University of California, San Diego Rady Children’s Hospital

San Diego, CA


The Pediatric Brain Tumor Program at Rady Children’s Hospital and University of California San Diego consists of a multidisciplinary team from the Divisions of Neurosurgery, Hematology-Oncology, Neurology, Radiation Oncology, Pathology, and Radiology. The Program has a strong translational research component that includes members from a variety of San Diego Institutions (UCSD Moores Cancer Center,Scripps Insitute, Sanford Burnham Institute) whose goal is to provide first class care in the area of pediatric neurooncology.

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Program has a variety of Investigator-initiated, and Collaborative Clinical Trials. Rady Children’s Hospital is a Member of the St. Jude Research Hospital Clinical Research Consortium, Children’s Oncology Group, and Neuroblastoma-Medulloblastoma Consortium. Patients are seen both at the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery. The Brain Tumor Program offers a weekly multidisciplinary Neuro-Oncology Clinic as well as a long term follow up clinic to include young adults.

Housing Information

The Ronald McDonald House is open to families with a seriously ill child being treated at a medical facility in San Diego, regardless of their ability to pay. Please contact the in-house staff at (858) 467-4750 for more information.

Contact information


3020 Children’s Way
San Diego, CA 92123

Gail Garcellano, Case Manager
Phone: (858) 966-1700 x 2255
Fax: (858) 966-4930
Email Dr. John Crawford at:


Principal Investigator
Pediatric Neuro-oncologist
Dr. Crawford is the Director of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at UC San Diego. He completed child neurology fellowship and pediatric neuro-oncology training at Children’s National Medical Center. Dr. Crawford’s basic science research focuses on the neurobiology of pediatric brain tumors. He is interested in both neuro-immunologic and neuro-virologic mechanisms of tumor development and progression. Dr Crawford’s clinical interests include understanding neurologic predictors of outcomes with regards to a wide variety of pediatric central nervous system tumors. Dr. Crawford is Board Certified in Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology and Neuro-Oncology.
Co-Principal Investigator
Pediatric hematologist/oncologist
Dr. Jennifer Elster attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and then went on to complete pediatric residency and pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at the UPMC medical education program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. After an additional research year funded by a St. Baldrick’s fellowship grant to study a novel mechanism of tumor angiogenesis, she was recruited by the University of Louisville where she joined and eventually led the pediatric neuro-oncology program. During her time in Louisville she was funded by a CureSearch Grant to study the feasibility and tolerability of a cancer germline antigen dendritic cell vaccine with poly-ICLC adjuvant in patients with relapsed neuroblastoma, sarcoma, and high grade CNS tumors. In keeping with her longstanding goal of providing excellent cutting edge care to children with CNS tumors, she recently joined the neuro-oncology team at the University of California, San Diego.

Gail Garcellano, RN, BSN

Case Manager
Director, Tumor Development Program, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Lanipua Yeh-Nayre, BSN, MSN, CPNP

Nurse Practitioner

Mehrzad Milburn, RN, BSN, CCRC

Oncology Research Supervisor
Pediatric Neuro-Ophthalmologist

Charles Farrow, PhD

Pediatric Neuropsychologist
Pediatric Neuroradiologist
Pediatric Neurosurgeon
Pediatric Oncologist
Pediatric Oncologist
Pediatric Oncologist
Pediatric Radiation Oncologist
Rehabilitative Medicine