Childhood cancer survivorship advocate Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., has been named associate chair of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest cooperative pediatric cancer research organization.
|Smita Bhatia (Photo by Darrin S. Joy)|
The COG comprises more than 5,000 physicians, nurses and investigators in North America who treat and strive to end children’s cancers.
Bhatia joined the organization nearly a decade ago and has chaired COG’s Late-Effects Committee. As chair, she was responsible for facilitating, coordinating and initiating national studies focusing on childhood cancer survivorship issues. The COG Long-term Follow-up Guidleines for Childhood Cancer Survivors were created during her term as chair.
Her new role should allow her to provide the leadership in channeling the direction and focus, while maintaining the scientific merit of research focusing cancer survivorship and measures developed to reduce the associated morbidity, said Bhatia, director of City of Hope’s Center for Cancer Survivorship and chair and professor of the Department of Population Sciences.
“It is a tremendous honor and a huge responsibility to be part of the leadership team that shapes the research that’s happening in the Children’s Oncology Group,” Bhatia said. She will oversee all non-therapeutic research within the COG, such as studies involving survivorship and cancer control. Bhatia also relishes the chance to mentor young scientists early in their careers to ensure they follow viable research paths.