Investigator; Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC
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Mary Baron Nelson, PhD, RN, CPNP, received a faculty appointment after serving as a nurse practitioner since 2012  in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Her research interests focus on the mechanisms of brain injury from childhood cancer treatment through neuroimaging, and including neurocognitive and psychosocial late effects and development of interventions. She has been a nurse practitioner since 1995 and has primarily worked with children with brain tumors and childhood cancer survivors. Nelson has a MS degree in nursing from Boston College and a PhD in nursing from UCLA. She has been conducting research in childhood brain tumor survivors since 2007and is actively involved in the Association of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Nurses.


Graduate School: 

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA - PhD, Nursing

Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA - MS, Nursing,



CPNP-PC, Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, 1995

Professional Memberships: 

American Nurses’ Association, 2013-present

NINR Nurse Scientist Translational Research Interest Group, 2012-present

Society for Neuro-oncology, 2012-present

Oncology Nursing Society, 2006-present

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), 1995-present

Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON), 1988-present

Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, 1982-present


Pregnancy in a Patient With a Malignant Brain Tumor Taking Temozolomide: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Evans AC, Nelson MB, Dhall G. Journal of pediatric oncology nursing : official journal of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses. 2015; 32(5):326-8.

Structural brain alterations in children an average of 5 years after surgery and chemotherapy for brain tumors. Nelson MB, Macey PM, Harper RM, Jacob E, Patel SK, et al. Journal of neuro-oncology. 2014; 119(2):317-26. NIHMSID: NIHMS596463

Central nervous system injury and neurobiobehavioral function in children with brain tumors: a review of the literature. Baron Nelson M, Compton P, Patel SK, Jacob E, Harper R. Cancer nursing. 2013; 36(2):E31-47.

Premature carotid artery disease in pediatric cancer survivors treated with neck irradiation. Meeske KA, Siegel SE, Gilsanz V, Bernstein L, Nelson MB, et al. Pediatric blood & cancer. 2009; 53(4):615-21. NIHMSID: NIHMS123396

The role of the long-term follow-up clinic in discovering new emerging late effects in adult survivors of childhood cancer. Meeske KA, Nelson MB. Journal of pediatric oncology nursing : official journal of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses. 2008; 25(4):213-9.

Research Interests: 
  • Mechanisms of brain injury from childhood cancer treatment
  • Neurocognitive and psychosocial difficulties after childhood  cancer treatment
  • Development of interventions

Research in Progress

  • Treatment-related CNS Injury in Children with Posterior Fossa Brain Tumors
  • Veteran Parent intervention for Parents of Children with Brain Tumors
  • Neuroanatomical, Cognitive & Family Aspects to Recovery from a Brain Tumor

Research Grants

National Institute of Nursing Research: Treatment-related Central Nervous System Injury in Children with Posterior Fossa Brain Tumors (2014-2017):

Objectives are to compare structural neural integrity globally and within specific brain structures, using magnetic resonance imaging procedures in children with a history of posterior fossa brain tumor treated with surgery, surgery and chemotherapy, or surgery, chemotherapy and cranial irradiation to age- and gender-matched healthy controls, and to explore the relationship between tissue loss, memory and executive functioning, behavior, mood, and quality of life effects.

Current Funding

Making Headway Foundation


ResearCHLA Magazine

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