Kathleen M. Sakamoto

Kathleen M. Sakamoto

Bio:   Dr. Sakamoto received her B.A. in Biology from Williams College and her M.D. from the University of Cincinnati. She was a pediatric resident and hematology/oncology fellow at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Sakamoto was a research fellow at UCLA and then was a faculty member at UCLA in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology for over 20 years. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Sakamoto was the Division Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at UCLA for six years and was the Vice-Chair of Research in the Department of Pediatrics; co-Associate Director of the Signal Transduction Program Area of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and co-Chair of the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Committee for Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health. From 2011-2014, she was the Division Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplant/Cancer Biology at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. Dr. Sakamoto was the Fellowship Program Director and is the P.I. of an NIH T32 training grant at Stanford. Currently, she is a member of the Child Health Research Institute Executive Committee at Stanford University and the Academic Promotion Committee for Stanford School of Medicine.

Dr. Sakamoto’s research has focused on signaling pathways and gene regulation in normal and aberrant hematopoiesis, including leukemia and bone marrow failure syndromes. She is specifically interested in targeted therapies for leukemia and other types of pediatric cancers. Dr. Sakamoto has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 20 years. She currently holds the Shelagh Galligan Endowed Professorship and has received awards from the American Cancer Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Bear Necessities, and CDMRP(DOD). She has been a standing and ad hoc member of National Institutes of Health grant review committees for the past 15 years. She is Chair of the Bear Necessities Scientific Review Committee. She is currently developing novel therapies to target CREB for the treatment of acute leukemia. Promising small molecule compounds that are effective in the lab and nontoxic will be tested and optimized to take to the clinic for patients with relapsed leukemia. This will provide novel approaches to treat leukemia in children.

Professional Education

  • Fellowship: Children's Hospital Los Angeles (1991) CA
  • Board Certification: Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics (1989)
  • Residency: Children's Hospital Los Angeles (1988) CA
  • Board Certification: Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, American Board of Pediatrics (1992)
  • Medical Education: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (1985) OH
  • B.A., Williams College, Biology (1979)
  • M.D., University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Medicine (1985)
  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Biology (2004)
  • Internship and Residency, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Pediatrics (1988)
  • Fellowship, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (1991)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, UCLA School of Medicine, Hematopoietic growth factors and signal transduction (1992)

Honors & Awards

  • Brett Ely Visiting Professor in Pediatric Oncology, University of Colorado and Children's Hospital Denver (2011)
  • Chair, Myeloid Biology Subcommittee, American Society of Hematology (2011)
  • Fernbach Distinguished Visiting Professor Lectureship, Texas Children's Cancer Center (2009)
  • Gift of Hope Award, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (2008)
  • Jason Bennette Memorial Lectureship, Cohen Children's Hospital, Long Island, NY (2013)
  • Junior Faculty Ross Research Award, Western Society for Pediatric Research (1996)
  • Outstanding advances in cancer research award, Mendiburu Magic Foundation (2010)
  • Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Memorial Lecture Honoree, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (2016)
  • Shelagh Galligan Endowed Chair, Stanford University (2012)
  • Standing Member, NIDDK-D Study Section for Training Grants and K awards (2011-2016)
  • Steven Rosen Endowed Lectureship, Northwestern University School of Medicine (2015)
  • STOP Cancer Career Development award, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (1992)
  • Victor E. Stork Award, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles (1988)
  • Young Investigator Award, American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (1994)

Administrative Appointments

  • Chief, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplantation/Cancer Biology, Bass Cancer Center, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital (2011 - 2014)
  • Fellowship Program Director, Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine (2011 - 2013)