Robyn Gartrell, MD
Locations and Appointments
CUIMC/Herbert Irving Pavilion
About Robyn Gartrell, MD
As a pediatric oncologist who is passionate about caring for children, I have made it my goal to develop therapies that alleviate suffering and prolong life for these patients. During my training in pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology, I became intrigued by the power of precision medicine and immunotherapy to decrease the toxicity of current treatments. I now conduct clinical and laboratory research in the new and growing field of immuno-oncology.
My clinical research focus is solid tumors, and I have a special interest in liver tumors and rare cancers. In 2019, I joined the rare tumor committee of the Children's Oncology Group (COG) where I work with pediatric cancer clinicians and researchers at the cutting-edge of the field to develop clinical trials for patients with these rare cancers. I currently lead a clinical trial concept development team that is examining the combination of immunotherapy with chemotherapy and radiation in children and young adults with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). We're excited to offer opportunities to improve not only survival but quality of life for patients with rare cancers like NPC. In 2021, I joined the COG Liver Tumor Committee and COG Liver Tumor Biology Committee with a focus on evaluating the immune response in pediatric liver tumors including hepatoblastoma and fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (FL-HCC).
My primary laboratory research focuses on combination approaches including radiation, chemotherapy, or other targeted therapies that would improve the effectiveness of immunotherapy in treating childhood cancers. My laboratory evaluates human specimens of a range of pediatric solid tumor types and brain tumors, and profiles the immune microenvironment around each tumor to identify targets for immunotherapy. We also study cell lines and mouse models of one of the most fatal pediatric brain tumors, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). Our techniques include mulitplex platforms such as spatial transcriptopmics and single cell sequencing as well as mechanistic and computational approaches to study the immune system in tumors, with the goal of ensuring that children with cancer have longer lives and fewer side effects from treatments.
- Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
- Medical School: Ross University / School of Medicine
- Residency: University of Kansas Medical Center
- Fellowship: NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Leadership, Titles & Positions
- Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at CUMC
- NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center