Research Banner

Conducting Critical Research for Pediatric Cancer

About Our Research

Over 30 leading children’s hospitals across the United States have joined the Sunshine Project Consortium because they believe in our singular mission: to find more effective and less toxic treatments for childhood cancer. The Sunshine Project has a 15-year track record of conducting novel treatment trials for children whose cancers were not curable by standard treatments. We now find ourselves at a critical juncture: it is clear that childhood cancer is too complex to expect one new treatment to cure all patients, or even to cure all patients with certain cancer types.

To overcome this hurdle, the Sunshine Project has launched a multipronged assault on childhood cancer from many angles. To find better, less toxic cures, we must:

  1. Better understand the different types of cancer affecting children so we can exploit their weaknesses.
  2. Accelerate the development of novel therapies that can be effective across multiple cancer types.
  3. Understand the best way to use these new treatments alongside existing treatments in intelligently designed strategies to cure patients.
  4. Recognize that novel, “out of the box” approaches to cancer treatment can come from a variety of sources, including hospitals, biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, universities (including ideas generated inside and outside of health sciences departments), and others both within and outside of the United States.

To this end, the Sunshine Project has created research task forces comprised of leading clinicians, scientists, and young investigators to focus on these difficult to solve problems. Each task force is centered around a specific type of childhood cancer or a specific treatment domain and is charged with performing the best research that most rapidly moves new therapy strategies into clinical trials. Our philosophy openly welcomes new partnerships, whether children’s hospitals looking to join the Sunshine Project or academic or industry partnerships both within and outside the United States.

– Jonathan Metts, MD & Matteo Trucco, MD, Vice-Chairs of the Sunshine Project

“The Sunshine Project believes the greatest advances in childhood cancer outcomes will be realized when the biggest and most novel treatment ideas are shared and refined openly across traditional institutional boundaries.”

“Without your support, we simply cannot do the innovative research and clinical trials that will improve outcomes for kids with cancer. NPCF is cutting through the bureaucracy and conventional thinking that is slowing down the progress we can make.”

“Curing a child with cancer remains an overwhelming challenge, with some cancers essentially incurable, and many others causing lifelong disabilities. I am so grateful for the existence of NPCF’s Sunshine Project and have personally been able to devote my team’s time more aggressively towards finding more effective, less toxic cures.”

“Thank you for supporting the work that we do, as the investigators for the Sunshine Project, to make new discoveries and to bring new treatments to children with cancer. We could not do what we do without help from donors like you.”

Our Partner Institutions

The Sunshine Project™ Governance

Damon Reed, MD

Chief Science Officer
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Jonathan Metts, MD

Sunshine Project Co-Chair
Moffitt Cancer Center

Matteo Trucco, MD

Sunshine Project Co-Chair
Cleveland Clinic

Jessica Crimella, RN, BSN, CCRP

Sunshine Project Lead
Moffitt Cancer Center

Lars M. Wagner, MD

Executive Council, Protocol Committee Co-Chair
Duke Children’s Hospital

Michael Isakoff, MD

Protocol Committee Co-Chair
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Task Force Leaders

Scott Borinstein

Scott Borinstein, MD, PhD

Executive Council, Novel Initiatives Task Force Leader

Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

Mas Hayashi

Mas Hayashi, MD

Osteosarcoma Task Force Leader

Children’s Hospital of Colorado

Eugene Hwang

Eugene Hwang, MD

Central Nervous System (CNS) Task Force Leader

Children's National Medical Center

Trish Larkin

Trish Larkin, MD

Executive Council, Novel Initiatives Task Force Leader

St Joseph’s Hospital

Dean Lee

Dean Lee, MD

Immunotherapy Task Force Leader

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Bhuvana Setty

Bhuvana Setty, MD

Ewing's Sarcoma Task Force Leader, Sunshine Project Site PI

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Elizabeth A. Stewart

Elizabeth A. Stewart, MD

Rhabdomyosarcoma Task Force Leader

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Daniel A. Weiser

Daniel A. Weiser, MD

Executive Council, Novel Initiatives Task Force Leader

Children’s Hospital at Montefiore

All Private Investigators & Researchers

Mohamed Abdelbaki

Mohamed Abdelbaki, MD

Sunshine Project Researcher

Washington University, St. Louis Children's

Vibhuti Agarwal

Vibhuti Agarwal, MD

Sunshine Project Site PI, Researcher

Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando

Laura Agresta

Laura Agresta, MD

Sunshine Project Researcher

Michigan State University

Elizabeth Alva

Elizabeth Alva, MD, MSPH

Sunshine Project Site PI

University of Alabama-Birmingham

Amy Armstrong

Amy Armstrong, MD

Sunshine Project Site PI

Washington University, St. Louis Children's Hospital

Jamie Aye

Jamie Aye, MD

Sunshine Project Researcher

University of Alabama-Birmingham

Tom Badgett

Tom Badgett, MD, PhD

Sunshine Project Site PI

University of Kentucky

Alissa Baker

Alissa Baker, MD, FAAP

Sunshine Project Researcher

Montefiore Medical Center