• Press Release
  • For Immediate Release
  • Media Contact:
    • Michele Franco
    • 626.792.8247 ext. 264
    • michele.franco@stbaldricks.org

St. Baldrick’s Foundation Welcomes
Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham to its Board of Directors

Birmingham, Ala. (Nov. 12, 2021) – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants, announces the appointment of Smita Bhatia, M.D., MPH, Director, Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, to its board of directors.

Dr. Bhatia has long supported the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and its mission to conquer childhood cancers. Dr. Bhatia is a past donor, a St. Baldrick’s grant recipient, a member of the St. Baldrick’s Scientific Advisory Committee and has been a grant reviewer since 2012. She has also participated in all four of the Foundation’s Research Summits.

“I was drawn to pediatric oncology to provide support to families who are going through the unimaginable,” said Dr. Bhatia. “Being a mother, myself has added even more perspective to my work and increased my ability to care for kids with cancer. Now, joining the St. Baldrick’s Board of Directors, I am excited to be able to lend my expertise in childhood cancer research to a team who is working tirelessly to ensure research for kids with cancer continues to move forward.”

Dr. Bhatia is the Director of the Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and the Vice Chair for Outcomes in the Department of Pediatrics. In addition to serving on the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board of Directors, Dr. Bhatia also serves on the Conquer Cancer Foundation Grants Selection and Audit Committees and the Survivorship Guideline Advisory Group. She is also a member of the NCI National Cancer Policy Forum and the NCI Clinical Trials Advisory Committee.

An ASCO member since 1996, Dr. Bhatia has served on the Cancer Survivorship Committee, Cancer Prevention Committee, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology Editorial Board; she is currently serving as the Associate Editor for the Journal of Clinical Oncology. She received a Young Investigator Award from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO in 1996.

Dr. Bhatia has served on the Program Committee of the American Society of Bone Marrow Transplantation. She has been an active investigator in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study and serves on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Genomics Working Group for the study. She has served as Associate Chair and on the Executive Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group, among other leadership positions.

Born in India, Dr. Bhatia obtained her medical degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. She also completed her internship and residency, becoming a Chief Resident in pediatrics. She earned her master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota, where she also performed fellowships in blood banking, pediatric hematology/oncology, and bone marrow transplantation.

“Dr. Bhatia’s national reputation and unique skill set will complement those of other physician-scientists on our board and will help ensure the Board continues to consider a broad spectrum of needs and scientific priorities when making funding decisions,” said Kathleen Ruddy, St. Baldrick’s Foundation CEO. “Having worked with her since 2012 when she first joined the Scientific Advisory Committee, I have always been impressed with her ability to listen and appreciate others’ expertise and offer her own with great clarity. She is always driving to achieve the mission – she lives the St. Baldrick’s culture already!”

To learn more about St. Baldrick’s, visit www.StBaldricks.org, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube.

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation

Every 2 minutes a child somewhere in the world is diagnosed with cancer. In the U.S., 1 in 5 will not survive. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants, is on a mission to give kids a lifetime by supporting the most promising research to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. When you give to St. Baldrick’s, you don’t just give to one hospital – you support virtually every institution with the expertise to treat kids with cancer across the U.S. St. Baldrick’s ensures that children fighting cancer now — and those diagnosed in the future — will have access to the most cutting-edge treatment, by supporting every stage of research, from new ideas in the lab to the development of new therapies, to life-saving clinical trials. Join us at StBaldricks.org and help #GiveKidsALifetime.