Mission Statement

To understand how brain tumors develop in children and identify personalized treatment strategies.

Specific Aims

1.    To conduct early phase clinical trials in children with CNS malignancies, with the goal to target specific pathways or molecularly characterized alterations with drugs or strategies specific to each patient
2.    To coordinate the translation of pre-clinical laboratory findings into new therapeutic strategies for children with CNS malignancies

In order to achieve our Specific Aims and ensure we fulfil our Mission Statement, PNOC has developed a set of Core Values and Strategic Pillars that operationally guides the Consortium’s priorities and scientific decisions.

Our Core Values:



Our Core Values are driven by the need to quickly address the significant unmet need of children and young adults with CNS tumors with a set of guiding principles.  We will conduct experiments often, fail fast, learn quickly from our mistakes and try again.  We will work rapidly, quickly translating discoveries in the lab to the bedside, and then get the data back to our labs in real time.  We do not believe we should remain constrained by study conduct only within North America, and we will reach out to other countries and continents to complete studies quickly. We believe collectively, and globally we can push for breakthroughs and remain bold, pushing boundaries, being both safe and disruptive, not constrained by conservative strategies of the past, with the understanding that the stakes are high and incremental results are not our goal.  Our stakeholders are our patients and their families.  Being innovative, collaborative and bold are critical to the mission of PNOC.

PNOC Strategic Pillars

Essential to our Mission, Specific Aims, and Core Values, are the following key Strategic Pillars that inform our day-to-day operations:

1. TRANSLATIONAL BRIDGE TO BEDSIDE: In a commitment to improving the lives of children affected by CNS tumors, PNOC will only perform rapidly translatable studies that are based on strong scientific data, that are biologically and clinically interrogatable for success and failure, and that maximize a collaborative shared resource environment for accelerative preclinical development.

2. DISEASE FOCUS: PNOC will focus on bold and innovative approaches to disease states with unmet needs that we are uniquely positioned to tackle.

3. CLINICAL TRIAL CONDUCT: To offer broad access globally to innovative, patient-centered therapies through agile clinical trial implementation and expanded eligibility criteria to improve outcomes in young people with CNS tumors.

The PNOC leadership, Member Institutions and PNOC Scientific Committee, with support from the Operations Office will collectively ensure we remain true to our Core Values and guiding Strategic Pillars, in order to fulfil our Specific Aims and Mission Statement.

About PNOC

The Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC) was formed to provide children with brain tumors access to innovative treatments. What sets us apart is that we pursue clinical strategies that are based on the molecular and genetic make-up of each tumor. We test therapies aimed at interfering with specific cellular pathways or mutations after confirming that a patient’s tumor has those characteristics, sparing patients therapy that is not optimized for their tumor type. 

The teams at each of PNOC’s 18 participating hospitals are made up of specialists in different areas of pediatric brain tumor treatment – such as oncology, neurosurgery, and radiation therapy – who combine their expertise to optimize care for each patient. The teams also include nurses, social workers, and hospital staff with an in-depth understanding of the needs of families and children suffering from brain tumors. Finally, each site has scientists actively engaged in laboratory research on pediatric tumor biology who work with clinicians to turn their findings into therapies.

PNOC Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee consists of designated key physicians and laboratory investigators at each of the Member Institutions. The goal of the Scientific Committee is to advise and assist in setting the scientific strategy of the PNOC. The members of the Scientific Committee play a critical role in developing the translational agenda, and assist and conduct pre‐clinical and laboratory studies as needed to support the development of study concepts and/or correlative studies linked to specific PNOC clinical trials.

Committee Members

Oren Becher, MD
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (Lurie)

Rishi Lulla, MD, MS
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (Lurie)

Girish Dhall, MD
Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)

Ashley Margol, MD
Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)

Anat Epstein, MD, PhD
Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)

Adam Resnick, PhD - CHAIR
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Angela Waanders, MD, MPH
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Michael Fisher, MD
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Brian Rood, MD
Children's National Medical Center (CNMC)

Javad Nazarian, PhD
Children's National Medical Center (CNMC)

Yanxin Pei, PhD
Children's National Medical Center (CNMC)

Miriam Bornhorst, MD
Children's National Medical Center (CNMC)
Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (CHRCO)

Mimi Bandopadhayay, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI)

Mark Kieran, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI)

Mohamed AbdelBaki, MD
Nationwide Children's (Nationwide)

Dean Lee, MD, PhD
Nationwide Children's (Nationwide)

Elaine Mardis, PhD
Nationwide Children's (Nationwide)

Monika Davare, PhD
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)

Yoon-Jae Cho, MD
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)

Ibrahim Qaddoumi, MD, MS
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (St Jude)

Amar Gajjar, MD
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (St Jude)

Rob Prins, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Linda Liau, MD
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Rob Wechsler-Reya, PhD
University of California, San Diego / Rady Children’s Hospital (UCSD/Rady)

Donald Durden, MD, PhD
University of California, San Diego / Rady Children’s Hospital (UCSD/Rady)

David Raleigh, MD, PhD
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
University of Utah (UTAH)
University of Washington / Seattle Children's (UW/Seattle)

Josh Rubin, MD, PhD
Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL)

  • 132 Pediatric Brain Tumor Specialists
  • 7 active clinical trials
  • 18 participating
  • PI Spotlight

    Tom Davidson, MD
    Pediatric Neuro-oncologist
    Dr. Tom Davidson is a pediatric oncologist at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. She is interested in combining immunotherapy with cancer treatment, and is currently developing a vaccine therapy trial for children with high-grade gliomas.