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About SickKids

May 16, 2013

SickKids’ first neuroblastoma clinical and research fellow earns international recognition

By Elissa Hanna

Dr. Daniel Morgenstern, the inaugural 2012-13 Sears Childhood Cancer Fellow at the Garron Family Cancer Centre, has been awarded the Brigid Leventhal Special Merit Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for submitting the highest-ranking abstract submitted by a fellow in Paediatric Oncology.

A member of Dr. Meredith Irwin’s lab, Morgenstern investigates potential new drugs for neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer that sees certain nerve cells becoming cancerous. His winning abstract detailed a study of outcomes of patients with a certain type of metastatic disease by using a large international database of neuroblastoma patients. Findings suggested that the way in which neuroblastoma spreads throughout the body affects the patient’s response to treatment and their overall outcome.

While this study was independent from his work in the lab, its research questions stemmed from experiences taking care of neuroblastoma patients at SickKids.

“We are thrilled that the experiences gained at SickKids lead to recognition for our fellows,” says Dr. Jim Whitlock, Head of the Haematology/Oncology Division at SickKids. “It really speaks to the quality of research and training in our childhood cancer program. People come here from all over the world to gain additional expertise – and it pays off.”

A native of the United Kingdom, Morgenstern is also involved in SickKids’ New Agents and Innovative Therapies Program, working to provide access to novel agents for children with cancer in collaboration with other scientists in the SickKids cancer program.  

“The training opportunities in our childhood cancer program are incredible,” says Irwin, SickKids Oncologist and Senior Scientist at the SickKids Research Institute. “The amount of expertise found in this program, and throughout SickKids, fosters a truly unique learning environment ultimately leading to better patient care.”