News Story

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 a method using human induced pluripotent stem cells generated from blood cells to generate “mini-brains” (cerebral organoids) that grow for months in the laboratory. Leveraging this breakthrough, Dr. David Gutmann, Director of the Washington University NF Center, joined forces with Dr. Anastasaki and collaborators, Dr. Frank Furnari (UCSD) and Dr. Fausto Rodriguez (UCLA), to create organoid models of NF1-LGG suitable for drug discovery and testing. Together, they were awarded a grant from the Gilbert Family Foundation.

Congratulations to this collaborative team on receiving funding to pursue this exciting research direction.