CMRC Children's Memorial Research Center
Children’s Memorial Recruits Two Outstanding Researchers

World-class scientists Marcelo Bento Soares, PhD, and Ann Harris, PhD, have been appointed to senior leadership positions at Children’s Memorial Research Center. Their additions reflect the vision of president and scientific director Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, to add momentum to the advancement of pediatric medicine at the research center.

Dr. Marcelo Bento Soares
Dr. Soares was named director of the new Cancer Biology and Epigenomics Program, and is also a professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He is a former professor of pediatrics, physiology, biophysics, biochemistry and orthopedics at the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa. Dr. Soares and his research team established their laboratory at the research center in June.

He is widely known for his work in genome research, and he has made major contributions to both the human and rat genome projects. Dr. Soares’ work focuses on identifying genes that contribute to the spread of cancer in the body as well as those that contribute to metastasis. His scientific interests include gene discovery, gene expression, functional gene analysis and placental biology, development and evolution.


Dr. Harris has been appointed director of the Human Molecular Genetics Program at the research center, bringing with her an impressive international reputation. She envisions a program that will nurture a key center for translational genetic medicine at Children’s Memorial. Dr. Harris hopes to recruit additional investigators to join an already outstanding team that is committed to furthering the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of human genetic disease, and to designing creative approaches to novel therapies. She is also a professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Ann Harris

Dr. Harris has studied the genetic basis of cystic fibrosis, and hopes to develop new treatments and therapies, which can then be applied to new protocols for children with this devastating disease. She comes from Oxford University, where she was a professor of pediatric molecular genetics.

“The major recruitments of Drs. Bento Soares and Ann Harris provide essential leadership in cancer biology and molecular genetics, respectively,” says Dr. Hendrix. “Their leadership will enhance the targeted growth areas of Children’s Memorial Hospital and facilitate our interactions with Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.”

Established in 1986, the Children’s Memorial Research Center is the research enterprise of Children’s Memorial and one of a handful of institutions in the United States dedicated exclusively to pediatric research. The research center is committed to clinical and basic science research that will lead to improved treatment, cures and ultimately prevention of diseases and other health problems that affect children and their families.