Peter J. Houghton, PhD, is director of the Center for Childhood Cancer at The Research Institute. With his guidance, Nationwide Children’s is poised to develop new, clinically-applicable cancer therapies and expand and enhance its clinical trial programs. Dr. Houghton also has an integral role with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and holds a faculty post at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Houghton came to Columbus after a more than 30-year stint with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., where he was the chairman of Molecular Pharmacy, director of the Solid Tumor Program Project Grant, and co-leader of the Solid Malignancies Program. During his career, Dr. Houghton has focused on understanding the basic biology of childhood solid tumors, largely sarcomas. His track record of groundbreaking laboratory discovery distinguishes him as a national leader in pediatric cancer research. Dr. Houghton’s expertise covers many areas of study, though he is most noted for the discovery of new therapies to treat tumors occurring in muscles and other soft tissues, especially rhabdomyosarcomas. This type of tumor is one of the most common and highly malignant cancers occurring in children. Along with his lab-based studies, Dr. Houghton brought the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP) to Nationwide Children’s. The PPTP provides a system for prioritizing drugs with potential to treat pediatric cancers. Supported by the National Cancer Institute, the PPTP involves multiple pediatric research sites throughout the world that have expertise in specific childhood cancers. Scientists at these sites have developed preclinical models that express genes similar to those expressed by human cancers. These models are used to determine which drugs that have been developed for adult cancers may be effective in treating pediatric cancers. The PPTP not only helps prioritize drugs for pediatrics, but helps fast track these therapies to trials in children. Dr. Houghton received his PhD in 1976 from the Institute of Cancer Research at the University of London.