Alan W. Flake, MD, FACS, FAAP

Alan Flake, MD, is an attending pediatric and fetal surgeon at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Areas of Expertise: Clinical applications of fetal diagnosis and therapy, In utero stem cell transplantation, Neonatal Surgery
Locations: Main Campus
Phone: 215-590-2730

  • Background

    Dr. Flake is an attending surgeon in the Division of Pediatric General, Thoracic and Fetal Surgery and holds the Ruth M. and Tristram C. Colket, Jr. Endowed Chair in Pediatric Surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He serves as director of CHOP’s Center for Fetal Research and is a professor of Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Dr. Flake was the Director of Fetal Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan before joining the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at CHOP in 1996. Today, he spearheads an active research laboratory focused on fetal stem cell and gene therapy. He has been at the forefront of cutting-edge studies aimed at treating genetic disorders before birth. Dr. Flake is committed to discovering ways to help children live disease-free, and is currently moving toward a human clinical trial for sickle cell disease, utilizing in utero transplantation of maternal cells to the fetus. The goal is to increase the newborn’s tolerance for a successful bone marrow transplant.

    “We’ve made significant progress in the lab,” he says. “The dream is to prevent these diseases before the children are born so they can live healthy lives.” Dr. Flake’s work in sickle cell disease has the potential to offer new hope for many other immunodeficiency disorders.

    Dr. Flake’s clinical specialties include fetal diagnosis and therapy and neonatal surgery.

    “I have been fortunate to be a part of developing the fetal treatment program here and we have the best in the world,” he says.

    Dr. Flake is a leader in performing minimally invasive surgery, mostly on neonates, including thoracoscopic and laparoscopic procedures. He continues to refine and develop these delicate surgical techniques for the unique requirements of pediatric patients.

    Dr. Flake earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his medical degree from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He completed his general surgery residency and fellowship in fetal biology and therapy research at the University of California, San Francisco, and served as a pediatric surgery fellow at Children’s Medical Center in Cincinnati. He is board certified in general and pediatric surgery.  

    To contact the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, call 1-800-468-8376 (1-800-IN-UTERO).

  • Education and Training

    Medical School

    MD - University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AK

    Internship

    Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH

    Residency

    University of California, San Francisco, CA

    Fellowship

    Fellow, Fetal Biology and Therapy Research - University of California, San Francisco, CA
    Fellow, Pediatric Surgery - Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH

    Board Certification

    Pediatric Surgery
    Surgery

    Undergraduate Degree

    BS - University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AK

  • Titles and Academic Titles

    Attending Surgeon

    Director, General Surgery Fellowship Program

    Director, Center for Fetal Research

    Ruth M. and Tristram C. Colket Jr. Endowed Chair, Pediatric Surgery

    Professor of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Conditions Treated
  • Centers and Programs
  • Publications

    Papers

    2012

    Danzer E, Zarnow D, Gerdes M, D'Agostino JA, Siegle J, Bebbington MW, et al. Abnormal brain development and maturation on magnetic resonance imaging in survivors of severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia. J Pediatr Surg. 2012 Mar;47(3):453-61. Cited in PubMed; PMID:22424337. Read the abstract

    Roybal JL, Laje P, Vrecenak JD, Flake AW. Use of manipulated stem cells for prenatal therapy. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;891:169-81. Cited in PubMed; PMID:22648772. Read the abstract

    Nijagal A, Flake AW, MacKenzie TC. In utero hematopoietic cell transplantation for the treatment of congenital anomalies. Clin Perinatol. 2012 Jun;39(2):301-10. Epub 2012 May 8. Cited in PubMed; PMID:22682381. Read the abstract 

    Abi-Nader KN, Boyd M, Flake AW, Mehta V, Peebles D, David AL. Animal models for prenatal gene therapy: the sheep model. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;891:219-48. Cited in PubMed; PMID:22648775. Read the abstract

    Roybal JL, Endo M, Buckley SM, Herbert BR, Waddington SN, Flake AW. Animal models for prenatal gene therapy: rodent models for prenatal gene therapy. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;891:201-18. Cited in PubMed; PMID:22648774. Read the abstract 

    Laje P, Johnson MP, Howell LJ, Bebbington MW, Hedrick HL, Flake AW, Adzick NS. Ex utero intrapartum treatment in the management of giant cervical teratomas. J Pediatr Surg. 2012 Jun;47(6):1208-16. Cited in PubMed; PMID:22703795. Read the abstract

    2010

    Laje P, Clark FH, Friedman JR, Flake AW. Increased susceptibility to liver damage from pneumoperitoneum in a murine model of biliary atresia. J Pediatr Surg. 2010 Sep;45(9):1791-6. Read abstract.

    Danzer E, Gerdes M, Bernbaum J, D'Agostino J, Bebbington MW, Siegle J, Hoffman C, Rintoul NE, Flake AW, Adzick NS, Hedrick HL. Neurodevelopmental outcome of infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia prospectively enrolled in an interdisciplinary follow-up program. J Pediatr Surg. 2010 Sep;45(9):1759-66. Read abstract.

    Roybal JL, Liechty KW, Hedrick HL, Bebbington MW, Johnson MP, Coleman BG, Adzick NS, Flake AW. Predicting the severity of congenital high airway obstruction syndrome. J Pediatr Surg. 2010 Aug;45(8):1633-9. Read abstract.

    Danzer E, Layne MD, Auber F, Shegu S, Kreiger P, Radu A, Volpe M, Adzick NS, Flake AW. Gastroschisis in mice lacking aortic carboxypeptidase-like protein is associated with a defect in neuromuscular development of the eviscerated intestine.  Pediatr Res. 2010 Jul;68(1):23-8. Read abstract

    Danzer E, Gerdes M, D'Agostino JA, Bernbaum J, Siegle J, Hoffman C, Rintoul NE, Liechty KW, Flake AW, Adzick NS, Hedrick HL. Prospective, interdisciplinary follow-up of children with prenatally diagnosed giant omphalocele: short-term neurodevelopmental outcome. J Pediatr Surg. 2010 Apr;45(4):718-23. Read abstract

    Watanabe M, Jo J, Radu A, Kaneko M, Tabata Y, Flake AW. A tissue engineering approach for prenatal closure of myelomeningocele with gelatin sponges incorporating basic fibroblast growth factor. Tissue Eng Part A. 2010 May;16(5):1645-55. Read abstract

    Wilson RD, Lemerand K, Johnson MP, Flake AW, Bebbington M, Hedrick HL, Adzick NS. Reproductive outcomes in subsequent pregnancies after a pregnancy complicated by open maternal-fetal surgery (1996-2007). Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 May 27. Read abstract

    Kaye AJ, Rand EB, Munoz PS, Spinner NB, Flake AW, Kamath BM. SLAM-enriched hematopoietic stem cells maintain long-term repopulating capacity after lentiviral transduction using an abbreviated protocol. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010 Jun 30. Read abstract

    Kaye AJ, Rand EB, Munoz PS, Spinner NB, Flake AW, Kamath BM. Effect of Kasai Procedure on Hepatic Outcome in Alagille Syndrome. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010 Jun 30. Read abstract