pediatric oncology specialty at UC Davis

Our pediatric oncology team provides comprehensive care for patients with a wide range of childhood cancers.

The UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center's pediatric oncology program provides diagnosis and management of all forms of pediatric cancer and pediatric blood disorders. Patients have access to an extensive range of clinical trials of new therapies and management of long-term treatment effects.

Also available are a collaborative network of UC Davis specialists in neuro-oncology, radiation oncology, urology, ophthalmology and otolaryngology. Additional resources for patients and their families include case management, social support services and temporary housing during extended hospital stays.

The pediatric oncology clinic is conveniently located on the ground floor of the main Cancer Center’s North Building. Co-location of outpatient pediatric services with the adult clinics allows for better coordination of pediatric cancer care and research. Multidisciplinary teams of physicians, nurses and other providers ensure more seamless coordination of care through a patient’s diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

Children needing hospitalization will continue to receive care at the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, a world-class pediatric hospital. Physicians within the Section of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology diagnose and treat children with blood disorders and all types of malignancies, including leukemia, lymphoma, brain and other solid tumors.

The program is a member of the Children's Oncology Group (COG), a federally funded cooperative dedicated to the treatment of childhood cancers. UC Davis Health System also is a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s federally funded National Hemophilia Treatment Centers.

Pediatric cancer types we treat

At UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, we provide cancer care for children, adolescents, and young adults with all types of cancers. Explore our cancer types to find information about treatment options, our collaborative team approach and the support services that are available to our cancer patients.


Our pediatric cancer team

Marcio Malogolowkin

Marcio H. Malogolowkin, M.D.
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Chief, Division of Hematology Oncology

Treating children with cancer for more than 29 years, Malogolowkin is passionate about developing new therapeutic approaches to improving outcomes and quality of life for his patients. An international leader in the treatment of pediatric liver tumors, Malogolowkin leads the pediatric hematology-oncology program to enhance the care of pediatric and young adult patients with cancer and blood disorders, to advance education of these diseases and to develop the next generation of health providers and researchers. Malogolowkin served as division head for clinical affairs and clinical research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and led the hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant program at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin before coming to UC Davis. He believes all children should be cared for as family and have local access to top cancer experts and leading-edge treatments.

Anjali Pawar

Anjali Pawar, M.D.
Medical Director of the Pediatric Infusion Center
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Prior to joining UC Davis in March 2012, Pawar trained and held a faculty position at University of Michigan. In addition to oncology and hematology, Pawar is especially interested in young women with bleeding disorders and clotting problems, and plans to continue clinical research in this area at UC Davis. Pawar is a big fan of healthy eating habits and getting a lot of exercise, and is interested in the problems of childhood obesity as it relates to cancer therapy complications. Pawar is Board Certified in Pediatrics as well as Pediatric Hematology Oncology, and is a member of several professional pediatric and pediatric hematology and oncology organizations.

Elysia Alvarez

Elysia Alvarez, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Elysia Alvarez a pediatric oncologist who researches Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) oncology patient outcomes and specializes in pediatric and AYA solid tumors. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from UC Irvine School of Medicine, her Master of Public Health from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Clark University. She completed her residency and fellowship at Stanford University. Dr Alvarez believes that all children, adolescents, and young adults have the right to the best care and treatment possible. Through her clinical practice and research she is passionate about increasing access to the best care and improving outcomes in this patient population.

Reuben Antony, M.D.

Reuben Antony, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Antony received his Doctor of Medicine degree from St. John’s Medical College in Bangalore, India, and earned his Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians in the United Kingdom. He completed two international fellowships, one in pediatric oncology at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, and one in bone marrow transplantation at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He completed residency at New York Medical College, and a fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Antony’s clinical interests are in pediatric neuro-oncology. His philosophy of care is to provide compassionate and leading-edge care to the children and families who place their trust in us.

Jong H. Chung

Jong H. Chung, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Hematology and Oncology

Jong Hee Chung is an assistant clinical professor in pediatric hematology and oncology. Dr. Chung earned her medical degree at New York University, completed her residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and a fellowship at Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland. Her research focuses on improving the quality of care for patients with hemoglobinopathies, complex inherited abnormalities in hemoglobin production. She approaches her work with the philosophy that every child should be treated with the dedication and compassion she would give her own family. She is inspired by the children and families she works with and their amazing strength of spirit. "Children are so unpredictable, funny, adaptable sweet and, in the end, just lovely even when they're being contrary," she says. "The most rewarding thing about my job is seeing a child who starts out tearful, or in pain, blossom into a happy, healthy child who sees our oncology team as their friends."

Jonathan Ducore

Jonathan M. Ducore, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Co-Director of the Hemophilia Treatment Center

Jonathan Ducore, professor of clinical pediatrics, has been with the UC Davis Health System for nearly 25 years. He is co-director of the Hemophilia Treatment Center and has expertise in pediatric malignancies, bleeding disorders, cancer epidemiology and clinical trials. Dr. Ducore is looking forward to the integration of the pediatric with the adult cancer programs and the potential for cooperation and collaboration among clinicians and researchers.

Shinjiro Hirose

Shinjiro Hirose, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Division of Pediatric General, Thoracic and Fetal Surgery

A nationally recognized fetal and children's cancer surgeon and an expert in the development and use of surgical robotics in children, Hirose leads the pediatric surgery division to provide general and thoracic surgical care for infants, children and adolescents, and is working with colleagues to create the first comprehensive fetal diagnosis and therapy center in the Sacramento region. Before joining UC Davis, Hirose was the lead pediatric surgeon at the UC San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital and its Fetal Treatment Center, specializing in minimally invasive surgery for gastro-intestinal, biliary, liver and thoracic disorders in fetuses in utero and children. Hirose is one of the creators of the University of California Fetal Therapy Consortium, and has a joint appointment as director of pediatric surgery at Shriners Hospitals for Children - Northern California, where he is developing a surgical program to serve children with complex colorectal and pelvic floor anomalies and a bowel-management program.

Arun Panigrahi

Arun Ranjan Panigrahi, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Arun Panigrahi is a pediatric hematology-oncology physician who specializes in the treatment of benign hematology conditions such as hemophilia, Von Willebrand disease, sickle cell disease and thalassemia. He also cares for patients with malignant hematologic conditions such as leukemia and lymphoma. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois.  He completed his pediatric residency at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center and competed fellowships in pediatric hematology-oncology as well as clinical pharmacology / pharmacogenomics at the University of Chicago.

Noriko Satake

Noriko Satake, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Satake joined the UC Davis pediatric oncology team in 2007 after completing a three-year pediatric oncology fellowship at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital. A pioneer of innovative treatments for pediatric cancers, Satake's research focuses on the development of targeted therapies for leukemia and neuroblastoma, the most common cancers affecting children. She has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2011 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award from The Hartwell Foundation, a philanthropy that funds innovative and leading-edge biomedical research with the potential to benefit children of the United States, and the 2015 Hartwell Biomedical Research Collaboration Award, a first for a Hartwell investigator from UC Davis. Inspired by the courage she sees in the children, Satake hopes to develop novel drugs that will directly improve treatments and outcomes for her patients. She believes exercise is key to good health, and enjoys unwinding from work with Zumba and kickboxing sessions.

Pediatric Nursing

Kerri Stuart

Kerri Stuart, R.N., M.S.N., O.C.N.
Pediatric Oncology Nurse Manager

Kerri started her nursing career at UC Davis in the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit and later inpatient oncology, where she focused on pediatric stem cell transplants. She later worked in hospice and palliative care and symptom management, and further expanded her skills as a resource nurse in the Department of Radiation Oncology. While there, she earned a master’s degree in nursing, with a focus on the delivery of complex patient care in an oncology patient population. She joined Pediatric Oncology in 2012, drawn to caring for children and their families faced with a cancer diagnosis. Kerri has advocated for and overseen the growth and expansion of Pediatric Oncology to include a full-time child life specialist and pediatric hematology/oncology social worker, a dedicated social worker for the adolescent/young adult hemoglobinopathy patients, an oncology clinic triage nurse, a dedicated pediatric pharmacist, holiday infusion center hours, outpatient surgical procedure capabilities, and a dietitian specializing in the nutritional needs of pediatric oncology patients (coming soon). In her free time Kerri enjoys traveling with her family, reading, cooking, and hiking.

Brian Stuepfert

Brian K. Stuepfert, M.S.N., R.N., N.P., C.P.O.N.
Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner certified in acute care, Brian has been caring for patients in the pediatric oncology outpatient clinic since July 2014. He earned his master's degree in nursing from UCSF, and comes to UC Davis from Doernbehcer Children's Hospital in Portland, OR, where he cared for young bone marrow transplant patients and children diagnosed with blood disorders and cancer. As a nurse practitioner, Brian plays a key role in providing personalized care to patients at the time of diagnosis, during treatment and through survivorship. In addition to children with cancer, Brian helps treat pediatric patients with sickle-cell disease as well as bone marrow transplant recipients. He says the resilience of children and their families makes his job rewarding, and believes the ability to carefully listen to a patient is one of the most important parts of his job.

Kristine Ahlberg

Kristine Ahlberg, R.N., B.S.N., O.C.N., C.H.T.C.
Pediatric Oncology Nurse Care Coordinator

An oncology nurse her entire career, Kristine has been at UC Davis for nearly 25 years. Prior to working with pediatric cancer patients, she helped coordinate care for adult stem cell transplant recipients, helping to establish the cancer center's stem cell transplant program, which facilitated the region's first bone marrow transplant and is considered one of Northern California's most experienced and comprehensive programs today. Working in pediatric oncology since 2014, Kristine seeks to empower patients and parents. She provides crucial support during treatment and helps patients strive toward best health possible through education. Certified in oncology nursing, as well as in pediatric chemotherapy and biotherapy, Kristine is a professional member of the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses and the Oncology Nursing Society. She enjoys providing tools to help parents care for their children, and believes prioritizing self-care is key to good health.

Alyssa Branscombe

Alyssa Loren Branscombe, B.S.N., R.N., C.N.O.R.

Alyssa is the telephone triage nurse and procedure nurse (for the lumbar puncture and bone marrow biopsy procedures) in the Pediatric Infusion Center. She attended Sacramento State University and completed her nursing degree in Las Vegas. Her career started in 2011 in the pediatric operating room, where she worked for five years before transferring to the Cancer Center. Alyssa was drawn to the Cancer Center specifically because her father was part of a film crew for an informational video for patients and their families, now featured on the cancer center website and he couldn't stop talking about the center’s amazing staff, beautiful working environment and its patients. Her father encouraged her to visit; she did, and had the right credentials at the right time. Alyssa also works as a part-time photographer and is working to launch a small photography business. She has a beautiful 3 1/2 year-old daughter named Serenity who shares her mother’s birthday.

Katie Haertle

Katie Haertle, R.N., B.S.N., C.P.H.O.N.
Pediatric Oncology Nurse Care Coordinator

A veteran nursing professional with more than 30 years of experience, Katie spent most of her career caring for patients at UC Davis, and has worked in pediatric oncology for more than a decade. As a nurse care coordinator, she helps guide patients and their families through the cancer journey by providing education, coordinating complex care and serving as a crucial bridge of communication between families and oncologists. She is continually amazed by her patients' strength and bravery, and says "seeing kids in recovery when they come back for follow-up visits makes the difficult times all worthwhile." Recognized for her commitment to pediatric cancer care, Katie was honored with an Aflac Duckprints Award in 2014, which celebrates individuals who have left their own personal footprint in the fight against childhood cancer. Her philosophy for good health is to focus on one day at a time, eat well and exercise — and make sure to laugh a lot.

Yvonne Roach

Yvonne Roach, R.N., B.S.N., C.P.H.O.N.
Pediatric Oncology Nurse Care Coordinator

At UC Davis for nearly 30 years, and a nurse care coordinator in pediatric oncology for more than two decades, Yvonne thinks of herself as an "interpreter of medical care," always on a mission to provide timely information. "Cancer treatment can be very confusing, so we try to make it as clear as possible, doing whatever it takes to make sure patients and their caregivers get questions answered," she says. Constantly going over treatment calendars, providing regular updates, and always just a phone call away, Yvonne sees patients through their entire cancer journeys. The relationships she builds with patients and their families along the way is the best part of her job, she says. "You really get to become part of their lives, and that's something you only get to do as a nurse care coordinator."

Pediatric Surgery

Stephen Greenholz

Stephen Greenholz, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Surgery

Patient and Family Support

Jennifer Belke

Jennifer Belke, M.S., C.C.L.S.
Certified Child Life Specialist

Jennifer started her career at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in 2009, but in May 2016 moved home to Sacramento. She was hired as the permanent child life specialist in the Pediatric Infusion Center in March 2017. Jenny focuses on making sure children and their families understand what will happen during treatment to alleviate the fear of the unknown, help patients learn to cope with their procedures and make sure they have fun things to do while receiving their treatment. Jenny enjoys reading, hiking and sewing in her free time, and her favorite place to be is on the beach watching the ocean.