Clinical Scientists

Peter KimPeter C. W. Kim, MD, CM, PhD, a pediatric surgeon and scientist, is vice president of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System. As vice president, he implements the Institute’s vision of innovative, multidisciplinary research and development in pediatric surgery. Dr. Kim’s research focuses on the development of smarter surgical tools, including image guidance and robotics; smarter simulation technologies that prepare tomorrow’s pediatric surgeons through a hands-on approach rather than the traditional lecture-based medical training model; and the potential of technologies such as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HiFU) as non-invasive alternatives to conventional surgery. He has authored more than 100 papers and 50 abstracts on a range of topics, with special emphasis on developmental molecular biology as well as innovation and technology, including minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Previously, Dr. Kim served as a general neonatal and thoracic surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto where he was also founding lead for the Centre for Image-Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI), and a senior associate scientist in the hospital’s research institute. Dr. Kim also served as professor of surgery at the University of Toronto. In Toronto, Dr. Kim co-led the clinical Airway Reconstruction Team, which provided international expertise in the management of complex airway diseases. He also investigated application-specific surgical robotic systems for pediatric surgery, including an image-guided minimally invasive capable robotic arm called KidsArm. Dr. Kim also led the creation of the Fetal Alert Network (FAN), a provincial network to monitor and provide care for mothers with high-risk pregnancies and babies with anomalies.

Dr. Kim received his medical training, including the distinction of Master of Surgery, at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He completed his surgical residency training at the University of Toronto as well as his fellowship in pediatric surgery at the University’s Hospital for Sick Children.

AeRang Kim, MD, PhD, is a pediatric oncologist and solid tumors faculty member specializing in sarcomas and developmental therapeutics. Dr. Kim completed her pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at the combined Johns Hopkins/NIH program. Her research focus is on the clinical development of novel therapies for pediatric cancer including pharmacokinetic analysis and development of novel methods for toxicity monitoring. She is as the institutional co-principal investigator of the developmental therapeutics consortium at Children’s National. She serves as the PI of multiple early phase drug and device trials in pediatric solid tumors and sarcomas including the first pediatric trial evaluating the safety and feasibility of MR-HIFU for the ablation of refractory or relapsed solid tumors in children.

Karun Sharma, MD, PhD is director of Interventional Radiology at Children’s National Health System and a principal investigator in the Sheikh Zayed Institute. He is evaluating the role of MR-guided high intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU) to treat Osteoid Osetoma as well as to enhance local drug delivery in cancer and thrombosis. His clinical practice and research focuses on use of image-guided, minimally invasive therapy in children.

Dr. Sharma attended medical and graduate school at the Medical College of Virginia and completed residency in Radiology and fellowship in Vascular and Interventional Radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Sharma joins the Sheikh Zayed Institute from his previous position as Assistant Professor of Radiology at Georgetown University Hospital and as a research scientist in the Center for Interventional Oncology at the National Institutes of Health. He has been an investigator on clinical trials evaluating the role of endovascular treatment of deep vein thrombosis as well as the role of chemoembolization and image-guided ablation for treatment of liver cancer in adults and is translating this previous experience into the pediatric population. He is a member of the Society of Interventional Radiology, Society for Pediatric Interventional Radiology and Radiological Society of North America. Dr. Sharma has authored or co-authored numerous abstracts and peer-reviewed articles.

Matthew Oetgen, MD, is the chief of the Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics Surgery and Sports Medicine at Children’s National Health Systems. He joined the faculty at Children’s National Health System  in 2009 after finishing the Dorothy and Bryant Edwards Fellowship in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Scoliosis at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, TX.

Dr. Oetgen completed his orthopaedic residency at Yale University and before that his medical training at Georgetown University. In addition to his clinical efforts, he serves as the Director of Orthopaedic Research, is a research scientist in the Sheikh Zayed Institute, and is the principle investigator on numerous grant-funded clinical studies. His work with MR-HIFU includes its application in the treatment growth abnormalities of long bones and its application in the treatment of Osteiod Osteomas.

Dr. Oetgen is an active member of numerous national and international societies relating to the fields of pediatric orthopaedic surgery and scoliosis, including the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) and the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). He has been the recipient of numerous awards including being selected as one of three traveling fellows to represent the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America in 2012 and in 2014 being selected as the Edward Dawson traveling fellow for the Scoliosis Research Society. Dr. Oetgen has authored or co-authored over 30 peer reviewed publications and five book chapters.

Jeff Dome in coat 2014

Jeffrey Dome, MD, PhD,  is Chief of the Divisions of Hematology and Oncology at the Children’s National Health System, Associate Director of the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research, Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine, and the Thomas Willson and Lenore Williams McKnew Professor of Pediatric Oncology. Dr. Dome received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, completed a residency in Pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and completed a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. After fellowship, Dr. Dome was a faculty member in the Solid Tumor Division at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for nine years, and joined Children’s National Medical Center in 2006. Dr. Dome specializes in pediatric solid tumors, with an emphasis on pediatric kidney tumors and sarcomas. Dr. Dome is Chair of the Renal Tumor Committee for the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), which oversees research for pediatric kidney tumors at more than 200 children’s hospitals around the world. In addition to his clinical research, Dr. Dome studies telomerase expression as a prognostic marker and therapeutic target for osteosarcoma and soft tissue sarcomas. Dr. Dome’s laboratory studies have been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, a Children’s Oncology Group Translational Research Award, and by the Children’s Cancer Foundation. He has authored more than 100 papers and book chapters on pediatric solid tumors.


Biomedical Scientists


Pavel Yarmolenko, PhD, is a biomedical engineer who is working primarily on development and clinical translation of novel pediatric applications of Magnetic Resonance-guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (MR-HIFU) at the Sheikh Zayed Institute. This technology has shown promise as a non-invasive alternative to surgical intervention, a means of locally targeting drug delivery as well as a local modulator of immune response. As medicine becomes increasingly interdisciplinary, image-guided noninvasive and minimally invasive therapeutic approaches, such as those offered by MR-HIFU, clearly offer an exciting and promising alternatives to traditional treatments and point to new possibilities for combination treatment. In close collaboration other groups, Pavel ‘s current work seeks to further develop MR-HIFU-based ablative as well as mild hyperthermic heating alone and in combination with drug delivery systems. The possibilities offered by these new approaches are especially promising for pediatric medicine, as they offer potentially efficacious treatment without the need for scalpels, needles, or ionizing radiation.

This research direction is a natural continuation of Pavel’s doctoral thesis work on development of image-guided local drug delivery with a combination of temperature-sensitive liposomes and MR-HIFU-mediated local mild hyperthermia. During his doctoral work, Pavel enjoyed the mentorship and deep insight of Dr. Mark Dewhirst at Duke University as well as Dr. Bradford Wood and Dr. Matthew Dreher at the National Institutes of Health. At SZI, Pavel is excited to join an interdisciplinary team of scientists, engineers and clinicians who are working towards introducing safer and less traumatic therapeutic regimens to pediatric medicine.

Haydar Celik Haydar Celik, PhD, joined the Institute as assistant research professor to work on the IGNITE program, under the leadership of Peter Kim, MD. Dr. Celik’s current research interest focuses on developing novel non-invasive surgery technologies and combination therapy approaches using magnetic resonance imaging guided high- intensity focused ultra- sound (MR-HIFU) system.

Haydar received his PhD degree from Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Bilkent University, Turkey (2010). He worked with Prof. Ergin Atalar between 2002 and 2010, developing novel devices and methods for interventional magnetic resonance imaging. Immediately after graduation, he joined the Sunnybrook Research Institute Cardiovascular MRI Research Group in Toronto as a post-doctoral fellow, under mentorship of Professor Graham Wright. Dr. Celik led a multi-disciplinary team in a pre-clinical project and introduced a non-contrast enhanced MRI method for characterization of radiofrequency ablation lesions.


avinashAvinash Eranki, MS, is a Research Engineer with several years of experience in developing novel diagnostic ultrasound sequences and techniques.  He is currently an active researcher in the IGNITE program under the leadership of Dr.Peter Kim at Sheikh Zayed Institute (SZI) for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. Avinash’s current research focus is to develop novel non-invasive treatment and surgical techniques using ultrasound-guided and magnetic resonance image-guided high intensity focused ultrasound (US-HIFU and MR-HIFU).

Avinash obtained his undergraduate degree from Bangalore, India and completed his Master’s degree at George Mason University in the department of Electrical Engineering. His previous research work focused on development of novel ultrasound imaging techniques – experience he constantly draws on in his current work at SZI.

In his past, Avinash has worked with several interdisciplinary groups including trauma surgeons, vascular surgeons, radiologists, rehabilitation doctors, physical therapists, nurses and engineers at National Institutes of Health, Inova Fairfax Hospital and George Mason University. He is excited to continue to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team at SZI.