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Distinguished Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist Joins Cedars-Sinai

Internationally Prominent Clinical Investigator Leo Mascarenhas, MD, MS, Will Also Direct Adult and Pediatric Sarcoma

Leo Mascarenhas, MD, MS, an internationally recognized pediatric hematologist-oncologist and sarcoma expert, has been appointed director of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s and as medical director of theLeo Mascarenhas, MD, MS Sarcoma Program at Cedars-Sinai Cancer.

Mascarenhas, who joins Cedars-Sinai in January 2024, also will serve as a senior investigator in the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute Cancer Therapeutics Program and as a professor of Pediatrics at Guerin Children’s.

“The recruitment of Dr. Mascarenhas is a significant step forward for our child health enterprise,” said Ophir Klein, MD, PhD, executive director of Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s and the David and Meredith Kaplan Distinguished Chair in Children’s Health. “His appointment exemplifies Cedars-Sinai’s continued commitment to providing expert care for patients from birth through adulthood, as well as our determined efforts to perform meaningful research and develop novel treatment strategies for patients in Los Angeles and beyond.”

Mascarenhas will supervise and mentor physicians to ensure that patients receive the highest level of specialized care, while advancing innovative clinical trials and investigations for children with cancer and blood diseases, as well as the entire age spectrum of patients with sarcoma.  

He will also direct teaching functions and share his expertise through teaching rounds and lectures. In addition, he will collaborate with physicians and staff to achieve goals related to patient outcomes and safety, and he will work with leadership to identify strategic goals for the departments in which he serves.

“I am eager to collaborate with this passionate, diverse group of clinicians and scientists to advance innovation and develop new treatment strategies for patients,” Mascarenhas said.

Mascarenhas currently is deputy director of the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, director of the Sarcoma and Solid Tumor Program, and the principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute-funded Children’s Oncology Group (COG) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). He also is section head of Oncology in the division of Hematology and Oncology at CHLA and an associate professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

An expert in treating and studying solid tumors and sarcomas—rare cancers that occur in bones and soft tissues—Mascarenhas is the elected chair of the voting body of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a cooperative that involves more than 100 clinical trials. He is a past board member of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology and serves as a reviewer for several leading peer-reviewed medical journals. He also is a medical consultant for the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Mascarenhas to Cedars-Sinai, knowing his exceptional expertise and leadership in clinical trials will be a significant asset to our Cancer Clinical Trials Office as well as bringing together pediatric and adult sarcoma patients under one roof,” said Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer and the PHASE ONE Foundation Distinguished Chair.

A graduate of St. John’s Medical College in Bengaluru, India, Mascarenhas completed a residency in pediatrics at New York Medical College and fellowships in hematology-oncology and research immunology/bone marrow transplantation at CHLA. Mascarenhas also holds a master’s degree in clinical and biomedical investigations from the University of Southern California (USC).

“By investigating cancer pathways and potential therapies, Dr. Mascarenhas’ work gives hope to children with cancer and their families,” said Shervin Rabizadeh, MD, MBA, associate director of Guerin Children’s and chair of the Department of Pediatrics. “We are excited for him to join our medical faculty.”

Guerin Children’s was established with a $100 million gift from the Shapell Guerin Family Foundation and its president, Vera Guerin. 

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Six Questions With Ophir Klein, MD, PhD

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