Childhood cancer researchers from across the country apply for grants annually from Arms Wide Open using Proposal Central. The applications then go through a competitive peer review process by Arms Wide Open’s Medical Advisors. These oncologists are top childhood cancer researchers from around the country. Utilizing the peer review process, Arms Wide Open makes its national grant selections from the highest scoring applications.

Peter C. Adamson, MD

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA – Chief, Division of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics; Children’s Oncology Group – Chair

Dr. Adamson’s laboratory focuses on the clinical pharmacology of new drugs for childhood cancer. His primary research focus has been on pediatric cancer drug development, specifically early phase clinical trials and clinical pharmacologic studies. In January of 2011, he became Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a National Cancer Institute supported consortium of more than 220 centers across North America, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe, which conducts clinical-translational research including large-scale clinical trials in children with cancer.

Scott A. Armstrong, MD

Director, Memorial Sloan Kettering Leukemia Center; Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research, Department of Pediatrics; Grayer Family Chair

The goal of Scott Armstrong’s research program is to define genetic and epigenetic programs that control the extensive self-renewal properties associated with leukemia and other cancers. This knowledge is then used to develop rational approaches for potential new therapies. Experiments incorporate the use of sophisticated mouse models of leukemia and the characterization of human leukemia cells.

Nai-Kong V. Cheung, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering; New York, NY – Neuroblastoma Program Head, Pediatric Oncology

Dr. Cheung is a pediatric oncologist who specializes in immunologic approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cancers. His focus is the treatment of neuroblastoma, a tumor that arises from primitive cells of the sympathetic nervous system and that primarily affects young children.

Jeffrey Dome, MD

Division Chief, Hematology

Dr. Jeffrey Dome is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist in Washington, District of Columbia and is affiliated with Children’s National Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and has been in practice for 23 years.

Amar Gajjar. MD

St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital; Memphis, TN – Director of Neuro-Oncology Division

Dr. Gajjar’s current clinical research interests focus on innovative protocols for the treatment of childhood brain tumors, with a focus on medulloblastomas, PNET and Rhabdoid tumors (ATRT). He is co-chair of the Department of Oncology, Interim Chair for the Department of Pediatric Medicine and Co-Leader for the Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program, as well as the Scott and Tracie Hamilton Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research.

Douglas S. Hawkins, MD

Seattle Children’s Hospital; Seattle, WA – Associate Hematology/Oncology Division Chief, Professor of Pediatrics

Along with his research roles, Dr. Hawkins is also a clinician at SCH and a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Hawkins is also the principal investigator for COG activity at SCH and chair of the COG Soft Tissue Sarcoma Committee. He is a steering committee member of several COG committees, including the Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Bone Tumor, and Voting Body. He has focused on clinical research, particularly in the treatment of pediatric sarcomas. He is the COG chair of two clinical trials, one for Ewing sarcoma and another for rhabdomyosarcoma.


Kim Kramer, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY, NY – Pediatric Oncologist

Dr. Kramer is a pediatric oncologist who specializes in the care of children with neuroblastoma and other cancers that have spread in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). In her research, she is investigating novel treatments to eliminate microscopic tumor cells in the central nervous system. These novel treatments include monoclonal antibodies attached to radioactive substances (radioimmunotherapy) that are administered directly into the cerebrospinal fluid.


Dr. John M. Maris, MD

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP); Philadelphia, PA – Director, Center for Childhood Cancer Research, Giulio D’Angio Chair in Neuroblastoma Research, Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Maris received his MD from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed his residency at CHOP. He completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology at CHOP and has board certifications for the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Pediatrics/Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. He has special interest in the molecular genetics and treatment of neuroblastoma.

Shakeel Modak, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

I am a pediatric oncologist who specializes in the treatment of children and young adults with neuroblastoma and other solid tumors, such as desmoplastic small round cell tumors. These are challenging cancers to treat. By caring for patients and conducting research, I hope to be able make an impact and improve the lives of people diagnosed with these diseases.

Our multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals discusses each patient’s case in order to put together an individualized treatment plan. Memorial Sloan-Kettering treats a large number of patients with neuroblastoma, and this volume has afforded us a wealth of knowledge and depth of expertise that benefit all patients. I am also inspired by the parents of my patients, who work tirelessly to support each other and to raise funds for research. They are vital members of our team.


Patrick Reynolds, MD

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Dr. Reynolds grew up in El Paso, TX, received his BA in Biology from The University of Texas at Austin, his MD from UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX, his PhD (Cell Biology) from UT Austin, and his pediatrics training at the National Naval Medical Center. His postdoctoral fellowship was in cancer immunology at UT Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX. He is currently the Cancer Center Director for the School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (, and is Director of the South Plains Oncology Consortium (SPOC;