Willing to Mentor

    Available to Mentor:

    Health Professions (Medical, OT, PT, Dental, Audiology, etc.) Students, Post-Baccalaureate Students, Undergraduate Students

    • 168

    Research activity per year

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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Brain tumors are the most common solid malignancy of childhood, yet we understand little of the risk factors that contribute to their development. My lab utilizes NF1 as an experimental platform to study how extrinsic factors (maternal and postnatal environmental exposures), intrinsic factors (developmental age, region of the brain, cell type) and genetic mutation interact at the level of the cell of origin to influence pediatric glioma penetrance. My current avenues of investigation include 1) how Nf1 germline mutations differentially affect proliferation and differentiation of stem cell populations, leading to disparate effects on tumor formation, 2) whether gestational weight gain or maternal obesity impact mutant stem cell populations in the hypothalamus (third ventricular zone) to increase glioma penetrance, and 3) how other mutations in the RAS-MAPK pathway affect neural stem cells compared to Nf1, relevant to sporadic gliomagenesis.

    Clinical interests

    My primary focus is on caring for children with NF1 who develop brain tumors, but I also care for many children with sporadic gliomas and other brain tumors that affect the pediatric populations (medulloblastoma, ependymoma, etc).


    I have a wide variety of projects related to NF1 and sporadic brain tumors that students are welcome to participate in. These include both basic science projects as well as clinical research projects. Basic science projects may include a variety of wet-lab techniques, such as immunohistochemistry, microscopy, PCR, Western blotting and ELISA. Clinical projects often involve case reports and retrospective reviews in a wide array of topics, ranging from drug toxicity to factors affecting tumor incidence.

    Please be aware that you will need appropriate regulatory approval for clinical projects, so don't wait until the last minute!

    Available to Mentor:

    • Undergraduate Students
    • Post-Baccalaureate Students
    • Health Professions Students


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