- ABMS Certification:
- Pediatric Medicine
Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
- Research Interests:
How protein assemblies alter the behavior of normal and cancerous cells
- Clinical Practice:
- Pediatric Blood Disorders, Pediatric Cancer
Division Head of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Michael E. Engel, MD, PhD, specializes in caring for children and adolescents who have cancer and blood disorders.
Dr. Engel serves as chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and is the Pediatric Oncology Leader for our Cancer Center — Virginia’s only comprehensive center designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Dr. Engel shares: “While I care for children with all manner of cancer and blood disorders, my primary interests are in malignant, pre-malignant, and non-malignant diseases in children and adolescents.”
He adds, “I am a physician-scientist, and direct a laboratory research program focused on the molecular pathogenesis of childhood cancers.” In the lab, he tries to find the “Achilles’ heels in cancer cells that guide us to new and novel targeted therapies for cancer.”
A prominent scientist, Dr. Engel has been awarded research grants from many private and government agencies. He’s received funding from:
- National Institutes of Health
- Medical Scientist Training Program Scholarship
- NCI—Ruth Kirchstein Research Fellowship
- NIDDK—Mentored Clinician-Scientist Award
- NCI—Independent Investigator Award
- St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research—Young Investigator Award
- ASPHO Young Investigator Award
- Hyundai Hope on Wheels Foundation—Hope Scholar Award
- Hyundai Hope on Wheels Foundation—Fellowship Award
- American Cancer Society—Research Scholar Grant
- American Cancer Society—Institutional Research Grant
- CureSearch Research Grant
- Alex’s Lemonade Stand—Young Investigator Award
- Alex’s Lemonade Stand—REACH Award
- Administrative Board—AAMC Council of Faculty and Academic Societies
- Professional Research Consultants—Top Scoring Physician for 100% Patient Satisfaction
Dr. Engel was born in Franklin, Indiana, and grew up in several cities in the Midwest before attending high school in Florham Park, New Jersey. He attended Purdue University, majoring in biology and biochemistry. He shares, “I did undergraduate research with Victor Rodwell, who studied enzymes involved in cholesterol biosynthesis. After spending a few years in the biotechnology industry in San Diego, I attended Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, where I earned both my MD and PhD degrees under the auspices of the Medical Scientist Training Program.”
Dr. Engel remained at Vanderbilt for his pediatrics internship and residency training and then did a clinical fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology and a post-doctoral fellowship in biochemistry. He stayed at Vanderbilt for four years before leaving for the University of Utah and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. He stayed at Utah for 10 years before joining UVA in 2018 to lead the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology division and further his research endeavors.
“Both my clinical and research activities provide platforms for training the next generation of scientists and physicians,” Dr. Engel shares. “Working together with learners, bringing them together around shared interests, and helping them become professionals is among my greatest joys.”
Dr. Engel is active with the Yellow Door Foundation, which provides housing and support for children with chronic illness that requires prolonged proximity to UVA Children’s. “With my community work, I take every opportunity to share my excitement for my profession … for caring, discovering and sharing, which reflect our core missions as a division,” he says.
Dr. Engel refers to himself as “a gold medal eater.” Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Jeannine, who is also a UVA physician, and their 3 grown children. “They are my guiding light,” he says of his family.
He adds, “I have always had a fascination with automobiles. I think it’s remarkable how they so often blend beauty with function. Much like people in that regard. If I wasn’t a physician, I would probably be an auto mechanic or body repair person. I like the idea of fixing things, restoring them to their best selves again. Much like what we do with people who are facing illness.”
- Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
- Vanderbilt Children's Hospital
- Vanderbilt Children's Hospital