Moonshot Pediatric Core


The Frederick National Laboratory has developed a wide breadth of capabilities that are used in many research programs across the laboratory. The Moonshot Pediatric Core (MPC) was established as a dedicated resource to support the research teams from the Pediatric Immunotherapy Discovery and Development Network (PI-DDN) and the Fusion Oncoproteins in Childhood Cancers (FusOnC2) Network. The two networks were established to intensify research on the major drivers of childhood cancers and to develop immunotherapeutic approaches for children and adolescents with cancer. The awards were provided by the National Cancer Institute as part of the Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations by the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The goal of the MPC is to accelerate the development of new novel immunotherapies and improve pediatric cancer treatments by providing FNL resources and capabilities to the network groups. 

The FusOnC2 Network is advancing the understanding of the biology of fusion oncoproteins in childhood cancers to inform the development of targeted treatments for pediatric cancer patients. The network brings together researchers with expertise in structural biology, proteomics, genomics, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and cancer biology who are teaming up to gain insights into the molecular drivers of childhood cancers. The network is specifically focusing on improving the knowledge of pediatric cancers that are at high-risk for treatment failure, or for which there are currently no known effective targeted therapies. This network is moving the field of childhood fusion oncoproteins forward towards new, more effective treatments with fewer side effects for pediatric cancer patients.

The PI-DDN is identifying and advancing translational immunotherapy research for children and adolescents with cancer. This network is working to discover and characterize new targets for immunotherapies, design experimental models to test the effectiveness of pediatric immunotherapies, develop new immunotherapy treatments, and improve the understanding of tumor immunity in pediatric cancer patients. This network is also working to overcome major barriers in developing effective immunotherapies for children, such as lower expression of proteins that can be recognized by immune cells and the immunosuppressive environments of tumors in some pediatric cancers. Investigators in the PI-DDN are working together on multicomponent research studies centered around a pediatric cancer research area and individual pediatric immunotherapy projects. The goal of the network is to advance pediatric immunotherapies to treat children and adolescents with high-risk cancers.

Contact Us 

If you are a member of the PI-DDN or FusOnC2 network and have any questions about the dedicated resources of the Moonshot Pediatric Core at the Frederick National Laboratory, please send an email to