Kristina A. Cole, MD, PhD

Kristina A. Cole, MD, PhD, is a pediatric oncologist at CHOP who specializes in treating children with brain and spinal cord tumors.

Areas of Expertise: Brain tumors, Neuro-Oncology
Locations: Main Campus
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)

  • Background

    As a pediatric oncologist, I am a member of the multi-disciplinary neuro-oncology team who cares for children with brain and spinal cord tumors. The patient and family are the central members of this team and depending on the unique needs of each child may include a pediatric neuro-radiologist, neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, social worker, neuro-psychologist, neuro-ophthalmologist and endocrinologist. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive, coordinated plan of care that is based on the best medical evidence available.

    We know that while many children are cured of their cancers, there will be some children who are not cured, despite very intense therapy. These children provide the inspiration for the work in my laboratory, which focuses on identifying genes, and hence proteins, that pediatric cancer cells rely upon for growth and survival. Using the aggressive pediatric cancer neuroblastoma as a model, we have found that depleting the CHK1 gene from cells, by genetic means or by a drug, cause the cancer cells stop growing and die. We hope that by taking this approach in combination with chemotherapy, we can eventually offer a new therapy for children with neuroblastoma and other aggressive pediatric cancers.

    I believe it is a great privilege to be involved in the care of our patient and their families. They deserve kindness and compassion. Together, with the advantages of the multidisciplinary team, CHOP provides an excellent place for a child to be cared for with a pediatric brain or spinal cord tumor.

  • Education and Training

    Medical School

    University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md., MD


    Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa.


    Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa.

    Board Certification

    Pediatric Hematology-Oncology: American Board of Pediatrics
    Pediatrics: American Board of Pediatrics

    Graduate Degree

    University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md., PhD

  • Titles and Academic Titles

    Attending physician

    Assistant Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Conditions Treated
  • Departments and Services
  • Research Interests

    Non-coding RNA and neuroblastoma

  • Publications



    Cole KA, Huggins J, Laquaglia M, Hulderman C, Bosse K, Russel M, et al. An RNAi screen of the protein kinome identifies the cell cycle checkpoint kinase CHK1 as a therapeutic target in neuroblastoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2011 Feb 22;108(8):3336-41. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21289283. Read the abstract

    Wang K, Diskin SJ, Zhang H, Attiyeh EF, Winter C, Hou C, et al. Integrative genomics identifies LMO1 as a neuroblastoma oncogene. Nature. 2011; 469(7329):216-20. Cited in PubMed: PMID 21224317. Read the abstract


    Diskin SJ, Hou C, Glessner JT, Attiyeh EF, Laudenslager M, Bosse K, et al. Copy number variation at 1q21.1 associated with neuroblastoma. Nature. 2009;18;459(7249):987-91. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19536264. Read the article

    Capasso M, Devoto M, Hou C, Asgharzadeh S, Glessner JT, Attiyeh EF, et al. Common variations in BARD1 influence susceptibility to high-risk neuroblastoma. Nat Genet. 2009; 41(6):718-723. Cited in PubMed: PMID 19412175. Read the article