Leadership, Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute at Johns Hopkins All Children's

Our expert team provides comprehensive clinical care and treatment for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer and blood disorders.


Cassandra Josephson, M.D.

Dr. Josephson is the Hawkins Family Endowed Professor and director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is also a Professor (PAR) in Oncology in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She joined the medical staff in 2022. Dr. Josephson, who specializes in blood banking/transfusion medicine and hematology-oncology, is recognized internationally as a leader in pediatric transfusion medicine and has made significant contributions to medical education, clinical knowledge, clinical/translational research and patient care. Most recently, she worked as a Professor of Pathology/Laboratory Medicine and Pediatrics and was the director of Clinical Research and associated director of the Emory Center for Transfusion and Cellular Therapies at the Emory University School of Medicine and at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

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Irmel Ayala, M.D.

Dr. Ayala is the division chief of Hematology and director of the Hemophilia and Bleeding Disorders Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. She also is the hematology leader of the Young Women Bleeding Disorders/Menorrhagia Clinic, which focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to bleeding symptoms in girls and young women. Dr. Ayala also is involved in the Immune Dysregulation Clinic, which evaluates patients with autoimmune cytopenias in a multidisciplinary approach.

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Deepakbabu Chellapandian, M.D.

Dr. Chellapandian specializes in bone marrow transplant as a hematologist/oncologist and serves as Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy for Non-Malignant Conditions (CCGNC) in the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute. He joined the hospital staff in 2017. In 2022, he became interim division chief of the bone marrow transplant program. Dr. Chellapandian earned his medical degree from Madurai Medical College and then trained at Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, both in India. He completed a residency in pediatrics at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Chellapandian completed a pediatric hematology-oncology and bone marrow transplantation fellowship at Hospital for Sick Children/University of Toronto in Canada and an advanced fellowship on bone marrow transplantation and cellular therapy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

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Stacie Stapleton, M.D.

Dr. Stapleton is the division chief of oncology and director of pediatric neuro-oncology at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Dr. Stapleton joined the hospital in 2007 and is double-board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in general pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology. She has formal training in pediatric neuro-oncology. Dr. Stapleton is on the Pediatric Palliative Care Team at Johns Hopkins All Children’s and she specializes in symptom control and end of life care. She has been awarded numerous grants for phase I studies for patients with brain and spinal cord tumors as well as clinical research in pediatric palliative care. Dr. Stapleton’s research experience includes investigator-initiated and multi-center research projects.

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Michelle Cooper, M.S.N.

Michelle Cooper, M.S.N., is the executive director of nursing for the Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. She works collaboratively with the institute’s medical director and executive director to advance the institute’s mission and services. She previously served as R.N. clinical manager with a focus on pediatric hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant, since 2007. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain College and is a certified pediatric nurse.

Michelle Cooper MSN

Joseph Primavera, Executive Director, Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute

Joseph Primavera, M.H.A., B.S., is the executive director for the Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute, working closely with the medical team to support the growth of the institute’s programs and services. He joined the hospital staff in 2023.

He was previously the oncology service line leader at Indiana University Health, East Central Region, where he was responsible for regional operations and strategy across medical oncology, radiation oncology, infusion and supportive services at three locations. He also led the growth and sustainability of participation by these centers in a statewide precision genomics program and oral chemotherapy navigation program.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in public health – health administration, and a Master of Health Administration at Indiana University. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and holds multiple certifications in lean and quality processes.

Joseph Primavera