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

    MD - University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD


    Pediatrics - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


    Pediatrics - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


    Pediatric Hematology/Oncology - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

    Board Certification


    Graduate Degree

    PhD - University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

  • 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 and Cunningham D: Transfusion Medicine and Blood Products. In Comprehensive Pediatric Hospital Medicine, (Zaoutis L, Chiang V, eds.). Mosby Elsevier, 2007.




    Russell Mike,  Penikis Annalise, Oldridge Derek, Alvarez-Dominguez Juan, McDaniel Lee, Diamond Maura, Padovan Olivia, Raman Pichai,  Li Yimei, Wei Jun, Gnanachandran Janahan, Zhang Shile, Seeger Robert, Asgharzadeh Shahab, Khan Javed, Diskin Sharon, Maris John, Cole Kristina: CASC15-S is a tumor suppressor lncRNA at the 6p22 neuroblastoma susceptibility locus. Cancer research epub 10.1158/0008-5472, June 2015.


    Tamhankar Madhura, Paessler Michele, Kharlip Julia, Shekdar Karuna, Burnham Jon and Cole Kristina : A 16-year-old boy with a suprasellar mass. J Neuroophthalmol  34(3): 295-300, Sept 2014.

    de Blank Peter, Cole Kristina, Kersun Leslie, Green Abby, Wilkes Jennifer, Belasco Jean, Bagatell Rochelle, Bailey Leonard, Fisher Michael: fdg-pet in two cases of neurofibromatosis type 1 and atypical malignancies. Curr Oncol.  21(2): e345-e348,  Apr 2014.


    Rader J, Russell MR, Hart LS, Nakazawa MS, Belcastro LT, Martinez D, Li Y, Carpenter EL, Attiyeh EF, Diskin SJ, Kim S, Parasuraman S, Caponigro G, Schnepp RW, Wood AC, Pawel B, Cole KA, Maris JM.: Dual CDK4/CDK6 inhibition induces cell-cycle arrest and senescence in neuroblastoma. Clin Cancer Res. 19(22): 6173-82. Nov 2013.

    Khanna Anchit, Kauko Otto, Bockelman Camilla, Laine Anni, Schreck Ilona, Partanen Johanna I, Szwajda Agnieszka, Bormann Stefanie, Bilgen Turker, Helenius Merja, Pokharel Yuba R, Pimanda John E, Russel Mike R, Haglund Caj, Cole Kristina A, Klefstrom Juha, Aittokallio Tero, Weiss Carsten, Ristimaki Ari, Visakorpi Tapio, Westermarck Jukka: Chk1 targeting reactivates PP2A tumor suppressor activity in cancer cells. Cancer Research 73(22): 6757-69, November 2013 Notes: doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-1002. Epub 2013 Sep 26.

    Pugh Trevor J, Morozova Olena, Attiyeh Edward F, Asgharzadeh Shahab, Wei Jun S, Auclair Daniel, Carter Scott L, Cibulskis Kristian, Hanna Megan, Kiezun Adam, Kim Jaegil, Lawrence Michael S, Lichenstein Lee, McKenna Aaron, Pedamallu Chandra Sekhar, Ramos Alex H, Shefler Erica, Sivachenko Andrey, Sougnez Carrie, Stewart Chip, Ally Adrian, Birol Inanc, Chiu Readman, Corbett Richard D, Hirst Martin, Jackman Shaun D, Kamoh Baljit, Khodabakshi Alireza Hadj, Krzywinski Martin, Lo Allan, Moore Richard A, Mungall Karen L, Qian Jenny, Tam Angela, Thiessen Nina, Zhao Yongjun, Cole Kristina A, Diamond Maura, Diskin Sharon J, Mosse Yael P, Wood Andrew C, Ji Lingyun, Sposto Richard, Badgett Thomas, London Wendy B, Moyer Yvonne, Gastier-Foster Julie M, Smith Malcolm A, Auvil Jaime M Guidry, Gerhard Daniela S, Hogarty Michael D, Jones Steven J M, Lander Eric S, Gabriel Stacey B, Getz Gad, Seeger Robert C, Khan Javed, Marra Marco A, Meyerson Matthew, Maris John M: The genetic landscape of high-risk neuroblastoma. Nature Genetics 45(3): 279-84, March 2013 Notes: doi: 10.1038/ng.2529. Epub 2013 Jan 20.

    Russell Mike R, Levin Kirill, Rader Julieann, Belcastro Lili, Li Yimei, Martinez Daniel, Pawel Bruce, Shumway Stuart D, Maris John M, Cole Kristina A: Combination therapy targeting the chk1 and wee1 kinases shows therapeutic efficacy in neuroblastoma. Cancer research 73(2): 776-84, Jan 2013.


    Posters and Presentations


    Russell M, Penikis A, Oldridge D, Alvarez-Dominguez JR, McDaniel L, Diamond M, Padovan O, Raman P, Li Y, Wei J, Zhang S, Gnanachandran J, Seeger R, Asgharzadeh S, Khan J, Diskin S, John Maris JM, Cole K: CASC15 is a tumor suppressor lncRNA at the 6p22 neuroblastoma susceptibility locus. American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, Philadelphia PA. Poster presentation. 2015.


    Russell1 MR, Penikis A, Oldridge D, Alvarez-Dominguez JA, McDaniel1 L, Diamond M, Padovan O, Raman P, Wei J, Zhang S, Gnanchandran J, Seeger R, Asgharzadeh S, Khan J, Diskin S, Maris JM and Cole KA: The Long Intergenic Noncoding RNA LINC00340 is a Neuroblastoma Susceptibility Gene. Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Meeting, Cologne Germany. Oral Plenary Presentation. 2014.


    Rader J, Hart L, Russell M, Nakazawa M, Belcastro L, Martinez D, Carpenter E, Kim S, Parasuraman S, Caponigro G, Schnepp R, Wood A, Pawel1 B, Watson D, Warren P, Cole K and Maris J : CDK4/CDK6 inhibition is potently active in a definable subset of human neuroblastomas. American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, Washington DC. Poster Presentation. 2013.

    Invited Lectures


    "The lncRNA CASC15 is a target of the 6p22 neuroblastoma GWAS susceptibility locus", The International Conference on Non-Coding RNAs, Chania, Crete, Greece, June 2015.


    "Translational Genomics in Pediatric Neuroblastoma", Children's Hospital Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, October 2014.


    "Checkpoint inhibitory strategies in MYCN driven pediatric cancers", Institute for Cancer Research, London, UK, February 2013.

  • Awards and Honors

    2010, Best Abstract and Presentation Award, ANR, Stockholm
    2009, AACR-AFLAC Scholar in Training Award, AACR, Denver, CO
    2009, The NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08)
    2007, ASCO Young Investigator Award
    2007, NCI Institutional Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Award (K12)
    2007, Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation Grant Recipient
    2007, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Fellow Research Day Award
    2007, The David G. Nathan Award, Society for Pediatric Research and American Society for Pediatric Hematology Oncology
    2007, William Guy Forbeck Scholar Award
    2005, Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Service Award (T32), University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center
    2001, The Virchow Prize for Excellence in Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine
    1999, AACR-AFLAC Scholar in Cancer Research Award, AACR, Philadelphia, PA
    1998, National Institutes of Health Material Transfer Award
    1998, Abstract Award, World Congress on Advances in Oncology and International Symposium on Molecular Medicine, Crete, Greece
    1997, University of Maryland Graduate School Merit Award
    1994, Material Transfer Award for Research Efforts in Pathology, National Cancer Institute, NIH

  • Editorial and Academic Positions

    Editorial Positions

    2010-present, Journal of Clinical Investigation, ad hoc reviewer
    2008-present, Genes Chromosomes and Cancer, ad hoc reviewer

    Academic and Institutional Committees

    2012-present, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
    2008-present, Pediatric Protocol Review Committee
    2005-present, Interviewer for Pediatric Residency Program

  • Leaderships

    Memberships in Professional Organizations

    2007-present, Children's Oncology Group (National Study Chair, Protocol ADVL1312)
    2007-present, American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
    2007-present, American Society of Clinical Oncology
    1994-present, American Association for Cancer Research