Project Committee

World Child Cancer’s Project Committee is a board of volunteer healthcare professionals who respond to new project requests. They review project applications for 5 year plans, carry out needs assessment visits, and report on and recommend projects to the Board of Directors. Once projects are up and running, the Project Committee mentor and advise at both ends of the partnership as well as help develop all aims and objectives of the project plan. They continue to monitor projects and aid in fundraising for the work carried out. Please read more about our Project Committee members:

Shaun Wilson – Project Committee Chairman

Shaun Wilson is a Paediatric Oncologist based at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. Shaun received his medical degree from the University of Cape Town and subsequently, he started his career as a Community Medical Officer in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. He undertook his Paediatric Oncology training in Australia and the United Kingdom, completing his Ph.D. in translational oncology at the University of Birmingham, UK. His particular interests include the management of children, teenagers and young adults with brain tumors, sarcomas and rare tumors. He has national roles in the UK specialist groups managing embryonal brain tumors, germ cell tumors and TYA oncology. His interest in the management of childhood cancer in resource-limited countries derives from his growing up in Africa combined with a desire to provide access to sustainable healthcare for vulnerable people.

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Alison Finch 

Alison is Matron and Lead Nurse for Children and Young People’s Cancer at University College Hospital in London. Alongside her NHS roles, Alison has maintained a long standing interest in nursing overseas having volunteered over a number of years with an NGO in Azerbaijan, undertaken field trips to northern and southern India exploring the core values and role of nursing, and more recently in 2012 Alison visited Bangladesh with World Child Cancer to co-lead a nurse education program in our twinned hospital, BSMMU in Dhaka. Alison has a particular interest in nursing leadership and teenage and young adult cancer care. She is a published author and loves getting involved in nurse led research projects and activities. Alison has an MSc in advancing professional healthcare practice (palliative care) and was awarded an MBE for services to nursing in 2009.

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Dr. John van Doorninck

Dr. van Doorninck is a pediatric oncologist practicing at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver, Colorado, USA. A native of Denver, he studied medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and completed his training in pediatric hematology/oncology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. There, he served as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Bone Marrow Transplantation prior to accepting his current position. Dr. van Doorninck’s interest in delivering pediatric cancer care in low and middle-income countries took hold in 2007, when he took inspiration from work being done by members of SIOP’s PODC (International Society of Paediatric Oncology, group for Pediatric Oncology in Developing Countries). His interest further developed through discussions with Professor Tim Eden of World Child Cancer. In 2014, he became formally involved in establishing World Child Cancer’s presence in the United States and in 2017 he joined the Global Project Committee. His wife, Dana Bryson, serves on the Board of Directors of World Child Cancer USA. They have two children.

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Gabriele Calaminus

Gabriele Calaminus is Head of Global Advocacy and the Past-President of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP). She is an international expert on brain tumours, germ cell tumours and quality of life. Dr Calaminus is a prolific author of numerous scientific publications and was instrumental in the establishment of key partnerships for SIOP, including that with the World Health Organization, Childhood Cancer International (CCI), World Child Cancer, the Union for International Cancer Control, and with the Sanofi Espoir Foundation

 

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Stephen Hunger

Stephen Hunger, MD is a Medical Trustee of World Child Cancer USA who is a pediatric hematologist oncologist with over twenty years of experience and leadership roles in the field.

Dr. Hunger received a Bachelors degree in Applied Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a MD from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and then completed training in Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He has been a faculty member at academic center for almost 20 years and currently is Professor of Pediatric and Chief of the Section of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplantation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the Ergen Family Chair in Pediatric Cancer and Director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Dr. Hunger’s research and clinical activities are focused on improving understanding of the molecular genetics of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and translating new discoveries into improved outcomes via clinical trials and linked translational research studies. He is the Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) ALL committee and in that role is responsible for oversight of the design and conduct of clinical trials and linked translational research studies that enroll over 2000 patient each year. Dr. Hunger is also the Leader of the Childhood ALL High Risk ALL TARGET (Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Targets) Project, a multi-institutional collaborative genomics effort that has discovered new sentinel genetic lesions in childhood ALL that are leading to new therapies.

Dr. Hunger has extensive experience in international pediatric cancer. He has worked closely with international colleagues to increase collaboration in childhood ALL basic and translational research and to develop new collaborative clinical trials in high risk ALL subsets. Dr. Hunger directs a twinning relationship with the pediatric oncology programs in the Dominican Republic to improve outcome for children with ALL in that country. He has a major interest in developing graduated intensity therapy regimens to help centers in low and middle income countries implement treatments that are appropriate for their local conditions.

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Trijn Israels

Trijn is a Pediatric Oncologist who works for the Outreach Program of the Pediatric Hematology – Oncology Department at VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She worked for two years as a general Pediatrician on the pediatric ward of the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. During this time she conducted daily ward rounds on the childhood oncology ward and coordinated some locally relevant clinical studies which led to a PhD thesis ‘Management of Children with Cancer in Malawi’. She is the joint chair of SIOP PODC with Scott Howard and Coordinator of the SIOP PODC Working Group on Adapted Treatment regimens. This working group has produced consensus clinical guidelines for the management of children with Burkitt lymphoma, Wilms’ tumor, Kaposi sarcoma and concomitant supportive care in sub-Saharan Africa. Trijn is married and has a daughter and two sons (17, 14 and 12 years in 2014). In her spare time she likes outdoor activities such as running, cycling, hiking, camping, soccer, and field hockey.

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Scott Howard

Scott is the Chair of the World Child Cancer USA Board. He is a Member of the Oncology Department at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital where he treats patients with leukemia and lymphoma and conducts research on supportive care. His specific research interests include implementation of protocol-based therapy and development of co-operative pediatric oncology groups in low-income countries.

Scott’s mission and passion are to improve survival rates for children in developing countries. He was previously the Chair of the SIOP PODC (Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries) committee and the Director of Clinical Trials for St Jude’s International Outreach Programme. He is now the co-Chair of the Twinning, Collaboration & Support PODC working group. He assists twinning partner centers in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He also assists with content development for the free online oncology resource www.Cure4Kids.org

 

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 Jan Kohler 

Jan worked as a senior lecturer in Pediatric Oncology in Southampton UK for 28 years, retiring from clinical practice in 2012. She was head of the department for many years, and enjoyed being part of a multi-disciplinary team, working closely with nursing and other non-medical colleagues. She loved teaching, and maintains a role within the postgraduate Deanery. Although participating in clinical trials for all types of solid cancer and leukaemia, Jan’s particular interest was neuroblastoma. She was chief investigator for several trials in the UK and Europe, and an active member of the SIOPEN group from its inception. She currently chairs the SAB of the Neuroblastoma Society. Jan is also interested in the cost-effectiveness of medical treatments, currently sitting on a NICE new drugs and technologies committee. This interest naturally extends to proposed treatments in less affluent countries. To relax, Jan plays in a wind band, enjoys a variety of sports, and visits her two medical sons.

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Catherine Lam 

Catherine is a Paediatric Oncologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA, where she works in the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine as Medical Director of the Asia Pacific Program, and with patients in the Solid Tumour Division.  Inspired early in her training by the resilience of children and adolescents with cancer and the care providers she encountered in remote parts of Niger, Uganda, Taiwan, and China, she completed her pediatric hematology/oncology training at Toronto SickKids, Canada, with a master in public health from Johns Hopkins, US.  Her specific interests include systems development and quality improvement practices in resource-limited settings, abandonment of treatment, palliative care, rare malignancies including adrenocortical tumors and nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and outcomes evaluation.  She is the Co-Chair for the SIOP PODC Abandonment of Treatment Working Group and Member of the SIOP PODC Core Committee.  Cath, as she is known among friends, loves creative writing and music.

 

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Annabel Foot

Annabel is a Member of the Project Committee. She worked as a Consultant in Paediatric Oncology in Bristol, UK, for 15 years, retiring from clinical practice in 2007. In addition to clinical and teaching roles, she was the lead clinician for Paediatric Cancer Services. Although caring for all types of solid tumor, leukemia and transplant patients, she developed particular expertise in the areas of soft tissue sarcoma and neuroblastoma, leading national and international studies in these fields.  Following departure from clinical practice, she spent time working as an Advisory Consultant for pharmaceutical clinical trials.

More recently, following a stint of teaching Paediatric Oncology in Uganda, she has become a student again, now taking a Masters in Public Health, with a view to combining all her skills and helping those in less affluent countries. Leisure activities include photography (having also attained an Arts Masters in this sphere), and outdoor pursuits, including walking, cycling and sailing.

 

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Carlos Rodríguez-Galindo

Dr. Carlos Rodríguez-Galindo, a Spanish native, completed his training in pediatric hematology-oncology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. After 10 years as clinical researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, he moved to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston, where he was the

Director of the Paediatric Solid Tumour Program, Medical Director of the Clinical and Translational Investigations Program, and Director of the Global Health Initiative in Paediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders. He was also Professor of Paediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

In 2015, Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo returned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to serve as Executive Vice-President, Chair of the Department of Global Paediatric Medicine, and director of St. Jude Global.

International Outreach Program. He also holds the Four Stars of Chicago Endowed Chair in International Paediatric Research. Carlos has been working with World Child Cancer’s programme in Myanmar since 2013 and provides valuable guidance for medical staff in Yangon.

 

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Louise Soanes

Louise is an experienced children’s and young people’s cancer nurse. She has worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital as a Nurse Practice Educator and has lectured in nursing at South Bank University. Before taking up her current role as Teenage Cancer Trust Nurse Consultant for Adolescents and Young People at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust she was the Trust’s Senior Sister for Children’s Services. She brings a wealth of experience to the Board and has had direct experience of programs in developing countries having visited child cancer wards in Bangladesh. As well as working full-time, Louise is studying for her professional doctorate in nursing and is the author of academic articles and books on nursing.

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Lorna Awo Renner

Prof Lorna Awo Renner is the lead doctor for our project in Ghana. She is the Head of the Pediatric Oncology Unit at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in the capital, Accra. This is the main teaching hospital in Ghana and one of only two providing comprehensive pediatric oncology services in the country (Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi is the other center providing such a service). She is currently the Africa Continental President for the International Society of Paediatric Oncology.

Lorna undertook some of her training in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, UK and during her time there made long-lasting professional contacts and friendships which led to the creation of the twinning partnership between the hospital and the unit at KBTH.

Lorna is extremely dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and care of children with cancer in Ghana, and is an active campaigner and advocate of the cause. She often writes articles and speaks to journalists and government officials about the issue of childhood cancer in Ghana and due to her hard work, there are now several local funding sources supporting the project.

Lorna stresses the need for a multi-disciplinary team approach when it comes to childhood cancer; the input and training is needed of not only doctors but also nurses, psychologists, social workers and pharmacists to name a few.

Several training workshops have been arranged at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital since the start of the twinning program covering a wide range of medical and nursing topics in paediatric oncology and Lorna believes that these are key to improving the services for children with cancer, especially those focused on palliative care which is an area needing much development in Ghana.


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Rachel Hollis

Rachel Hollis is Lead Nurse for Children’s Cance and Matron for Haematology in the Leeds Children’s Hospital at the Leeds Hospitals NHS Trust. She has spent almost thirty years working in pediatric oncology and haematology in the acute sector.

Rachel is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom. She has been involved in developing services for children and young people with cancer in the UK at the national level.

Rachel is a member of the nursing group within the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP). She is a former Chair of the SIOP Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries (PODC) Nursing Working Group. In that capacity she has advocated for and worked with nurses from Low and Middle Income Countries in looking to define base-line standards of care and a curriculum framework for nurse training and education.


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 Abby White 

Abby White is co-founder and voluntary Chief Executive of Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund, which has the mission of bringing optimal evidence based 0life and sight saving care to all children with retinoblastoma.  Abby’s father was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma in Kenya in 1946, treated in England.  Abby was also born with tumors in both eyes.  She has an artificial eye and limited vision in her remaining eye that is now failing due to late effects of radiotherapy in infancy.  Abby studied geography at university, with a special emphasis on development in sub-Saharan Africa.  She co-ordinates activities of Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund while also assisting individual families,  Abby enjoys creative writing, audio books, sailing, open water swimming and country walks with her guide dog, Annie.

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