Sarah K Tasian, MD

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Oncology) at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Member, Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Chief, Hematologic Malignancies Program, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Joshua Kahan Endowed Chair in Pediatric Leukemia Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Department: Pediatrics

Contact information
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Oncology and Center for Childhood Cancer Research
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Abramson Cancer Center
3501 Civic Center Boulevard, CTRB 3056
Philadelphia, PA 19104
BS, BA (Biological Sciences, Psychology)
University of Notre Dame, 1999.
MD (Medicine)
Baylor College of Medicine, 2004.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Clinical Expertise

I have clinical expertise in the care of children, adolescents, and young adults with hematologic malignancies, particularly those with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML). My particular clinical interests include integration of comprehensive leukemia genetic data with therapy selection for children with high risk newly-diagnosed and relapsed ALL and AML with a focus on precision medicine treatment approaches.

I am Chief of the Hematologic Malignancies Program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and attend on the inpatient leukemia/lymphoma service and outpatient clinic. I have procedural expertise in bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, lumbar punctures (spinal taps), Ommaya reservoir taps, administration of intrathecal chemotherapy, and skin biopsies for germline testing.

Description of Other Expertise

I am a primary clinical mentor in Hematologic Malignancies for first, second, third, and fourth year pediatric hematology-oncology fellows and closely supervise their patient care in the inpatient and outpatient clinical settings. I also teach and supervise pediatric residents in the inpatient setting.

Description of Research Expertise

My overarching career goal as an academic pediatric oncologist and translational physician-scientist is to develop successful precision medicine therapies for children with high-risk leukemias aimed at decreasing relapse risk, minimizing toxicity, and improving long-term survival. My independent research program focuses upon identification of targeted therapeutic strategies for childhood leukemias via (1) mechanistic interrogation of aberrant signal transduction networks and preclinical testing of kinase and other small molecule inhibitors in genetic subtypes of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), (2) preclinical testing of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapies for high-risk AML and ALL, and (3) early-phase clinical investigation of targeted inhibitors and cell therapies for children with leukemia and associated correlative biology studies through the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Pediatric Acute Leukemia (LLS PedAL) consortium, and other leukemia/cell therapy consortia. I am an experienced early-phase clinical trialist and current serve as a steering member of the COG ALL committee, the COG Myeloid Diseases Vice-Chair of Relapse, the LLS PedAL Clinical Trials Leader, and the COG Developmental Therapeutics committee Vice-Chair of Biology for Hematologic Malignancies.

My laboratory has particular expertise in preclinical evaluation of small molecule inhibitors and CAR T cells in ALL and AML patient-derived xenograft models, as well as in phosphosignaling analyses and measurement of patients’ molecular responses to targeted inhibitors. Successful integration of my laboratory’s bench-based and clinical correlative studies has led to multiple trials testing targeted therapies in children with high-risk leukemias, many of which I also lead or co-lead.

Current Tasian laboratory members:
Camilo Arenas Merizalde, BS (research technician)
Tommaso Balestra, PhD (post-doctoral fellow)
Diego Bárcenas López, PhD (post-doctoral fellow)
Shubhmita Bhatnagar, PhD (scientist/lab manager)
Robert Chen, BS (research technician)
Jackson Dardis, BS (research technician)
Samantha McClellan, BA (research technician)
Lisa Niswander, MD PhD (post-doctoral fellow/instructor)

Selected Publications

Newman H, Clark ME, Wong D, Wu J, Brodeur GM, Hunger SP, Tasian SK, Olson T, Warren JT, Teachey DT, Bona K, Schubert J, Golenberg N, Patel M, Denenberg EH, Fanning EA, Chen J, Luke T, Charles S, Gallo D, Cao K, Fu W, Fan Z, Surrey LF, Wertheim G, Luo M, MacFarland SP, Li MM, Zhong Y.: Genomic profiling of pediatric hematologic malignancies and diagnosis of cancer predisposition syndromes: tumor-only versus paired tumor-normal sequencing. Haematologica Feb 2024.

van Outersterp I, Tasian SK, Reichert CE, Boeree A, de Groot-Kruseman HA, Escherich G, Boer JM, den Boer ML.: Tyrosine kinase inhibitor response of ABL-class acute lymphoblastic leukemia: The role of kinase type and SH3 domain. Blood Feb 2024.

Ceolin V, Ishimaru S, Karol SE, Bautista F, Goemans BF, Gueguen G, Willemse M, Di Laurenzio L, Lukin J, van Tinteren H, Locatelli F, Petit A, Tomizawa D, Norton A, Kaspers G, Reinhardt D, Tasian SK, Nichols G, Kolb EA, Zwaan CM, Cooper TM.: The PedAL/EuPAL Project: A Global Initiative to Address the Unmet Medical Needs of Pediatric Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Cancers (Basel) 16: 78, Dec 2023.

Wintering A, Hecht A, Meyer J, Wong EB, Hübner J, Abelson S, Feldman K, Kennedy VE, Peretz CAC, French DL, Maguire JA, Jobaliya C, Vasquez MR, Desai S, Dulman R, Nemecek E, Haines H, Hammad M, El Haddad A, Kogan SC, Abdullaev Z, Chehab FF, Tasian SK, Smith CC, Loh ML, Stieglitz E.: LNK/SH2B3 as a novel driver in juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. Haematologica Dec 2023.

Popescu B, Stahlhut C, Tarver TC, Wishner S, Lee BJ, Peretz CAC, Luck C, Phojanakong P, Camara Serrano JA, Hongo H, Rivera JM, Xirenayi S, Chukinas JA, Steri V, Tasian SK, Stieglitz E, Smith CC.: Allosteric SHP2 inhibition increases apoptotic dependency on BCL2 and synergizes with venetoclax in FLT3- and KIT-mutant AML. Cell Rep Med 4: 101290, Nov 2023.

Paolino J, Dimitrov B, Apsel Winger B, Sandoval-Perez A, Rangarajan AV, Ocasio-Martinez N, Tsai HK, Li Y, Robichaud AL, Khalid D, Hatton C, Gillani R, Polonen P, Dilig A, Gotti G, Kavanagh J, Adhav AA, Gow S, Tsai J, Li Y, Ebert BL, Van Allen EM, Bledsoe J, Kim AS, Tasian SK, Cooper SL, Cooper TM, Hijiya N, Sulis ML, Shukla NN, Magee JA, Mullighan CG, Burke MJ, Luskin MR, Mar BG, Jacobson MP, Harris MH, Stegmaier K, Place AE, Pikman Y.: Integration of genomic sequencing drives therapeutic targeting of PDGFRA in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoblastic lymphoma. Clin Cancer Res Sep 2023.

Ang Z, Paruzzo L, Hayer KE, Schmidt C, Torres-Diz M, Xu F, Zankharia U, Zhang Y, Soldan SS, Zheng S, Falkenstein CD, Loftus JP, Yang SY, Asnani M, King Sainos P, Pillai V, Chong ER, Li M, Tasian SK, Barash Y, Lieberman PM, Ruella M, Schuster SJ, Thomas-Tikhonenko A.: Alternative splicing of its 5' UTR limits CD20 mRNA translation and enables resistance to CD20-directed immunotherapies. Blood Sep 2023.

Cuglievan B and Tasian SK: A “Revu” of Initial Phase 1 Clinical Trial Results of Menin Inhibition in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Acute Leukemias. The Hematologist 20(4), July 2023 Notes:

Cuglievan B, Connors J, He J, Khazal S, Yedururi S, Dai J, Garces S, Quesada AE, Roth M, Garcia M, McCall D, Gibson A, Ragoonanan D, Petropoulos D, Tewari P, Nunez C, Mahadeo KM, Tasian SK, Lamble AJ, Pawlowska A, Hammond D, Maiti A, Haddad FG, Senapati J, Daver N, Gangat N, Konopleva M, Meshinchi S, Pemmaraju N: Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm: a comprehensive review in pediatrics, adolescents, and young adults (AYA) and an update of novel therapies. Leukemia Jul 2023.

Cooper TM, Alonzo TA, Tasian SK, Kutny MA, Hitzler J, Pollard JA, Aplenc R, Meshinchi S, Kolb EA.: Children's Oncology Group's 2023 Blueprint for Research: Myeloid Neoplasms. Pediatr Blood Cancer Jul 2023.

back to top
Last updated: 02/25/2024
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania