A Future of Strength Through Discovery and Care


Muller Fabbri, M.D., Ph.D., expert in microRNAs in cancer biology, becomes associate director of the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research

Children’s National Hospital welcomes Muller Fabbri, M.D. Ph.D., as associate director for the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research. In this role, he will build and lead the Cancer Biology Program while developing and conducting basic and translational research. Dr. Fabbri will also develop multidisciplinary research projects with various clinical divisions, including oncology, blood and marrow transplantation, pathology and hematology.

“I feel fortunate to be working with Dr. Cath Bollard and her team at an extraordinary research center,” Dr. Fabbri said. “I am eager to join Children’s National and I look forward to learning from this leadership team, which also includes Dr. Vittorio Gallo, Dr. Mark Batshaw and Dr. Jeffery Dome.”

I want to create the first national center that develops extracellular vesicles as an innovative treatment strategy for cancer." – Muller Fabbri, M.D., Ph.D.

A distinguished lecturer, instructor, researcher, public speaker and mentor, Dr. Fabbri’s research interest focuses on decoding cancer cellular biology riddles that lead to personalized medicine. He has pioneered a theory that explains non-coding ribonucleic acid (RNA) functioning in intercellular communication that promotes cancer cell growth, dissemination and drug resistance. To better understand the immune response against cancer cells, he has investigated the role of exosomes and other extracellular vesicles. Inflammation, tumor microenvironment and immunity, as it relates to cancer, are other research areas of interest.

“I will keep advancing the field at Children’s National through the understanding of the immune cell’s mechanisms affected by microRNAs in the proliferation of cancer cells,” Dr. Fabbri said. “With this information, we can target these mechanisms and create drugs that interfere with this function and, hopefully, stop the cancer cell growth.”

Dr. Fabbri was drawn to Children’s National because of its proximity to partners like the National Institutes of Health, the Food Drug Administration, various universities and the private sector, fostering a rich scientific environment. One of Dr. Fabbri’s many goals is to make sure that the Cancer Biology Program plays a central role in the acquisition of a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center recognition, often given to institutions that stand out in scientific leadership and clinical research.

“I would like to help elevate and enhance the cancer biology program focused on solid tumors and augment the work being done in this space by the cell therapy program,” Dr. Fabbri said. “I also want to create the first national center that develops extracellular vesicles as an innovative treatment strategy for cancer.”

He believes that Children’s National has all the resources and connections that are necessary to realize this vision and is very excited about what he saw at Children’s National. He was also delighted to talk to many faculty members and recognized the immense talent within the center.

Dr. Fabbri joins Children’s National from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, where he was a tenured associate professor and leader of the Cancer Biology Program. He received his medical degree at the University of Pisa in Italy and his Ph.D. degree at the Second University of Naples in Italy.