Events Message from the Director

A Message from the Director – Summer 2014

Dr. Gutmann Riverfront Times
With thoughts of children returning to school and pleasant fall weather in St. Louis, I wanted to update you on developments and events happening in the Washington University NF Center.
On May 16, 2014, we hosted the second Washington University NF Center Research Symposium in the Eric P. Newman Education Center on the campus of the Washington University School of Medicine. This wonderful event drew over 180 clinicians, researchers, and families, and was widely regarded as an overwhelming success. We were so fortunate to showcase Dr. Sean Morrison (UT-Southwestern) and Dr. Jonathan Epstein (University of Pennsylvania) as our two keynote speakers.
We also launched the first full Beat NF session, a jazz music therapy-based program for toddlers. This unique partnership with Phil Dunlap from Jazz St. Louis and Dr. Cynthia Briggs from Maryville University Department of Music Therapy ran for six consecutive Friday mornings in June. The feedback was extremely positive, and we are currently expanding the program to include new music and activities.
There have been several exciting research advances to report. First, based on new findings by researchers in the Washington University NF Center, a large international clinical consortium confirmed the link between patient gender and the risk of vision loss in NF1. Second, Dr. Courtney Dunn and her colleagues published a manuscript on evaluating low muscle tone in children with NF1. Third, Cynthia Garcia, a graduate student in my laboratory, was successfully awarded a PhD degree for her work to identify new drug treatments for NF2-associated spinal cord tumors. Lastly, the NF Clinical Trials Consortium reported their initial findings using a new class of medication to treat NF1-associated plexiform neurofibroma.
To stay up to date with progress in the world of NF, I invite you to visit our website regularly and to join us on Facebook.
With best wishes for the school year,
David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD
Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor
Director, Washington University NF Center