My name is John A. Ligon, MD, and I am an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine. I earned my medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, completed my residency in pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and pursued a fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at Johns Hopkins University and the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. In the following years, I completed a senior fellowship in pediatric immunotherapy at the National Cancer Institute and another in pediatric sarcoma at Johns Hopkins University. I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician from a young age, as I loved going to my own pediatrician as a kid. This passion for caring for children persisted through medical school and into my residency training, where I was inspired by my amazing mentors and the strength of their patients to pursue additional training in hematology and oncology. I am board-certified in both general pediatrics and pediatric hematology and oncology by the American Board of Pediatrics. In addition to my numerous original research publications and editorial review appointments, I am a member of various professional societies, such as the Children’s Oncology Group and the American Association for Cancer Research. I have been honored with a variety of awards for my research skills and academic excellence, and my research interests include immunotherapy, tumors and bloodstream infections. I am a member of the Pediatric Cancer Immunotherapy Initiative (PCI2) at the University of Florida. I serve as a translational partner with my collaborators, Drs. Elias Sayour and Paul Castillo, to advance new treatments which harness the power of the immune system into early phase pediatric clinical trials. My work is supported by a number of foundations and organizations including the V Foundation, Hyundai Hope on Wheels, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, MIB Agents and the Children’s Miracle Network.
My goal as a physician is to discover new treatments that will allow more children to be cured of their cancer than could be with currently available treatments. I want my patients to know that rather than focusing on one specific type of cancer, I am interested in using the immune system to find ways to cure all kinds of pediatric cancer. The immune system is the same across all kinds of cancer and I believe there is a way to unlock it for many diseases that we currently have trouble treating.
When I’m not practicing medicine, you can find me watching San Antonio Spurs basketball games, playing Magic: the Gathering trading card game and taking care of my three small children.
Top areas of exploration
- Neoplasms , 3 publications
- Immunotherapy, Adoptive , 2 publications
- Bacteremia , 2 publications
- Soft Tissue Neoplasms , 1 publications
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