Lal, Ashutosh, MD

Ashutosh Lal


Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

Program Director, Comprehensive Thalassemia Center

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Clinical Specialties

Cancer, tumors, sarcoma, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, brain and spinal cord tumors, pediatric oncology, hepatoblastoma, wilms tumor blood and bone marrow cancers, blood disorders, anemia, clotting disorders, sickle cell disease, hemophilia, leukemia and lymphoma, hodgkins and non-hodgkins, stem cell transplantation


Board Certification
  • Pediatrics, Hematology/Oncology


Medical School

Government Medical College Punjab, India


Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, CA (Pediatric Hematology/Oncology)


Sydney Children's Hospital, Australia
(Pediatric Hematology/Oncology)


Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education, Chandigarh, India


University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

Clinic Locations

My Work

About Me

Dr. Lal is a clinician scientist who directs the Thalassemia Program. He was a research fellow with Bruce Ames studying micronutrient abnormalities and their effects on DNA damage and oxidative injury. This was integrated into his career interest in thalassemia and iron disorders, in addition to his laboratory research in metabolomics, oxidative and mitochondrial injury, and iron regulation. His recent paper on mitochondrial DNA deletions and copy number in thalassemia reflects his laboratory work,* Dr. Lal is leading several trials to improve medical management of thalassemia. As a director of the Western State Thalassemia Consortium and international collaboration with India, he is developing standards of care guidelines for the diverse thalassemia syndromes that can be utilized in resource-rich and limited regions. Dr. Lal is actively involved in global health for thalassemia and will be co-chairing the upcoming international hemoglobinopathy meeting in Chandigarh, India. With support from HRSA and CDC, these protocols will include a database that monitors improvement in areas requiring evidence-based research. Dr. Lal’s guidelines for hemoglobin H disease, adolescent transition checklist, chelation, transfusion, and diagnosis have been implemented. Much of this information is available on our Northern California Thalassemia Center website.

Dr. Lal is developing innovative therapeutic, clinical, and diagnostic therapy designed to address global health issues. To facilitate acute care for thalassemia patients who often require care in programs unfamiliar with their disorder, Dr. Lal developed a patient ID card containing critical a personalized QR code/NFC chip which, when scanned into a smartphone, allows healthcare workers to access to a secure website containing patient-specific treatment protocols and critical medical history. Dr. Lal, with co-investigators, has received an NHLBI SBIR grant to field test a small, portable CoSense CO2 monitor that measures carbon monoxide in exhaled breath. Field work indicates it is a sensitive indicator of hemolysis. This enables screening of large at- risk populations for hemoglobinopathies in regions without laboratory access. Locally, he is a co-investigator on a pre-clinical and phase I trial of hepcidin therapy for thalassemia intermedia, and the activin receptor IIB in thalassemia major.

Selected Research Publications:

  1. *Lal, A, Gomez E, and Calloway C. Increased Mitochondrial DNA Deletions and Copy Number in
    Transfusion-Dependent Thalassemia. JCI Insight (submitted)
  2. Lal A, Goldrich ML, Haines D, Singer ST, Vichinsky EP. Heterogeneity of Hemoglobin H Disease in Childhood. New England Journal Medicine. 2011;364:710-8.
  3. Lal A, Porter J, Sweeters N, Ng V, Evans P, Neumayr L, Kurio G, Harmatz P, Vichinsky E.
    Combined chelation therapy with deferasirox and deferoxamine in thalassemia. Blood Cells Mol
    Dis. 2013;50(2):99-104. PMCID: PMC3592978
  4. Fung EB, Gildengorin G, Talwar S, Hagar L, Lal A. Zinc Status affects Glucose Homeostasis and
    Insulin Secretion in Patients with Thalassemia. Nutrients 2015;7(6):4296-307. PMC4488784
  5. Lal A, Patterson L, Goldrich A, Marsh A. Point-of-care end-tidal carbon monoxide reflects severity of hemolysis in sickle cell anemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 May;62(5):912-4.