Our Team

Hover on a member to learn more about them!

Olena Morozova

Founder & Scientific Lead
Treehouse Initiative

Olena Morozova

When I was young, my favorite cartoon character was Karlsson On The Roof. My favorite game was hide and seek. My favorite children's book was The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I am not sure I ever wanted to grow up!

Changing the story for children affected by cancer has become my lifelong commitment and focus of my research career. I have been inspired by the passion, unwavering dedication and untiring activism of families and communities affected by pediatric cancer to change the outcomes for children affected by these diseases. Early genomic studies demonstrated that childhood cancers are different from adult cancers and that simply using adult analysis methods would not work for the kids. This motivated us to build on the extraordinary bioinformatics expertise at UC Santa Cruz and launch Treehouse, an initiative that uses comparative cancer genomic analysis to help children treated in the clinic today. I am hopeful that our work will help change the landscape of pediatric cancer genomics and genome-guided medicine.

Katrina Learned

Data Coordinator

Katrina Learned

When I was little my favorite cartoon character was Strawberry Shortcake. I loved riding bicycles with my siblings and the neighborhood kids. I loved (and still love) so many books! One of my favorite picture books as a child was Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. I loved that Miss Rumphius traveled the world, seeing different places and experiencing different cultures. I also loved that she and her family valued making the world a more beautiful place. Plus, the illustrations are so gorgeous! I wanted to grow up to be so many things, but mostly a science teacher or an architect. I am working at Treehouse because I am passionate about finding better treatments and cures for children with cancer, and because I have the utmost confidence in the abilities and methods of the Treehouse team. My daughter, Aurora, is a pediatric cancer survivor. For more information about Aurora's story and the founding of Treehouse, please click below.

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David Haussler

Scientific Director

David Haussler

When I was a kid, I liked Felix the Cat, solving puzzles, and reading The Phantom Tollbooth. I wanted to be big when I grew up. I work with Treehouse to make a difference. I want to learn how much we can improve pediatric cancer care with a genomics-based precision medicine approach.

Rob Currie

CTO

Rob Currie

My favorite cartoon character as a kid was Speed Racer. I enjoyed playing Atari Tempest. My favorite book was Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. I wanted to become a Sailboat Captain when I grew up. I’m working with Treehouse because how could I make any other decision? 🙂

Ted Goldstein

Medbook Director

Ted Goldstein

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Linh Lam

Data Analyst

Linh Lam

My favorite cartoon character was Superman. I loved playing Bomberman as a little kid. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a high school math teacher. At Treehouse, we're using research to improve clinical outcomes, and I feel like I can make an immediate impact by working here.

Ann Durbin

Data Coordinator

Ann Durbin

As a kid, I liked to watch The Roadrunner & Wile E Coyote cartoons, and enjoyed an all-neighborhood, all-evening game of Kick the Can. My favorite children’s book is The Once and Future King by TH White. When I was younger I wanted to have a future living with many dogs and horses. I chose Treehouse because I wanted to work in the wide-open field of precision medicine, and to help turn its novel concepts into accepted and medically reliable therapies with wide availability. I'm interested in the problem of resistance: just as recent HIV drugs are administered in three-plus cocktails to avoid the rise of drug-resistant strains, cancer drugs targeting specific mutations or pathways may need to be delivered in two-drug or three-drug cocktails, so that cancer cells cannot evolve to evade any single drug. I don't expect to be able to solve that problem, but perhaps I can be part of the effort.

Isabel Bjork

Director Pediatric Cancer
Precision Medicine

Isabel Bjork

My favorite cartoon character was Wonder Woman. My favorite games to play were Clue and um, Chess; however nerdy that sounds! My favorite book was Ozma of Oz. For me, the question was never "What" I wanted to be when I grew up, but "Who?": Wonder Woman or Ozma of course! (Sometimes Princess Leia.) As we are on the kid theme, when I was a kid, my favorite show was Mission Impossible. Treehouse is the impossible mission we choose to accept -- our team of molecular detectives, plotting in our redwood forest, asking, how we change the current treatment and health outcomes for kids with cancer? "The important thing is not to stop questioning" (Einstein)

Holly Beale

Lead Computational Biologist

Holly Beale

My favorite comic book character is Tank Girl. When I was a kid, my favorite book was The Story of Ferdinand, but as an adult I discovered the Carl books, starting with Good Dog, Carl. When I was younger, I vividly remember being amazed that liver looked different from steak for functional reasons. I wanted to grow up to be someone who understood why liver has holes in it. My reasoning for working for Treehouse is that I like making progress on complicated questions, and it's easy to stay motivated when we're working to make kids' lives better.

Lauren Sanders

Ph.D. Student

Lauren Sanders

When I was young, my favorite cartoon characters were Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. I loved to play tag or frisbee with my siblings and friends when I was a kid. My favorite children's book is Harry Potter, which my mother read out loud to my family as we were growing up. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a marine biologist, but then I discovered the power of genomics and changed my mind! I love my work at Treehouse because I have the opportunity to help harness the power of genomics data in the arena of precision medicine for pediatric cancers. I hope to investigate the similarities and differences between adult and pediatric cancers and through this research, contribute new biological answers and therapeutic avenues to the field of pediatric cancer treatment.

Sofie Salama

Research Scientist

Sofie Salama

My favorite cartoon character was Aquaman, and I loved Monopoly. My favorite book was The Little Princess. I wanted to become two things when I was a kid: a doctor and Mom. I’m working with Treehouse because I am very motivated by the opportunity for research to impact patients directly. I’m interested in answering: Are driver pathways identified by expression analysis really good drug targets? It will take a combination of our work with precision medicine clinical trials and PDX/cell line models.

Ellen Kephart

Software Engineer

Ellen Kephart

As a kid, I enjoyed many Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Balto. I loved playing Magic: The Gathering and I still have many of the cards I collected. I read far too many books (mostly sci-fi) to pick one or three favorites! Our research at Treehouse could potentially change the face of childhood cancer treatment. My personal goal is to create software infrastructure that automates our protocols and enables our scientists to easily experiment with different data analysis techniques.

Jacob Pfeil

Ph.D. Student

Jacob Pfeil

My favorite cartoon character as a kid was Scooby-Doo. I enjoyed playing Cranium, and reading the book Where the Sidewalk Ends. I wanted to be a physician when I grew up. I chose to work with Treehouse because I want to develop precision medicine tools for pediatric cancer. I hope to discover gene expression signatures that explain why some pediatric cancers do not respond well to standard of care therapies. I develop statistical models for pediatric gene expression data in order to detect abnormal gene expression patterns.I will answer these questions hopefully by assisting the team with tool development and integration!