Stanford Medicine Children’s Health Appoints New Chief of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology Stem Cell Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine

Tanja Gruber, MD, PhD, will serve as Associate Director for Childhood Cancer in the Stanford Cancer Institute and Director of the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases

For release: August 20, 2020

Tanja Gruber, MD, PhD
Tanja Gruber, MD, PhD

PALO ALTO, Calif.— Physician-scientist Tanja Gruber, MD, PhD, has been appointed Division Chief of Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine in the Division of Pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Associate Director for Childhood Cancer in the Stanford Cancer Institute, and Director of the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health.

Gruber brings a wealth of clinical and laboratory experience from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she worked for more than a decade, most recently as an Associate Member of the Molecular Oncology Division in the Oncology Department. While at St. Jude, she became a nationally and internationally recognized leader and physician-scientist who ran a research laboratory in addition to national clinical trials.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Gruber to Stanford Children’s Health,” said Paul King, president and CEO of Stanford Children’s Health. “On the heels of opening our new inpatient cancer center in 2019, Dr. Gruber’s leadership as a remarkably accomplished and collaborative physician-scientist will further enhance Stanford Medicine Children’s Health’s ability to offer preeminent, innovative treatment for pediatric cancer and blood diseases, and stem cell transplantation.”

Gruber’s research focuses on high-risk leukemia and acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL). Research in her lab at St. Jude led to the identification of CBFA2T3-GLIS2, a novel fusion gene that confers a poor prognosis in pediatric AMKL and a detailed view of the genomic landscape in MLLr leukemia. Her lab also identified bortezomib and vorinostat as active agents in MLLr leukemia with a novel mechanism of action. These data formed the preclinical basis for the multi-institutional clinical trial “Total Therapy for Infants with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia,” for which patients at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford were recruited.

“We are tremendously excited about Tanja’s arrival. She will be a transformative leader for the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and will also play a pivotal role as the Stanford Cancer Institute’s new Associate Director for Pediatric Cancer,” said Steven Artandi, MD, PhD, director of the Stanford Cancer Institute. “Her expertise as both a laboratory scientist and clinical trialist will bring added strength to our cancer drug discovery efforts, and her background in immunology will enable us to explore new synergies between our adult and pediatric efforts.”

“Stanford is an incredibly inspiring place, and I look forward to working with all the physicians and scientists here to develop new treatment approaches and bring them to patients,” Gruber said. “The passion for providing excellent patient care rooted in cutting-edge science is clear, and the opportunity to lead a group that is so committed to advancing the field of pediatric cancer and blood diseases is very exciting.”

Gruber graduated from the University of Southern California with an MD in Medicine and PhD in Immunology. She completed residency and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles prior to being recruited by St. Jude.

Media Contact

Kate DeTrempe
(650) 485-9487

About Stanford Medicine Children's Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at