Research Program

As Chief of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Dr. Mitchell Cairo leads a team of researchers to develop and investigate novel strategies of targeted therapies and cellular strategies, including gene therapy and stem cell regenerative therapy, to activate the body’s defense system and to replace damaged cells with thriving ones. Cellular therapy for childhood cancer and blood disorders has become one of the most promising areas of medical research. The promise of unlocking treatments and cures to rare disorders by harnessing the power of the patient’s own body renews the efforts of Dr. Cairo’s team to lead advances that save lives while minimizing unwanted side effects.

The research program at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center and New York Medical College consists of basic, translational and clinical research in cancer, hematological and blood disorders, immune diseases and stem cell transplantation. There is a multidisciplinary team that focuses on specific areas of research into hematological malignancies, solid tumors, hemoglobinopathies, immune deficiencies, bone marrow failures, hemostasis and thrombosis and other selected diseases. The program also affords a unique opportunity for students, residents, fellows and post doctoral candidates to pursue research and training in the above-mentioned fields. Several “state of the art” research programs include: cancer genetics, cancer biology, tumor immunology, transplantation biology and immunology, stem cell biology, hematopoiesis, stem cell regenerative therapy, developmental and experimental therapeutics, stem and cellular transplantation and others.


The research programs cover many areas of Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation including: acute and chronic leukemias, lymphomas, brain tumors, solid tumors (neuroblastoma, sarcomas, Wilms Tumor, hepatic and germ cell tumors), hemoglobinopathies (sickle cell disease and thalassemia), bone marrow failure syndromes (aplastic anemia and Fanconi anemia), immunodeficiencies (SCID and CGD), bleeding and clotting disorders (hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, idopathic thrombocytopenia etc.), and lymphohistiocytic disorders.


Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
[email protected]
(914) 594-2150
Janet Ayello, MS
[email protected]
(914) 493-1671
Lauren Harrison, RN, MSN
[email protected]
(617) 285-7844

Meet our

Research Team

Key Team Members / Disciplines:

Director: Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
Basic Research Laboratory Manager: Janet Ayello, MS
Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator: Lauren Harrison, RN, MSN
Hematological Malignancies: Mitchell S. Cairo, MD & Jessica Hochberg, MD
Hemostasis/Thrombosis: Oya Tugal, MD
Brain Tumors: Jeremy Rosenblum, MD
Solid Tumors: Fevzi Ozkaynak, MD and Chitti Ramanamoorthy, MD
Sickle Cell Disease: Claudio Sandoval, MD
Immunodeficiencies: Subhadra Siegel, MD
Lymphohistiocytic Diseases: Oya Tugal, MD
Developmental and Experimental Therapeutics: Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
Stem and Cellular Therapy: Mitchell S. Cairo, MD
Cancer Biology: Wen Luo, PhD
Tumor Immunology: Aradhana Tiwari, PhD
Basic Immunology: Carl Hamby, PhD
Transplantation and Translational Immunology: Yaya Chu, PhD
Stem Cell Biology: Yanling Liao, PhD
Hematopoiesis:Janet Ayello, MS
Clinical Pharmacology: Liana Klejmont, PharmD
Biostatistics: Qiuhu Shi, PhD


Unique Features:

  • 2,500 square feet of wet laboratory space
  • IVIS small animal imaging core
  • Large and modern vivarium
  • Cellular and Tissue Engineering Laboratory (GMP Quality)
  • High Speed, Multisort, Sterile Flow Cytometer/Sorter
  • Strong and interactive collaborations with basic science department
  • 25 years of clinical and translational research experience
  • Multiple FDA IND/IDE’s
  • Experienced basic, translational and clinical research staff
  • COG Accredited
  • PBMTC Accredited
  • NMDP Accredited
  • Sickle Cell Disease Transplant Consortium (Lead Institution)
  • High-Risk Leukemia Transplant consortium (Lead Institution)
  • Lymphoma Cell Therapy Consortium (Lead Institution)
  • Sarcoma Cell Therapy Consortium (Lead Institution)
  • Human Placenta-Derived Stem Cell Consortium (Lead Institution)
  • Viral Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Consortium