml A, Yabroff KR, Han X
“Association of Medicaid Expansion with Cancer Stage and Disparities in Newly Diagnosed Young Adults” – Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Murphy C, *Upshaw N, Thomas A, *Fong G, *Janss A, *Mazewski C, *Ingerski LM
“Impact of Executive Functioning on Health-Related Quality of Life of Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors” – Pediatric Blood & Cancer

Oratz T, Ogletree R, Gettis M, *Cherven B
“Oral Chemotherapy: An Evidence-Based Practice Change for Safe Handling of Patient Waste” – Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing

*Sidonio RF, *Batsuli G
“Plasma Factor IX: The Tip of the Iceberg?” – Haemophilia

*Woodward K, *Johnson Y, Cohen L, *Dampier C, *Sil S
“Psychosocial risk and health care utilization in pediatric sickle cell disease” – Pediatric Blood & Cancer

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