Samuel L. Volchenboum, MD, PhD, MS

UChicago Faculty Physicians

Samuel L. Volchenboum, MD, PhD, MS

Associate Professor of Pediatrics Dean of Master's Education
Associate Chief, Research Informatics Officer
Associate Director, Institute for Translational Medicine

[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi. I'm Sam Volchenboum. I'm a pediatric oncologist here at University of Chicago, and I take care of kids who have cancer or blood disorders. I think that, for me, it was always a matter of wanting to take care of people. And I was thinking about going into computer science instead. And at the time, medical school was a much more attractive option to me.

And the real truth is my parents told me I had to become a doctor, so that's why I did it. But I've never looked back since making that decision. It's been a wonderful profession so far.

I moved away to do all my training. I was in Cincinnati, and I was in Boston. I was at Mayo for a while. But I always knew I was going to come back home to where I grew up in Chicago. And coming back to University of Chicago was an easy choice, because it was the one hospital that I knew did world-class research, had a world-class university, and had a fantastic medical school all in one place.

One of the things I love about UChicago is the team environment. And no matter what is going on, no matter what question you have, no matter how obscure something is, there's always somebody here to ask. There's always help, and everybody is so willing to jump in and be part of the team. And I've never experienced anything like that at any other place that I've been. And UChicago has really helped me become a better doctor.

One of the great things about UChicago is our access to clinical trials. And even when we have kids that have been through lots of therapy, and there really seems like there's nothing else to try, we have clinical trials to put these kids on. And UChicago has been a wonderful place to learn about the clinical trials experience, and to learn how to provide these clinical trials to kids.

Well, to me, when I was choosing a specialty, I wanted to find one where I had a lot of continuity with families. And one of the nice things about pediatric oncology is that you meet families, and you take care of them, and develop long relationships. And sometimes you're friends with the patients and their families for years and years. And I still get pictures from families of kids who are getting married, and having babies. And it's just so gratifying to have those kinds of long-term relationships.


Samuel L. Volchenboum, MD, PhD, MS, is an expert in pediatric cancers and blood disorders. He has a special interest in treating children with neuroblastoma, a tumor of the sympathetic nervous system.

In addition to caring for patients, Dr. Volchenboum studies ways to harness computers to enable research and foster innovation using large data sets. He directs the development of the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group Database project, which connects international patient data with external information such as genomic data and tissue availability. The Center he runs provides computational support for the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago, including high-performance computing, applications development, bioinformatics, and access to the clinical research data warehouse.

Areas of Expertise

Board Certifications

  • Pediatrics
  • Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Memberships & Medical Societies

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Medical Informatics Association
  • Children’s Oncology Group
  • American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • International Society for Computational Biology

Practicing Since

  • 1998

Languages Spoken

  • English

Medical Education

  • Mayo Clinic School of Medicine


  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center


  • Boston Children's Hospital; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Other Grad Education

  • MS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

News & Research

View Published Papers
  • Aetna HMO (specialists only)
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • BCBS Blue Precision HMO (specialists only)
  • BCBS HMO (HMOI) (specialists only)
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • CountyCare *see insurance page
  • Aetna Better Health *see insurance page
  • Medicare
  • Multiplan PPO
  • United Choice Plus POS/PPO
  • United Options (PPO)
  • United Select (HMO & EPO) (specialists only)
  • United W500 Emergent Wrap
  • Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO
  • BCBS Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO
  • Humana Medicare Advantage Choice PPO
  • Humana Medicare Advantage Gold Choice PFFS
  • Humana Medicare Advantage Gold Plus HMO
  • United Choice HMO (specialists only)
  • University of Chicago Health Plan (UCHP)

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