Yuan Pan and Nicole Brossier awarded DoD grant to study the interaction between Nf1 mutation and diet

Drs. Yuan Pan (Assistant Professor, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center) and Nicole Brossier (Assistant Professor, Washington University) were recently awarded a three-year grant from the Department of Defense NF Research Program to study the interaction between Nf1 mutation and maternal diet. Together, Drs. Pan and Brossier will study how genetic and environmental factors both individually […]

Anna Wilson Begins Medical School at Harvard

Anna Wilson has finished her two-year tenure as a postbaccalaureate researcher in the Gutmann laboratory and will move to Boston to start medical school at Harvard this fall. Anna joined the lab as an undergraduate research trainee in the fall of 2019, eventually completing her senior honors thesis before graduating Summa Cum Laude from Washington […]

Meet Michelle Lambert

We are so excited to welcome Michelle to the Gutmann Laboratory. In her role, she will serve as one of the Gutmann Lab managers. Her previous research experience at the University of Missouri – Columbia was in cardiovascular physiology focused on calcium homeostasis in the heart. Her favorite part of working in the lab was […]

NF Patient Story

By St. Louis Children’s Hospital Logan is a 7-year-old who not only loves to be around others but is also just one belt away from a black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys playing Minecraft and Roblox. Three years ago, Logan was diagnosed with NF1. For Logan, his NF included the thickening of the optic nerves […]

NF Center Researchers Identify a Potential Combination Therapy for MPNST

Dr. Dana Borcherding, a senior scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Angela Hirbe, recently found that the combination of two drugs targeting different growth control pathways in MPNST cells dramatically decreased tumor growth in mice. In their studies, they combined a TYK2 inhibitor with a MEK inhibitor to achieve this dramatic effect with minimal toxicity. […]

Dr. Yuan Pan Awarded Gilbert Family Foundation Grant to Study Optic Gliomas

Dr. Yuan Pan, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, was recently awarded a three-year grant from the Gilbert Family Foundation Vision Restoration Initiative to study how NF1 mutations in brain cells called oligodendroglial cells change their interactions with the optic nerve. In this grant, Dr. Pan’s team will work with Dr. Corina Anastasaki, Research […]

Dr. Maloney Awarded IDDRC Pilot Grant to Study Social Behavior Deficits in Mice

Dr. Susan Maloney, Research Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, was recently awarded a one-year grant from the Washington University Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) to study social behavior in mice with different Nf1 gene mutations. In this grant proposal, Dr. Maloney will collaborate with Dr. Corina Anastasaki, Research Assistant Professor in Neurology, to identify the autism-related behaviors in Nf1-mutant […]

Major Biomarker Project to Help Identify Cancer Predisposition in NF1 Patients

The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) has announced a groundbreaking 3-year study, which it will fund for nearly $2 million, to determine if a DNA-based blood test can offer better understanding and ultimately earlier diagnosis of cancer predisposition in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients. Approximately 7-15% percent of NF1 patients may develop malignant peripheral nerve sheath […]

NF Center 2022 Annual Report Published

Check out the NF Center 2022 Annual Report (pdf) to read a message from the Director, learn more about groundbreaking research in the Gutmann Laboratory, and read about a new therapy treatment for children with NF1. Additionally, learn about: If you haven’t already done so, be sure to also take a look at our previous issues of the […]

Gutmann Inducted into the American Association of Physicians

David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor and Director of the Neurofibromatosis Center at Washington University, was recently inducted into the Association of American Physicians (AAP). The AAP is an honorary medical society founded in 1885 by Sir William Osler for “the advancement of scientific and practical medicine”. Election to the AAP is […]

NF Center Scholar Receives ALSF Summer Fellowship Award

Taylor John-Lewis was recently awarded a POST Summer Fellowship from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to work on vision loss resulting from brain tumors in children with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Taylor is a rising senior at Washington University, majoring in Biology on the Neuroscience Track, with a Double Minors in Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology, as well […]

NF Center Researcher Awarded Department of Defense Grant

Dr. Angela Hirbe, Assistant Professor in Medical Oncology at Washington University, was recently awarded a new grant from the Department of Defense to continue her groundbreaking research on malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs). MPNSTs are highly aggressive cancers that can arise in young adults with the Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) tumor predisposition syndrome. Typically, these […]

Targeting the Immune System Blocks Optic Glioma Formation in Mice

Children with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) are prone to the development of brain tumors, specifically low-grade gliomas of the optic nerve, called optic pathway gliomas (OPGs). These tumors contain a mixture of cancer and non-cancer cells, each important for tumor formation and growth. However, all of our current therapies focus on cancer cells with variable […]

Advanced Informatic Methods Reveal New Insights in Neurofibromatosis Type 1

The future of personalized medicine and its application to children and adults with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) relies on the establishment of risk factors to better predict what clinical features are most likely to develop in any given individual. Working with scientists in the Washington University Institute for Informatics (link: https://informatics.wustl.edu/), researchers in the Neurofibromatosis […]

Washington University Hope Center Funds New Collaborative Grant on Brain Injury

The relationship between brain injury and brain tumor formation is unclear. To determine whether brain injury can result in the later development of a type of brain tumor, called a glioma, the research laboratories of two Washington University neurologists are joining forces. Dr. Terrance Kummer, an expert in traumatic brain injury and a clinical specialist […]

NFunFest Fundraiser for Washington University NF Center A Rousing Success

Amanda and Brian Walk hosted their annual NFunFest event this fall to support research at the Washington University NF Center. Despite the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Walks have continued to be ardent supporters of the work ongoing in the center to understand why specific medical problems arise in children and adults with NF1, as […]

Dr. Corina Anastasaki Promoted to Assistant Professor

  Corina Anastasaki, PhD was recently promoted to the rank of Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Anastasaki obtained her PhD from the University of Edinburgh before completing her postdoctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of David Gutmann. During her postdoctoral fellowship training, she pioneered […]

Asthma may reduce risk of brain tumors — but how?

by Tamara Bhandari (WUSM News Release) Mouse study IDs immune cells as link, points to potential therapeutic approaches There’s not much good that can be said about asthma, a breathing disease in which the airways become narrowed and inflamed. But there’s this: People with asthma seem to be less likely to develop brain tumors than […]

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 […]

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 […]