Lea C. Cunningham, M.D.

Lea C. Cunningham, M.D.
Associate Research Physician
Medical Director, RUNX1 Program, NHGRI
Director, NIH Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation Fellowship Program

Dr. Cunningham's research interests focus on characterizing the germline RUNX1 deficiency syndrome, to understand the pathophysiology of germline RUNX1 neoplastic transformation and to help develop novel therapies, including a dedicated transplantation protocol, for patients with germline RUNX1 mutations.  Dr. Cunningham is the Medical Director of the RUNX1-FPD Clinical Research Study program at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). She is also Director of the NIH Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation Fellowship Program. 

Areas of Expertise

1) RUNX1 deficiency syndrome, 2) rare inherited primary immunodeficiencies, 3) bone marrow transplantation, 4) cellular therapy

Contact Info

Lea C. Cunningham, M.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, Room 9N248B
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ph:
lea.cunningham@nih.gov

Dr. Cunningham's three main goals are:

  • To help characterize the germline RUNX1 deficiency syndrome, to understand the pathophysiology of germline RUNX1 neoplastic transformation and to help develop novel therapies, including a dedicated transplantation protocol for patients with germline RUNX1 mutations.
  • To help characterize and to provide comprehensive care to patients with rare inherited primary immunodeficiencies.
  • To provide a world-class Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Fellowship (BMTCT) experience in the joint NIH-Children’s National Medical Center to graduates of pediatric hematology/oncology programs seeking further training and expertise in BMTCT.

 

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Clinical Research
  1. Przepiorka D, Luo L, Subramaniam S, Qiu J, Gudi R, Cunningham LC, Nie L, Leong R, Ma L, Sheth C, Deisseroth A, Goldberg KB, Blumenthal GM, Pazdur R.
    Oncologist. 25(2): e328-e334, 2020. [ Journal Article ]
  2. oh KN, Sunkara A, Kang G, Sooter A, Mulrooney DA, Triplett B, Onder AM, Bissler J, Cunningham LC.
    Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 24(4): 758-764, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Triplett BM, Muller B, Kang G, Li Y, Cross SJ, Moen J, Cunningham L, Janssen W, Mamcarz E, Shook DR, Srinivasan A, Choi J, Hayden RT, Leung W.
    Transpl Infect Dis. 20(1): e12823, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Sinha C, Cunningham LC.
    Pediatr Blood Cancer. 63(12): 2078-2085, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Sinha C, Cunningham LC, Liu PP.
    Semin Hematol. 52(3): 215-22, 2015. [ Journal Article ]

The primary aim of Dr. Cunningham’s Johns-Hopkins/NIH pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship project was to identify small molecule inhibitors of RUNX1 interaction. Dr. Cunningham was also privileged to help to take care of a small group of patients and families with germline RUNX1 mutations. Dr. Cunningham went on to complete a pediatric bone marrow transplantation and cellular therapy fellowship at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She stayed on as a physician-scientist faculty member in the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy where her research focused on developing targeted therapy, improved immunomodulation and transplantation methods for patients with myeloid malignancies. Dr. Cunningham returned to NIH in 2019.