Jessica Foster, MD Receives Young Investigator Award at the 2021 ASPHO Annual Conference

Jessica Foster, MD

On April 20, 2021, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Hemotology/Neuro-Oncology (ASPHO), Dr. Jessica Foster, a physician within CHOP’s Division of Oncology, and a physician scientist in D³b’s Preclinical Laboratory Research Unit, will present latest research findings in an abstract titled “Use of MRNA Car T Cells For Malignant Pediatric Brain Tumors.” For her work, Dr. Foster will also receive ASPHO’s Young Investigator Award at this year’s conference.


The ASPHO Young Investigator Award was established in 1989 to formally recognize excellence in research in pediatric hematology/oncology. To receive this award, an investigator will have conducted high-quality clinical or laboratory research on a project in which they participated actively in the design, conduct, and data analysis. Awardees also demonstrate a commitment to a career that includes clinical and/or laboratory investigation in pediatric hematology-oncology.


Dr. Foster’s abstract demonstrates her use of mRNA, which may provide additional safety measures, in designing novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy. Through her research, which was heavily supported by data drawn from the Children’s Brain Tumor Network’s Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas, Dr. Foster was able to recognize the potential in using mRNA CAR T cells for targeting pediatric brain tumors. It is estimated that in the absence of CBTN resources, Dr. Foster’s project would have taken upwards of 3 times as long to generate results. 


Patient-donated data and specimens, managed at the CBTN’s Operations Center at D3b, have accelerated the rate of discovery for over 150 scientific projects at top children’s brain tumor research centers around the world. To access these resources for your research, visit 


The ASPHO Conference
More than 1,200 pediatric hematology/oncology professionals from around the world attend the ASPHO Conference. A flagship meeting for the field, the ASPHO Conference allows attendees to receive high-quality educational content, network with their colleagues, and discover innovative advancements in pediatric hematology/oncology.


Members of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology include practitioners, fellows, faculty, investigators, hospitalists, physician assistants, advanced nurse practitioners, other advanced practice providers and allied healthcare professionals involved in the dynamic and rapidly evolving discipline of pediatric hematology/oncology. 


ASPHO values and encourages diverse and inclusive participation within the profession of pediatric hematology/oncology.