After a national search, John M. Cunningham, MD, the Donald N. Pritzker Professor and interim chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago, has been formally appointed chairman of the department, effective Aug. 1, 2015.
An authority on the study and treatment of childhood cancers, as well as the biology and therapy of hemoglobinopathies — blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia — Cunningham is known for his work on understanding the molecular mechanism underpinning red blood cell production. He has developed stem cell transplant techniques for the 70 percent of children who do not have a sibling match. These approaches have made transplant an option for any child requiring this therapy.
Kenneth Polonsky, MD, dean of the Biological Sciences Division and executive vice president for medical affairs, lauded Cunningham in his role as section chief of pediatric hematology/oncology since arriving at the university in late 2006.