Medical Advisors / Non-Medical Advisors / Board

Dr. Robert C. Seeger

Robert Seeger, M.D.,Ph.D., Chairman of the Kids’ Cancer Research Foundation National Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Seeger is Professor of Pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine, Director of Cancer Research Program of the Saban Research Institute, and Division Head for Basic and Translational Research of the Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Seeger is considered one of the leaders in the fight against neuroblastoma. He has been involved in every major advancement in treating neuroblastoma, including the pivotal 1984 discovery of the first-ever amplification of an oncogene (cancer causing gene) for any cancer, MYCN, and the demonstration that MYCN could be used to predict survival!

Dr. Malcolm K. Brenner

brenner_malcolm-in-lab-smal Malcolm K. Brenner, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital and The Methodist Hospital. He is also director of the Shell Center for Gene Therapy at BCM and a professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, Section of Hematology-Oncology. He received his education at Cambridge University in England – from bachelor’s to medical degree as well as his PhD. Before coming to Baylor, he was one of the pioneers in the field of gene therapy at St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research Center in Memphis. Brenner is a co-editor of the journal Molecular Therapy, a member of the American Society of Gene Therapy and a principal investigator or co-investigator on five NIH grants. He is the author or co-author of more than 200 professional articles in his field. He is the first to cure a child with neuroblastoma using T cells.

Dr. Shakeel Modak

dr.-modak-mug-shot-web-2 Shakeel Modak, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Immunotherapy, Neuroblastoma, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York. Dr. Modak is a pediatric oncologist who specializes in the treatment of children and young adults with neuroblastoma and other solid tumors, such as desmoplastic small round cell tumors.

With his colleagues, he translates laboratory research into new immunologic therapies that can target these tumors. He and his team are evaluating radiolabeled monoclonal antibody treatments in combination with cell-based therapies that may enhance their effectiveness. His team’s research has defined the standards of care used to treat neuroblastoma today.

Dr. Paul Sondel


Paul Sondel, M.D., Ph.D. is the Reed and Carolee Walker Professor in Pediatric Oncology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Dr. Sondel has been a leader in scientific policy through multiple national committee roles, including The National Institutes of Health, The American Cancer Society, The Children’s Oncology Group (COG), The National Cancer Institute, where he was a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, where he was the Chair of their Scientific Advisory Committee and is now chair of their cancer center’s external advisory board. Due to his extensive background in genetics and tumor immunology, Dr. Sondel lead his team to dramatic change the treatment for neuroblastoma, and, in turn, the survival rate for children with this high-risk disease.

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Dr. Andras Heczey


Dr. Andras Heczey is a physician-scientist and full-time faculty in the Department of Pediatrics of Baylor College of Medicine, Section of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. He is a member of the multidisciplinary solid tumor team and the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT).

His research focuses on developing novel treatments for children with solid tumors by redirecting the immune system to attack cancer cells. Dr. Heczey has studied and published the first adoptive immunotherapy approach utilizing Natural Killer T cells genetically modified to attack neuroblastoma, he is working on moving this approach from bench-to-bedside in a form of a Phase 1/2a clinical trial.

Non-Medical Advisors

Christopher Kennedy Lawford



Mr. Lawford was an early supporter of the foundation as an advisor. He has spent much of his life in Washington and Hollywood, navigating these two worlds as an actor, writer, lawyer, activist and public speaker. Mr. Lawford is currently working with the United Nations, the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse, and the World Health Organization in efforts to raise awareness globally about addiction steps and hepatitis. His uncle, U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, in March 2009 introduced the 21st Century Cancer Access to Life-Saving Early Detection, Research and Treatment (ALERT) Act, a comprehensive bill to address the broad issues the nation faces in combating cancer. Since the National Cancer Act of 1971, this has been the first sweeping cancer legislation to be introduced.

William “Bill” Yoast.

bill yoast

Bill Yoast is the honorary chair of the board of directors for the Kids Cancer Research Foundation. Coach Yoast coached high school football for over 40 years, is best known for being portrayed in the 2000 film Remember the Titans.



Bill Hagelstein 


Bill Hagelstein, RPA, President, Chief Executive Officer. Has Worked on Ford, Nissan, Mazda, Yokohama Tire Corporation, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Men’s Health, DirecTV, and more than 26 years with Honda. RPA (Rubin Postaer and Associates) the third-largest independent ad agency in the country. Associations: World Presidents’ Organization, Board of Directors for: the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Performing Arts and Music Center of Los Angeles County, and the AD Council.


Scott Wall



Scott Wall (legal advisor), is Chairman of the Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate Practice Group and is a member of the Business and Real Estate Transactions Practice Group. He is certified by the State Bar of California as a specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law. Before starting his law practice, he was a Certified Public Accountant.

Scott received his B.A. degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his J.D. degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1986.



TOM PEYTON, Vice President Marketing, American Honda. Peyton, a native of Los Angeles who earned his MBA at the University of Southern California. His responsibilities at Honda include overseeing branding and national marketing for the Honda and Acura Brands. Mr. Peyton joined American Honda in 2001 as the senior manager of marketing operations, where he directed incentives, sales promotion, sales training and regional marketing programs for the Acura and Honda Brands. Later, he served as senior manager of Honda Advertising directing Honda Brand advertising and marketing, which included creative strategy, media, digital, social and event marketing.


Sue Andersen


Sue Andersen (Board), is Vice President and CFO for Catholic Healthcare West Hospitals on the Central Coast of California. French Hospital Medical Center, Marian Medical Center, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.




Patrick Kerans


Patrick Kerans (Board and Co-Founder) has over 20 years of experience leading marketing teams for companies in Silicon Valley and as a consultant at Arthur D. Little, A.T. Kearney and his own firm, Omnimarc. Patrick is a cancer survivor and huge believer in the power of lay people to partner with medical professionals.



Guy Rathbun


Guy Rathbun (Board), radio host, KCBX Public Radio, Public Radio Exchange. Guy began his career in broadcasting as a field reporter for a commercial radio station in 1975, and appointed to News Director four years later. During that time he volunteered at a local public radio station, and in 1982 he was hired as a part-time announcer. The offer of full time Music Director came in 1985. Then in 1986, he was promoted to Program Manager, a position he held until October 2011.

From 1983-1991 and again between 1999-2011, He taught Broadcasting, Audio Production and Broadcast Writing at Cuesta,College.

Frank Kalman


Frank Kalman, Executive Director and Founder of the Kids’ Cancer Research Foundation. Frank founded the organization in response to the tremendous challenge he witnessed in his daughter Calli’s and so many other children’s battle with neuroblastoma and in meeting the many dedicated medical researchers working to cure the disease. Frank received his undergraduate degree in Marketing/Business from California Polytechnic State University and worked in the marketing department of American Honda Motor Company, Auto Division for several years.