Dr. Darrell Yamashiro to Lead Columbia's Pediatric Oncology Division

August 27, 2018

Darrell Yamashiro, MD, PhD, has been named director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, & Stem Cell Transplantation at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons (VP&S).

“Dr. Yamashiro possesses all the skills, abilities, and passions to bring our division to new heights and to facilitate our department’s continued journey to preeminence,” said Jordan Orange, MD, PhD, the Reuben S. Carpentier Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at VP&S. “His experience in caring for children with cancer will help us continue to serve some of the most complex pediatric cases in the nation, and his focus on research converges with our department’s efforts to drive innovation in pediatric care.”

Dr. Yamashiro specializes in caring for children with solid tumors, especially neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, and hepatoblastoma. In his research, he is working to identify new therapies for these cancers and to implement a precision medicine-based approach to treating pediatric cancer. His most recent work, in collaboration with Eileen Connolly, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiation oncology at VP&S, showed that combining high-dose radiation therapy with anti-PD1 immunotherapy may alter the tumor microenvironment, potentially paving the way for clinical trials of the combination targeted therapy in children with refractory solid tumors. He is also leading an interdisciplinary team of researchers who are identifying pathways that may instigate and promote osteosarcoma in children, and which could lead to the development of new therapies for this disease.

Dr. Yamashiro’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, Hyundai Hope on Wheels, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, and St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Dr. Yamashiro, who is also associate professor of pediatrics and of pathology and cell biology at VP&S, served as director of the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program from 2009 until his appointment as chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, & Stem Cell Transplantation. He has mentored more than 20 medical students, including American Pediatric Society/Society for Pediatric Research participants, NIH fellows, and Doris Duke fellows. In addition, he has served as thesis sponsor for PhD and master’s degree candidates as well as senior advisor to numerous pediatric oncology and surgical fellows.

He obtained his MD and PhD degrees from New York University School of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency training and pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 1997, he joined the Division of Oncology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.