International Virtual NF Tumor Board Launched

The Washington University NF Center in collaboration with Dr. Mohamed Abdelbaki in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology has initiated a virtual International Tumor Board to discuss the management of children and adults with NF. For these quarterly meetings, we leverage the expertise of dedicated specialists in the NF Center, including those in Adult and Pediatric Neurosurgery, Adult and […]


Carter Hoss is a goofy, caring, and fun-loving sixth grader. He has also raised over $1500 to benefit NF Midwest through participation in the organization’s annual Walk 4 NF event. Both aspects of Carter stem from his drive to constantly improve himself and the world around him, always on a mission to help however he […]

New Autism Gene Discovered Using Human Mini-Brains

Neurodevelopmental disorders are often caused by losses of large pieces of chromosomes containing many genes. This is also true for a subset of individuals with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) who have severe developmental delays and intellectual disabilities. These NF1 patients often harbor a large deletion involving the NF1 gene on chromosome 17q11.2, termed a total […]

Brain tumors caused by normal neuron activity in mice predisposed to such tumors

Light triggers formation, feeds growth of optic nerve tumors Seeing, hearing, thinking, daydreaming — doing anything at all, in fact — activates neurons in the brain. But for people predisposed to developing brain tumors, the ordinary buzzing of their brains could be a problem. A study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in […]

New Study Identifies Immune Cell Target for Blocking Tumor Growth

Previous studies from the laboratory of NF Center director, David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, have shown that immune system-like cells, called microglia, are important non-cancerous regulators of NF1 optic glioma formation and growth. Using a combination of RNA sequencing, genetically engineered mouse strains, and human tumor specimens, Amanda de Andrade Costa and colleagues discovered that […]

Brain Tumors Caused by Normal Neuron Activity in Mice Predisposed to Such Tumors

Light triggers formation, feeds growth of optic nerve tumors Written by Tamara Bhandari • May 26, 2021 Originally published on the Washington University School of Medicine, News Hub website Seeing, hearing, thinking, daydreaming — doing anything at all, in fact — activates neurons in the brain. But for people predisposed to developing brain tumors, the […]

Check out the NF Center 2021, Volume 2 Newsletter!

Check out the NF Center 2021, Volume 2 newsletter (pdf) to read about new research on NF1 brain tumors, meet our newest faculty member, and read updates on patient engagement. Additionally, learn about: The second NF Center Trainee to become a Francis S. Collins Scholar Our resident PT, Makenzie Sledd’s latest Blog If you haven’t […]

NF Center Trainee Selected as an O’Leary Prize Competition Finalist

Each year, the Office of Neuroscience Research awards an O’Leary Prize to a predoctoral or doctoral fellow to acknowledge the most original and important accomplishments in neuroscience research at Washington University School of Medicine. Michelle Wegscheid, an MD/PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. David H. Gutmann, was selected to present her research at the […]

Gait Analysis in NF1 Mouse Model Revealed Developmental Abnormalities that Persist into Adulthood

As part of an investigation into share motor impairments across genetic liabilities for intellectual and developmental disorders (IDDs), a research group led by Drs. Susan Maloney and Joseph Dougherty, in collaboration with the Gutmann Lab, recently discovered altered gait development in mice harboring a patient-derived Nf1 gene mutation. This new study conducted a comprehensive analysis of gait […]

Collaborative NF Team Reports NF1 Mutation in a Family without NF1

Children with NF1 are born with a genetic change, called a mutation, in one of their two NF1 genes. This mutation causes NF1. Work in many groups, including investigators in the Washington University NF Center, have found that the specific NF1 mutation may be one factor that determines the types of medical problems that a […]

NF Center Researchers Identify a Universal Change in MPSNT

Dr. Angela Hirbe led a multi-investigator research effort to generate a large collection of patient-derived tumor lines from NF1 patients with the most deadly NF1-associated cancer – malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs).  These human cancer lines were developed from actual human tumors in order to identify the genetic changes that cause these tumors. This […]

NF Center and Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) Synodos Team Publish Landmark Genomic Study of NF1 Brain Tumors

Dr. Michael Fisher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Dr. David Gutmann from the Washington University NF Center spearheaded an internal consortium effort to define the genetics of low-grade brain tumors in children with NF1. In their study, involving 25 centers worldwide, they characterized the genetic changes seen in these tumors, and analyzed the importance […]

Star NF Center Student Graduates

Anna Wilson graduated summa cum laude from Washington University and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Anna completed her honor thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. David Gutmann where she studied sex differences in neurons in mice with a genetic mutation in the neurofibromatosis type 1 gene. Following graduation, Anna will return […]

Springtime Fun with Virtual Club NF!

At the Washington University NF Center, providing care beyond the walls of the clinic is a high priority. The Covid-19 pandemic presented many obstacles to our essential therapy programs and challenged our team to find creative ways to continue offering them safely. Starting in the Fall of 2020 and continuing through Spring 2021, we pivoted […]

Gutmann Laboratory Receives A Grant From Ian’s Friends Foundation

The Gutmann laboratory recently was awarded a grant from Ian’s Friends Foundation (IFF) to develop better models of human NF1 low-grade brain tumors (gliomas). In their proposal, this team will be investigating what cells and signals allow human pediatric gliomas to grow in the mouse brain, eliminating a major barrier to the development and deployment […]

May is NF Awareness Month!

Dress in blue in support of NF Awareness on World NF Awareness Day, May 17th, 2021! May is NF Awareness Month, join the Washington University NF Center in raising awareness and supporting education and research, throughout the Neurofibromatosis community. FACTS ABOUT NEUROFIBROMATOSIS A set of complex genetic disorders that affects almost every organ system NF1 […]

Dr. Caroline Tang Joins The Gutmann Lab

Yunshuo (Caroline) Tang, MD, PhD recently joined the laboratory of David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, NF Center Director, to investigate vision loss occurring in the setting of NF1 optic gliomas. Dr. Tang completed her MD and PhD degrees at the University of California, San Francisco, working with Drs. Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, Michael Stryker, and John Rubinstein […]

NF Center Trainee Awarded Francis S. Collins Scholar Award

Nicole M. Brossier, MD, PhD was recently awarded a Francis S. Collins Program in Neurofibromatosis Clinical and Translational Research Award. This program is directed by the Neurofibromatosis Therapeutic Acceleration Program at Johns Hopkins University, and is designed to foster the career development of the next generation of leaders in NF. Dr. Brossier is finishing her […]

NF Clinical Trials Consortium Reports Vision Stabilization Following Everolimus Therapy

The NF Clinical Trials Consortium recently published a study examining vision in children with NF1 and optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) following treatment with Everolimus. Leveraging preclinical studies from the Gutmann laboratory demonstrating that mouse Nf1 optic glioma growth is controlled by activated RAS operating through the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein.  Everolimus is an […]