Student in NF Scholars Program Awarded ALSF POST fellowship

Hannah Wang, an undergraduate student in Dr. David Gutmann’s laboratory, was recently awarded an Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) summer research internship. The program was founded with the mission to change the lives of children with cancer through funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families, and empowering everyone to help […]

NF Center Investigators Awarded Grant to Develop Human Cell Culture Models of NF1 Brain Tumors

Low-grade gliomas (LGGs) are common brain tumors arising in children with the Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) cancer predisposition syndrome. Unfortunately, the tumor cells from these brain cancers often die when grown in the laboratory under standard conditions. To more accurately model human LGGs from children with NF1, Washington University Assistant Professor, Dr. Corina Anastasaki, developed […]

NF1 Mutation Alters the Function of Human Microglia

Children with NF1 are prone to the development of autism and brain tumors, which could reflect the effect of NF1 mutation on microglia function. Microglia are specialized macrophages that constantly survey the brain in health and in the setting of nervous system disease. As such, microglia have been implicated in the development of autism and […]

NF Center Researchers Identify a New Potential Treatment for Optic Glioma Vision Loss

The most common brain tumor in children with NF1 is a low-grade glioma affecting the optic pathway, a bundle of nerves that carry vision from the eye to the brain. While many of these tumors do not cause any medical problems, at least one third of children with NF1-optic pathway gliomas (NF1-OPG) will experience some […]

New Therapy Identified for MPNST in NF1

One of the most aggressive tumors in people with NF1 is the malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST). A recent team science study led by Christine Pratilas MD at Johns Hopkins University, David Largaespada PhD and David Wood PhD at University of Minnesota, Sara Gosline PhD at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Angela Hirbe, MD, PhD […]

New Parent Guide to Childhood Development

Whether you grew up around children or never held a baby in your life, becoming a new parent can be overwhelming. In the blink of an eye your entire life has changed, and you now need to figure out how to care for this little, tiny human. Then, just when you think you might be […]

The Gutmann Laboratory Welcomes New Staff Scientist, Dr. Enquan Xu

We want to welcome Dr. Enquan Xu to the Gutmann Laboratory. Dr. Xu graduated from University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2017 with a PhD in Neuropharmacology and Immunology. He previously studied the role of immune cells in methamphetamine-induced Parkinson’s disease. Currently, he serves as a staff scientist in the Gutmann Laboratory. Enquan is focused […]

Rui Mu joins the NF Center as a Bioinformatic Specialist in the Gutmann Laboratory

Rui recently graduated from the Master of Science in Biostatistics (MSIBS) program at Washington University School of Medicine. Following graduation, she joined the Gutmann laboratory as a full-time Bioinformatics Research Analyst. In this position, she analyzes single-cell RNA sequencing and bulk RNA sequencing data for numerous scientific research projects, applies and develops new methods for […]

Message from the Director

This year marks a milestone as we celebrate 30 years of Neurofibromatosis (NF) research and medical care at Washington University. Over this period, we have witnessed the dramatic expansion of both our clinical and research programs, with the addition of new initiatives, laboratories, and patient care providers. The dedication of our team members has culminated […]

Dr. Corina Anastasaki, PhD Wins the Women in Neuroscience Award

On behalf of the Society of Neuro-Oncology and the SNO Women and Diversity Committee, it is my pleasure to inform you that your abstract, CNSC-43 “Targeting neuronal excitability for Nf1low-grade glioma therapy,” has been selected for the 2023 Women in Neuro-Oncology (WiN) Abstract Award in Basic/Translational Science Research at the upcoming 28th Annual Meeting of […]

NF Center Researchers Demonstrate that a Mutation in the Cytokine Receptor-Like Factor-3 (CRLF3) Gene Causes Neuronal Deficits

Children with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) are prone to intellectual and developmental disabilities, including learning and memory problems, attention deficit, autism, and developmental delays. Prior work from the laboratory of Dr. David Gutmann, Washington University NF Center Director, showed that mini-brains from children with NF1 total gene deletions have impaired nerve cell (neuron) development, particularly […]

Dr. David Gutmann Inducted Into the National Academy of Medicine

Membership in the National Academy of Medicine is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. About Dr. Gutmann, MD, PhD Dr. David H. Gutmann, the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor in Neurology, was elected in 2022 […]

Josh Breunig, David Gutmann, and Yuan Pan receive a Collaborative Department of Defense Grant

The Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis (NF) Research Program recently awarded Drs. Joshua Breunig (Cedars Sinai), David Gutmann (Washington University), and Yuan Pan (MD Anderson Cancer Center) a three-year grant to study NF1-associated brain tumors. The team will leverage a state-of-the-art genetic technology called Mosaic Analysis with Dual Recombinases (MDAR) to model brain tumors in NF1 […]

Camp NF Takes Flight!

Through our amazing community partnerships, we were able to launch Camp NF this summer. Camp NF is a therapy-focused summer camp for children in kindergarten through 8th grade with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Hosted at an outpatient therapy clinic under the guidance of physical, occupational, and music therapists, children with NF1 had the opportunity to […]

Dr. Christopher Ray Joins the NF Center

Dr. Ray joins the NF Center as the new Adult NF1 Clinical provider. He is an Assistant Professor of Neurology. He completed his residency and fellowship training at Washington University prior to joining the General Neurology and Stroke Neurology faculty. Dr. Ray strives to provide comprehensive neurological care to adult NF patients, including an interest […]

NF Center Undergraduate Receives Prestigious Summer Research Grant

Lara Marquez Y Marco, an undergraduate researcher in the Washington University NF Center, was recently awarded a summer Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) Program grant from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. For her summer project, Lara will work with senior postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Jit Chatterjee, in the laboratory of Dr. David Gutmann, to explore the relationship […]

Corina and Yuan present at Pediatric SNO Cancer Neuroscience Meeting

Corina Anastasaki and Yuan Pan (MD Anderson) were recently invited to present their work for the cancer neuroscience session at the Pediatrics Society for Neuro-Oncology meeting in Washington D.C. (June 2023). Cancer neuroscience is a new and emerging field in cancer research that explores the notion that neurons, the nerves of our body, are not […]

Bike Safety

Many families are enjoying the benefits of outdoor activities, including walking, running, biking, and using scooters and hoverboards. All of these activities provide extensive physical and mental health benefits. However, we want to take a moment to discuss safety. As always, follow your local state/county social distancing guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention […]

The Washington University NF Center launches its first ever NF Family Day

On June 3rd, the Missouri Botanical Garden opened its doors for the Washington University NF Center Family Day. This was our first ever event, and it was an overwhelming success! From a scavenger hunt and splash pad to potting a plant and painting, the NF Center Family Day included therapy experiences for all ages. In […]