Myeloid Malignancies

Research in the Laboratory of Myeloid Malignancies, led by Dr. Christopher Hourigan, focuses on detection, prevention, and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).


Senior Investigator Research Interests

Research Interests

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a rare, highly fatal, blood cancer. Although most younger patients treated with chemotherapy will achieve an initial apparent “complete” remission, subsequent treatment with either further chemotherapy or allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) cannot prevent subsequent death from leukemic relapse in many. The outlook is often especially suboptimal for those diagnosed with AML but not eligible for this intensive therapy due to advanced age or medical co-morbidity. Recent advances in the scientific understanding of the genetic diversity of AML have led to the development of targeted therapies, but the optimal way to integrate such agents into a comprehensive approach for an individual AML patient has yet to be defined. The Laboratory of Myeloid Malignancies Section focuses on research in translational medicine and precision oncology to improve outcomes for patients with AML. 

The primary research goal of Dr. Hourigan’s lab is to improve our ability to predict which patients with AML in remission are at risk of relapse and who may benefit from additional therapy. Development of prognostic tools may also facilitate quantification of the efficacy of therapeutic interventions and be used to select the most appropriate next therapy for a patient during treatment. This “measurable residual disease” (MRD) concept is the foundation for a personalized medicine approach to AML, now being tested in clinical protocols. These efforts are strengthened by collaborations with a variety of clinical colleagues from leukemia and transplant centers from around the world.

The work carried out by Dr. Hourigan’s laboratory should help bring clinicians one step closer to developing personalized and effective treatment approaches for patients with AML.



staff photo
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Opening of the Myeloid Malignancies Clinic and PEARL15 Clinical Protocol

Opening of the Myeloid Malignancies Clinic and PEARL15 Clinical Protocol at NIH, July 2015.

Meet the Team


Christopher Hourigan, M.D., D.Phil.

Senior Investigator

Christopher Hourigan received both his medical degree and D. Phil. in Human Immunology from Oxford University. After residency training in medicine at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital in London and the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, he joined the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital where he was both a clinical fellow in medical oncology and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Immunology and Immunotherapy research program. He is ABIM board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology. Dr. Hourigan came to the NHLBI in 2012. After almost three years as an Assistant Clinical Investigator, Dr Hourigan was appointed as an Investigator in March 2015, and received tenure as a Senior Investigator in March 2022. Dr. Hourigan is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and the recipient of the NHLBI Directors Award, the NHLBI Orloff Award, the NIH Bench to Bedside Award, the NIH Directors Challenge Innovation Award, an American College of Physicians Early Career Physician Award, the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) Young Physician-Scientist Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).


Georgia Andrew

Postbaccalaureate Fellow
2020 - 2022
Georgia Andrew is currently at Astrazeneca.

Chidera Nosiri

2019 - 2021
Chidera Nosiri is currently a Medical Student at Case Western Reserve.

Meghali Goswami, Ph.D.

Technical IRTA
2012 - 2020
Meghali Goswami, Ph.D. is currently a Postdoc Research Fellow at National Cancer Institute.

Jack Ghannam

2018 - 2020
Jack Ghannam is currently a MD-PhD Student at Harvard Medical School–MIT.

Bogdan Popescu

Postdoctoral Fellow
2018 - 2019
Bogdan Popescu is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (Catherine Smith MD) at Division of Hematology/Oncology, UCSF.

Haydar Celik

2019 - 2019
Haydar Celik is currently a Senior Director, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Goldbug Strategies LLC.

Hong Yuen Wong

Postdoctoral Fellow
2016 - 2018
Hong Yuen Wong is currently a Research Associate at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Katie Lindblad

2016 - 2018
Katie Lindblad is currently a Ph.D. Student at Mt Sinai University, New York.

Karolyn Oetjen

Clinical Fellow
2016 - 2018
Karolyn Oetjen is currently a Instructor at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.

Catherine Lai

Staff Clinician
2015 - 2017
Catherine Lai is currently a Director of Leukemia at Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center.

Sheenu Sheela

Special Volunteer/Clinical Fellow
2015 - 2017
Sheenu Sheela is currently a Clinical Fellow at Levine Cancer Institute.

Nestor Ramos, M.D.

Special Volunteer/Clinical Fellow
2015 - 2017
Nestor Ramos, M.D. is currently a Major and Attending Oncologist at US Army.

Gregory Roloff

2016 - 2017
Gregory Roloff is currently a Medical Student at University of Buffalo .

Sheida Hayati

Postdoctoral Fellow
2017 - 2017
Sheida Hayati is currently a Research Investigator at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Christin "Blair" Destefano

Primary Mentor (NIH Special Volunteer)
2017 - 2017
Christin "Blair" Destefano is currently a Attending Physician, Hematological Malignancies at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Jingrong Tang, M.D., Ph.D.

2012 - 2016
Jingrong Tang, M.D., Ph.D. is currently a Biologist at NHLBI.

Mathew Mule

Postbaccalaureate IRTA
2014 - 2016
Mathew Mule is currently a M.D.-Ph.D. Student at UNC School of Medicine.

Aasheen Qadr

Summer Intern
2015 - 2015
Aasheen Qadr is currently a Undergraduate at University of Maryland.

Nirosha Perera

Summer Intern
2014 - 2014
Nirosha Perera is currently a Pre-Medical Undergraduate Student at Harvard University.

Vishal Ranpura, M.D.

Special Volunteer/ Clinical Fellow
2013 - 2014
Vishal Ranpura, M.D. is currently a Attending Oncologist at Southern California.

Katie McGowan

2013 - 2013
Katie McGowan is currently a Undergraduate Student at Georgetown University.