As a Pediatric Hematologist, Dr. Marcela D. Torres, knows that each patient is unique - and is, in her words, a "gift of God." As a parent, she herself has experienced - on three separate occasions –what it can be like to have one's own children diagnosed with a serious, potentially life-threatening medical condition. Such insights and experiences have helped drive what others have called Dr. Torres's tenacious advocacy for her patients.
A native of South America, Dr. Torres began her medical studies at age 17, at the prestigious Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, located in Lima, Peru. Sparse medical resources and other clinical challenges of the time paradoxically were very useful to her training and development as an astute and resourceful treatment provider. Meanwhile, she developed a keen interest in pediatric hematology and oncology.
Upon completing medical school, Dr. Torres undertook her residency in pediatrics and fellowship in hematology and oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin - also a national pioneer in unrelated T cell depleted bone marrow transplants and Center of Excellence in research and treatment of coagulation disorders.
During her training, her primary medical interest gravitated to hematology; and she undertook research at the nationally renowned Blood Center of Wisconsin, focusing on multimerin, a little-known clotting protein. Upon completing her fellowship she was honored with the American Society of Hematology's Travel Award for a poster entitled, "Recombinant Multimerin and Factor V co-localize in Storage Granules in AtT-20 Cells."
Dr. Torres has been with Cook Children's Hematology and Oncology Center since the year 2000. She was instrumental in the initiation and development of Cook Children's hemophilia "twinning project" with Peru, sponsored by the World Federation of Hemophilia. This organization honored Cook Children's with its Hemophilia Treatment Center Twin of the Year Award.
Serving innumerable patients and their families, she and her colleagues have contributed to the substantial growth in research and management of patients with bleeding and clotting disorders in the area. She directs Cook Children's Hematology service and, applying her expertise in the field of blood clots and thrombosis, in 2009 started the Cook Children's Stroke and Thrombosis program. Her dedication and hard work proved fruitful and, in 2016, she was the recipient of Cook Children's Endowed Chair Program. She is not only passionate about treating and helping her patients but she is also a strong proponent of increasing community awareness of pediatric stroke and thrombotic problems. She has presented at multiple national and international speaking engagements, including most recently:
- February 2016 International Stroke Conference, "The New Anticoagulants: Moving Beyond Heparin, Warfarin and Aspirin"
- April 2016 Confederacion Nacional de Pediatria de Mexico, "Accidentes Cerebrovasculares en Pediatria"
- February 2017 NCTTRAC Pediatric Stroke Lecture, "Pediatric Stroke"
- October 2017 Odessa Regional Medical Center, Pediatric Stroke Lecture
- November 2017 Central Texas RAC, "Pediatric Stroke"
- November 2017 United Regional Lunch and Learn, "Pediatric Stroke"
- January 2018 ISC (International Stroke Conference) - IPSS Case Presentation.
- May 2018 CCMC Pediatric Neurology Conference. "Pediatric Stroke Programs"
- May 2018 ASPHO (American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology) "Pediatric Stroke for the Hematologist"
- June 2018 HOT (Heart of Texas) RAC Symposium. "Pediatric Stroke"
- November 2018 GETAC (Governor's EMS and Trauma Advisory Council) "Pediatric Stroke in Texas"
- December 2018 Hematology Oncology Case Conference: Stroke Alert.
- January 2019 Teddy Bear Transport. "Pediatric Stroke Alert"
- February 2019 GETAC-PEDIATRIC Meeting/Presentation. "Pediatric Stroke"
- March 2019 Pediatric Stroke Lecture. El Paso, Texas
- May 2019 Cook Children's Pediatric Grand Rounds "New Era in Pediatric Stroke"
In addition to her clinical activities, she continues to participate in several national and international clinical research studies so as to allow her patients receive the most up to date therapy for their thrombotic and stroke problems. She has many publications in national medical journals and has presented her research in different national medical meetings, such as:
- Children are not at Increased Risk of Symptomatic Intracranial Hemorrhage following Intravenous Tissue Plasminogen Activator for Acute Stroke. International Stroke Conference, February 2019
- Post-op bleeding in a patient with Noonan syndrome and Factor XIII deficiency: A case study. Midyear Scientific Meeting for the American Osteopathic Colleges of Ophthalmology & Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 2018.
- Bleeding diathesis in a patient with a novel mutation in SERPINF2: A case study of alpha-2 antiplasmin deficiency. THSNA (Thrombosis and Hemostasis Society of North America)-March 9, 2018.
- Mechanical Thrombectomy & Catheter Directed Thrombolysis in Children with Severe Cerebral Sinus Venous Thrombosis (CSVT) and Underlying Autoimmune Disease Child Neurology Society Annual Meeting, October16, 2018.
- Congenital Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (cTTP)-Safer Treatment with Plasma-Derived Viral-Attenuated Clotting. American Society of Hematology's Annual Meeting 2015.
- Anatomic Distribution of Childhood Deep Venous Thrombosis: 'An Interim Analysis of the HTRS-TE Registry'. American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 2011.
- A Randomized Phase II Study Evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of Deferasirox Versus Deferoxamine in Patients with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD): 2-Year Results Including Pharmacokinetics (PK) and Safety of Deferasirox with Concomitant Hydroxyurea Therapy. American society of Hematology's Annual Meeting 2011.
- Recombinant Multimerin and Factor V Co-localize in storage granules In AtT-20 cells'. American Society of Hematology's 40th Annual Meeting
- The human Multimerin gene maps to chromosome 4q22. American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 11th Annual meeting 1998.
- Prolonged, Severe neutropenia in an infant due to high-titer NA2 Alloantibody 5th European Symposium on Platelet and Granulocyte Immunobiology 1998.
Dr. Torres is an active member of the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Research Society, the American Society of Hematology, the International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, the International Pediatric Stroke Organization and the American Heart Association.
Dr. Torres's love and joy are her husband and their four children and she is proud of her status as a member of the Cook Children's community.