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Award-winning immunologist Catherine Bollard to lead Center for Cancer and Immunology Research at the Children's Research Institute, Children's National Health System

WASHINGTON – Children’s National Health System announced that Catherine “Cath” Bollard, M.D., M.B.Ch.B., currently chief of the division of allergy and immunology, has been chosen to serve as director of the Children’s Research Institute’s (CRI) Center for Cancer and Immunology Research (CCIR).  CCIR, with annual National Institutes of Health and other external funding of more than $10 million, includes more than 50 clinicians and scientists performing groundbreaking clinical and translational research in understanding the origins and developing and testing novel therapies for childhood cancers and immunologic disorders. In her new role, Dr. Bollard will lead the promotion and oversight of cancer and immunology research performed at Children’s National and will join the leadership team of CRI.

“I’m honored and excited to take on this new role,” says Dr. Bollard. “Since joining Children’s National, we’ve made incredible progress in the cancer immunotherapy field. I look forward to continuing to build on these successes and lead the way toward the next generation of innovative immunotherapy treatments.”

Since 2015, Dr. Bollard has served as the chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Children’s National after joining the hospital in 2013 to direct the cellular immunotherapy research program. She also is Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine at The George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and serves as the director of the Program for Cell Enhancement and Technologies for Immunotherapy. 

“Cath’s unique background and pioneering work in T-cell immunotherapy have established her as an international leader in research and treatment of children with cancer and immunologic disorders,” says Vittorio Gallo, Ph.D., Chief Research Officer at CRI. “Her leadership will reinforce our ongoing commitment to fighting cancer and developing innovative treatments.” 

Dr. Bollard’s research focuses on improving outcomes for patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, as well as the development of novel cell therapies for viral diseases and hematologic malignancies. With her move to Children’s National, she and her team extended this focus to include pediatric solid tumors, human immunodeficiency virus, primary immune deficiency and more recently, allergic and autoimmune disorders. The novel cell therapies program that Dr. Bollard and her team built moves basic proof-of-principle work in the laboratory to the clinic.

“All of Children’s National’s progress in cellular immunotherapy can be attributed to Catherine and her leadership,” says Mark L. Batshaw, M.D., Chief Academic Officer and Director of CRI. “We are confident her impact will extend even further in her new role.” 

An internationally recognized pioneer in cellular therapy, Dr. Bollard’s publication record includes over 110 original papers, over 70 reviews and commentaries and 18 book chapters. She is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and is President of the International Society for Cellular Therapy. Dr. Bollard serves as an associate editor for the journals Blood and Cytotherapy, a member of the National Cancer Institute Clinical Oncology Study Section and a member of the Cellular, Tissues and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee for the Food and Drug Administration, among other distinguished positions. 

A New Zealand native, Dr. Bollard received her medical degree at University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Board Certified both in pediatrics and hematology, she worked both in New Zealand and London before moving to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 2000, where she completed her training and rapidly rose to Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Immunology and Director of the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center Pediatric Lymphoma Program.

Media contact: Rebecca Porterfield | Children’s National Health System | 301-255-6737

About Children’s National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is #1 for babies and ranked in every specialty evaluated by U.S. News & World Report including placement in the top 10 for: Cancer (#7), Neurology and Neurosurgery (#9) Orthopedics (#9) and Nephrology (#10). Children’s National has been designated two times as a Magnet®hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is one of the nation’s top NIH-funded pediatric institutions. Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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