Angela J. Waanders, MD, MPH

Angela J. Waanders, MD, MPH

Angela J. Waanders, MD, MPH, is an attending physician in the Neuro-Oncology Program and the Neurofibromatosis Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 

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

Background

My research focus is to develop novel therapeutic strategies and to improve the clinical outcomes for children with incurable brain tumors. As a pediatric hematology/oncology fellow, my work directly led to the discovery of an activated novel KIAA1549-BRAF fusion oncogene in the majority of pediatric low-grade gliomas (PLGGs). This genomic abnormality has since been found to be a hallmark of PLGGs.

After fellowship, I continued my research in the laboratory of Dr. Adam Resnick. Our initial findings in PNAS in March 2013 laid the foundation for understanding BRAF fusion signaling and has opened the door to several multi-institutional collaborations. Currently, I am focused on characterizing fusion gene oncogenesis in pediatric brain tumors, specifically characterizing the downstream signal activation and responsiveness to targeted inhibition of all of the fusion genes identified in pediatric gliomas.

I have also been involved in developing the phenotypic data infrastructure for the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC), the first of its kind cancer database with specimens linked to prospective longitudinal clinical data collection. As the CBTTC Director of Operations, I am now helping to lead the CBTTC as we scale our efforts and make additional significant impacts through the rapid discovery and implementation of effective therapeutics for pediatric CNS tumors. I am also the Scientific Director of the new Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3B) capitalizing on the research ecosystem piloted by the CBTTC.

Ultimately, my work in translational research, the CBTTC, and the Center D3B are directed at capitalizing on novel new therapeutics towards the benefit of pediatric brain tumor patients. I also have an interest in paraneoplastic neurological syndromes, specifically opsoclonus myoclonus ataxia syndrome (OMAS). This is a very rare disease that tends to afflict very young children. While the disease mechanism is not well understood, immunotherapy based approaches have proven to be effective. As the Scientific Director of the Center D3B, I plan to develop translational research programs in OMAS with focus on identifying predictive biomarkers.

Education and Training

Medical School

MD - Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA

Residency

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

Fellowship

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

Additional Training

Certificate - Wharton Executive Education, The Leadership Edge

Board Certification

Hematology-Oncology
Pediatrics

Graduate Degree

MPH - Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA

Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Physician

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

Conditions Treated

Departments and Services

Research Interests

Pediatric low grade gliomas
Opsoclonus myoclonus ataxia syndrome

Publications

Papers

2016

Roth JJ, Fierst TM, Waanders AJ, Li Yimei, Biegel JA, Santi M. Whole chromosome 7 gain predicts higher risk of recurrence in pediatric pilocytic astrocytomas independently from KIAA1549-BRAF fusion status. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2016 Mar 4. Pil: nlw001. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID 26945035

Bandopadhayay P, Ramkissoon LA, Jain P, Bergthold G, et al. MYB-QKI rearrangements in angiocentric glioma drive tumorigenicity through a tripartite mechanism. Nat Genet. 2016 March; 48 (3):273-82. Doi: 10.1038/ng.3500. Epub 2016 Feb 1. PMID: 26829751.

2015

Shah AC, Minturn JE, Li Y, Belasco JB, Phillips PC, Kang TI, Cole KA, Waanders AJ, Pollack R, Didomenico C, Wildes C, Fisher MJ. Carboplatin rechallenge after hypersensitivity reactions in pediatric patients with low-grade glioma. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 Jul 31. Doi: 10.1002/pbc.25697. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 26235452.

Jones CL, Gearheart CM, Fosmire S, Delgado-Martin C, Evensen NA, Waanders AJ, Pais F, Wang J, Bhatia T, Bitterman DS, de Rijk SR, Bourgeois W, Dandekar S, Park E, Burleson TM, Madhusoodhan PP, Teachey DT, Raetz EA, Hermiston ML, Muschen M, Loh ML, Hunger SP, Zhang J, Garabedian MJ, Porter CC, Carroll WL. MAPK signaling cascades mediate distinct glucocorticoid resistance mechanisms in pediatric leukemia. Blood. 2015 Nov 5; 126 (19): 2202-12. Doi:10.1182/blood-2015-04-639138. Epub 2015 Aug 31. PMID: 26324703.

2014

Karajannis MA, Legault G, Fisher MJ, Milla SS, Cohen KJ, Wisoff JH, Harter DH, Goldbery JD, Hochman T, Merkelson A, Bloom MC, Sievert AJ, Resnick AC, Dhall G, Jones DTW, Korshunov A, Pfister SM, Eberhart CG, Zagzag D, and Allen JC. Phase II study of sorafenib in children with recurrent or progressive low-grade astrocytomas. Neuro Oncol. 2014 May 6. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 24803676

Goldberg EM, Titulaer M, de Blank PM, Sievert A, Ryan N. Anti-N-methyl-D aspartate receptor-mediated encephalitis in infants and toddlers: case report and review of literature. Pediatr Neurol 2014 Feb; 50(2): 181-4. Doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2013.10.002. Epub 2013 Oct 14. 

2013

Sievert AJ, Lang SS, Boucher KL, Madsen PJ, Slaunwhite E, Choudhari N, Kellet M, Storm PB, and Resnick AC. Paradoxical activation and RAF inhibitor resistance of BRAF protein kinase fusions characterizing pediatric astrocytomas. PNAS 2013 April; 110 (15): 5957-5962. Epub 2013 Mar 26. PMID: 23533272

Abstracts

2015

Mueller S, Dik R, Yang X, Olow A, Gustafson C, DuBois S, Weiss W, Waanders AJ, Resnick, AC, and Haas-Kogan D. Effects of TORC1/2 inhibitor MLN0128 alone and in combination with MEK inhibition in BRAF mutated glioma cells. Neuro-Oncology. 17:iii1-iii40, 2015. Doi:10.1093/neuonc/nov061.75.

Waanders AJ, Silva A, Chen SS, Han H, Zhu Y, Boucher K, Jain P, Fierst T, Choudhari N, Mueller S, Haas-Kogan D, Storm PB, Resnick AC. Combinatorial pathway targeting approaches for BRAF-fusions associated with pediatric low-grade gliomas. Neuro-Oncology. 17:iii1-iii40, 2015. Doi:10.1093/neuonc/nov061.151.

Olow AK, Mueller S, Yang X, Hashizume R, Meyerowitz J, Weiss W, Resnick AC, Waanders AJ, Berger MS, Gupta N, James CD, Haas-Kogan DA. Targeted combinatorial approach for treatment of pediatric low-grade gliomas in the context of BRAF V600E and KIAA1549:BRAF mutations. Neuro-Oncology. 17:iii1-iii40, 2015. Doi:10.1093/neuonc/nov061.153.

2013

Sievert AJ, Lang SS, Silva A, Brewington D, Mueller S, Haas-Kogan DA, Storm PB, Resnick AC. Rationale for combinatorial therapeutics to inhibit BRAF fusion activation. Mol Cancer Ther. Nov 2013. 12:B272, doi:10.1158/1535-7163.

Books

Chapters

Waanders AJ, Minturn JE, Fisher MJ. Pediatric Low-Grade Gliomas: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Future Directions. In: Hayat MA, ed. Tumors of the Central Nervous System,Volume 14: Glioma, Meningioma, Neuroblastoma, and Spinal Tumors, New York: Springer, 2015, p.13-24.

Minturn JE, Sievert AJ. Pediatric brain tumors. In: Florin T, Ludwig S. Netter's pediatrics. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2011.

Posters and Presentations

Lectures by Invitation

2016

Waanders, AJ. “Brain Tumor Tissue Biobanking,” Children’s National Medical Center, Washington DC. August 2015 

Waanders, AJ. “Therapeutic targeting of fusion genes activating MAP kinase and other pathways,” Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Baltimore, MD. March 2016 

Waanders, AJ. “CBTTC New Initiatives: Enriching the Clinical Data to Empower the Genomic Data," CBTTC Investigator Meeting, New Orleans, LA. May 2016   

Waanders, AJ. “Cavatica: Empowering the Pediatric Cancer Genome,” CAC2 Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory Pediatric Research Conference, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. Sept 2016    

2015

Waanders, AJ. “Targeting Low-Grade Gliomas,” Childhood Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium Investigator Meeting, Philadelphia, PA. April 2015   

Waanders, AJ. “Targeting Pediatric Gliomas,” Investing in Innovation, Damon-Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Annual Meeting, New York, NY. May 2015   

Waanders, AJ. “New Model for Pediatric Brain Tumor Research,” Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ. June 2015  

2014

Waanders, AJ. “Opsoclonus Myoclonus Ataxia Syndrome,” Chair Clinical Conference, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, May 2014.

Waanders, AJ. “Targeting activating BRAF mutations in pediatric gliomas,” Neurosurgery Grand Rounds, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, August 2014.

2013

Waanders, AJ. “Congenital brain tumors,” Abington Memorial Hospital Neonatology Grand Rounds, Abington Township, PA, November 2013.

Waanders, AJ. “Paradoxical activation and RAF inhibitor resistance of BRAF protein kinase fusions characterizing pediatric astrocytomas,” 2013 Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Basic and Translational Research Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FL, May 2013.

Awards and Honors

2015-present, Damon Runyon Dale F Frey Breakthrough Scientist Award
2014-2016, Sanford Endowed Chair for Pediatric Oncology Research
2009,  Prize- CHOP Research Poster Day 
1999-2003, Adopt-A-Student Scholarship, Tulane University SOM
1996,  Philosophy Department Senior Student Award
1992-1996, Alpha Lambda Delta Honorary Society
1992-1996, Medallion and HEIS Scholarships for Academic Excellence

Editorial and Academic Positions

Editorial Positions

2013-present, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, reviewer
2012-present, Journal of Neuro-Oncology, reviewer
2011-present, Pediatric Blood and Cancer, reviewer

Academic and Institutional Committees

2016-present, Committee Member, Institutional Review Board, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
2014-present,  St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Grant Review Committee
2011-present, Pediatric Protocol Review Committee, Division of Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Leadership and Memberships

Memberships in Professional Organizations

2016 NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network Grant Review Committee
2013- present, Co-Scientific Investigator, Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium
2009- 2012, Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium
2008- present, American Association for Cancer Research
2007- present, Society of Neuro-Oncology
2007- present, Children’s Oncology Group
2006- present,American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
2006-present, American Society of Clinical Oncology