The story of a child with an incurable cancer symbolizes the tasks as well as the great opportunities presented by modern medicine. Our overall objective is to facilitate an environment that will bring together the finest minds in pediatric oncology to provide the best care possible for our children and their families. Admittedly, the numbers of children that require new treatments are a small but the return for addressing their issues is big because of the emotional burden on the families and the cost to society in terms of productive years lost. Importantly, understanding the biology of relapse would also inform us a great deal about the mechanisms of cancer and help to discover future treatments. To facilitate the success of such a program, we focus on strengthening current and new translational research in strategic areas identified through consultation with the wider pediatric oncology community. These include novel immune based medications and precision therapeutics. Our overall vision is to provide new treatments through innovative research, international collaborations and industry partnerships. Central to this objective is the building of an infrastructure that would solidify the efforts on research and development of novel therapeutics through effective multi-institutional clinical trials.
Aru Narendran MD, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics and Oncology
Dr. Narendran received undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biochemistry and Immunology, a PhD in Neuroimmunology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI). His medical training was from McMaster University (MD), Tufts University (Pediatrics Residency) and the Hospital for Sick Children (Pediatric Hematology and Oncology fellowship). He is the recipient of a number of awards including the Odile Schweisguth Prize from the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) and a young investigator award from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). Dr. Narendran is currently a full professor in the division of Pediatric Oncology at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and holds joint appointments in the departments of Oncology, Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His current responsibilities also include directing the POETIC laboratory for preclinical and drug discovery studies, training students and postdoctoral fellows in childhood cancer research and teaching graduate level courses in Ethics, Cancer Biology and Novel Therapeutics.
"The immense task of finding new and effective therapies can only be achieved as part of a team with diverse expertise and strengths but with one objective. POETIC fitted this definition perfectly."
-Dr. Aru Narendran
The research team at Dr. Narendran's lab
The Alberta Children's Hospital main entrance