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Research Labs


Our division is home to five cutting-edge research labs, all conducting work that could change patients’ lives.

Davis Lab

Some forms of childhood leukemia are very difficult to treat and are prone to relapse. One of these, B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP ALL), accounts for the most deaths in children with cancer. Kara Davis leads this lab’s work on this form of leukemia. Researchers are investigating protein expression in the disease, focusing on B-cells’ resistance to treatment. 



Mackall Lab

Headed by Crystal Mackall, this lab is researching the role of T cell immune response in children’s cancer treatment, with a goal of enhancing existing cancer immunotherapies and developing new ones. Researchers study T cell exhaustion in cancer patients and how tumors suppress immune response. Committed to translational bench-to-bedside work, the lab conducts basic studies alongside clinical trials.



Narla Lab

Research has uncovered a connection between ribosomal abnormalities and several rare congenital syndromes that cause bone marrow failure and other problems. Anupama Narla leads this lab focused on the molecular study of ribosomal dysfunction, and how it leads to bone marrow failure and problems in blood cell development. The lab’s researchers are also investigating how specific drugs could help patients with these disorders. 


Sage Lab

This lab focuses on cell proliferation both under normal conditions and in diseases such as cancer. Led by Julien Sage, the lab combines genetic, genomics, and proteomics approaches to investigate genes and pathways involved in cancer, with an emphasis on stem cells. The Sage Lab pursues translational research, both investigating fundamental biological processes and initiating clinical trials.



Sakamoto Lab

Under the leadership of Kathleen Sakamoto, this lab studies gene regulation in the development of blood cells, known scientifically as hematopoiesis. The team has developed novel therapies to treat a variety of hematologic diseases, including acute myeloid leukemia. Novel research in the Sakamoto lab also focuses on bone marrow failure and related diseases.