Ironmatt Medical Advisory Committee

IronMatt’s Medical Advisory Committee is dedicated to finding viable treatments for pediatric brain tumors. Volunteering their time, the MAC provides crucial medical knowledge to the Board and acts as the peer reviewers for all grant submissions.

Hands and brain doodle

Pediatric Neuro-Oncology | Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Matthias Karajannis is a pediatric neuro-oncologist who has cared for children with brain tumors, spinal cord tumors, and neurofibromatosis for two decades. As Chief of the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering, he leads one of the busiest programs in the country. 

His team is committed to young patients with brain tumors and driven to accelerate progress in the way we diagnose and care for them. Dr. Karajannis is an NIH-funded clinical investigator, with a special interest in translational research and developing novel, molecular-targeted therapies. Areas of investigation include clinical trials, translational research, precision medicine including “liquid biopsies”, and molecularly targeted therapies. 

Dr. Karajannis provides scientific leadership within national and international clinical trials cooperative groups including the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), NF Clinical Trials Consortium (NFCTC), and Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC). He currently serves as the study chair for pediatric neuro-oncology clinical trials within these consortia. 

Dr. Karajannis received his MS from New York University School of Medicine and his MD from Free University Berlin. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center.

Professor of Therapeutic Radiology and Experimental Pathology |
Co-Director, Yale Brain Tumor Center | Yale Medical School

Dr. Ranjit S. Bindra is a physician-scientist at the Yale School of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 1998, and both his MD and PhD from the Yale School of Medicine in 2007. 

He completed his medical internship, radiation oncology residency, and post-doctoral research studies at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in 2012. During his time at MSKCC, he was mentored under Dr. Suzanne Wolden in the Department of Radiation Oncology, which has largely shaped his interest in developing new therapeutics for pediatric cancers. 

Dr. Bindra is also very active on social media (@ranjitbindra) as both a patient and science advocate, with an interest in garnering support for cancer research, and in educating the community about the latest treatment options that are available. 

He has successfully translated several discoveries from his own laboratory directly into clinical trials, including therapies for pediatric brain tumors. Dr. Bindra is also an active biotechnology entrepreneur, having founded five companies, with an interest in developing novel therapeutics specifically for pediatric cancers.

Senior Vice President, Research | Mozart Therapeutics

Dr. Courtney Crane is the Senior Vice President of Research at Mozart Therapeutics. Previously an Associate Professor at the University of Washington, she established and mentored a research team that developed novel cell therapy platforms using gene-edited natural killer cells and macrophages for the delivery of several classes of soluble proteins, including cytokines, bispecific T cell engagers, and full-length antibodies. 

During this time, she established several industry-sponsored research programs and successfully out-licensed multiple technologies developed in her lab to a publicly traded biotech company. 

Dr. Crane received her Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Virginia under the mentorship of Dr. Margo Roberts and completed her postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco, studying the dysregulation of immune responses in brain tumors with Drs. Lewis Lanier and Andrew Parsa before starting an independent research program as academic faculty. 

She is an author of over 30 peer-reviewed publications and patents and continues her role as strategic advisor for public and privately-held biotechnology industry partners.

Dr. Neil A. Feldstein attended medical school at New York University and then went on to complete his residency training at the Baylor School of Medicine, followed by his fellowship training at the New York University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Feldstein has been the director of the Division of Pediatric Neurological Surgery at the New York – Presbyterian Hospital since 1994. Under his directorship, the division has grown to three full-time pediatric neurological surgeons who cover all aspects of pediatric neurological surgery. 

Among his interests and expertise is a national reputation in the management of Chiari Malformations and SpinaDysraphism. He has an active practice in subspecialty areas, including brain and spinal cord tumors, craniofacial abnormalities, and vascular malformations such as Moyamoya, AVMs, and cavernous malformations. 

In an effort to decrease operative time, morbidity, and hospital stay, Dr. Feldstein has begun to utilize endoscopic assistance to perform common procedures through smaller incisions. This is currently seen in the management of craniosynostosis, Chiari malformations, and in certain forms of hydrocephalus.

Professor Emeritus | Ohio State University

Dr. Jonathan L. Finlay’s most recent position was as Program Director of Neuro-Oncology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Finlay is a tenured Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized expert in pediatric brain tumors and has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications in leading medical journals and over 80 review articles and book chapters. 

Prior to coming to Nationwide Children’s, Dr. Finlay was the Director of the Neural Tumors Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and served as Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology & Neurological Surgery, at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. 

Between 1982 and 2003, he held faculty positions in Pediatric Oncology at Stanford University (1980-1982), University of Wisconsin-Madison (1982-1987), University of Pennsylvania (1987-1989), Cornell University/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (1989-1993) and New York University (1997-2003). 

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology | Columbia University

Dr. James H. Garvin is Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York. He is an expert on ependymoma and infant brain tumors. He is the principal investigator at Columbia for the Head Start Consortium. 

Dr. Garvin received his MD from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, completing medical training as a resident at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and fellow at the Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Neuro-Oncology Chair, Department of Child Health, SVP Research |
University of Arizona College of Medicine

Dr. Goldman came to Phoenix after a 23-year tenure at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, formerly known as Children’s Memorial Hospital, and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where he was the division head of Hematology-Oncology, Neuro-Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation. There, he was honored as the Meryl Suzanne Weiss Distinguished Professor in Hematology, Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation and served as a professor of Pediatrics.

An accomplished leader in brain tumor research, his contributions to the medical and scientific communities are significant. Dr. Goldman has published more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has held various leadership positions within the Children’s Oncology Group, the National Cancer Institute’s Brain Malignancies Steering Committee, multiple committees for the American Society for Pediatric Hematology Oncology, as well as the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium’s Executive, Steering and Scientific Committees. 

Dr. Goldman received his medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and completed his internship, residency, and fellowship at the University of Chicago Hospitals.

Section Chief, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics | Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine | HMH Hackensack
University Medical Center

The Hospital for Sick Children/Research Institute | University of Toronto

Dr. Cynthia Hawkins obtained her Ph.D. in 1996 and her MD in 1997 from the University of Western Ontario. She completed her residency training in neuropathology at the University of Toronto in 2002, including a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Zurich. 

Dr. Hawkins joined The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) as a neuropathologist in 2002. She is a Senior Scientist at the SickKids Research Institute and a Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at The University of Toronto. 

Dr. Hawkins’ clinical practice includes both surgical and autopsy pediatric neuropathology. She is best known for her expertise in pediatric brain tumors and has a research lab devoted to pediatric astrocytoma. Her research interests include molecular pathogenesis and therapeutics for pediatric glioma and clinical implementation of novel diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic markers for pediatric brain tumors. 

The Hawkins laboratory has published seminal work regarding genetic characterization of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) as well the clinical implications of mutant histones in pediatric astrocytoma.

Neurology and Neuro-Oncology | Stanford University

Dr. Michelle Monje joined the faculty at Stanford University in 2011 as an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neuro-Oncology. Following her undergraduate degree in biology at Vassar College, Dr. Monje received her MD and PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University. She then completed a neurology residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School program. 

She subsequently returned to Stanford for a clinical fellowship in pediatric neuro-oncology and a postdoctoral fellowship. The scope of her research program encompasses the molecular determinants of neural precursor cell fate, neuronal-glial interactions, and the role of neural precursor cells in oncogenesis and repair mechanisms. 

As a practicing neurologist and neuro-oncologist, Dr. Monje is dedicated to understanding the neurodevelopmental origins of pediatric brain tumors and the neurological consequences of cancer treatment.

Pediatric Neurosurgery | New York-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Mark M. Souweidane completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan. He then went on to attend Wayne State University Medical School. His general surgery internship was completed at the University of Michigan Hospitals and his neurosurgery residency at New York University, followed by his clinical fellowship for pediatric neurosurgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. 

Dr. Souweidane has dedicated his career to the surgical treatment of children with brain and spinal disorders. He has gained international acclaim in minimally invasive endoscopic neurosurgery for the treatment of hydrocephalus, intraventricular brain tumors, colloid cysts, and congenital cysts. His other areas of expertise include brain and spinal cord tumors of childhood, Chiari malformations, congenital spinal disorders, arachnoid cysts, and pediatric vascular disorders. 

He is the principal investigator of a laboratory that is partly funded by the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Dr. Souweidane’s laboratory focuses on improving the outcome of children with brain tumors by studying experimental local delivery and brain tumor modeling.

Eileen Stark, MSN, CPNP

Clinical Scientist | Cellectics, Inc.

Since 2005, Eileen Stark has been a Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplant at the Children’s Hospital of New York Presbyterian, Columbia University. 

There, she provides comprehensive care and support for children with brain and spinal cord tumors, supporting the journey from aggressive lifesaving treatment to palliative and end-of-life care. 

Her primary research interest is how nutrition affects therapies and outcomes of children with brain tumors. Other areas of interest include complementary / alternative medicine in pediatric oncology, including nutrition, supplements, massage, acupuncture, essential oils, and aroma therapy. 

She recently took a position as a clinical scientist at Cellectics where she uses her 20 years of expertise in gene editing to research the immune system’s ability to target and eradicate cancer cells.

Dr. Christopher Tinkle is a pediatric radiation oncologist focused on improveing the outcomes and reducing the treatment-associated morbidity of children and adolescents with cancer. 

To this end, his research interests are focused on the application of advancing molecular understanding of cancer initiation, progression and treatment resistance, as well as the susceptibility to therapy-related toxicity to better inform clinical trial development, risk stratification, and cancer therapy application. Specific research interests include brain tumors and sarcomas.

Doodle of three people united as one