Dr. David Gutmann is one of the world’s leading laboratory scientists and clinical experts in neurofibromatosis (NF). He currently is the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor and Director of the Washington University NF Center, while also serving as Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Gutmann obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 1984, followed by his M.D. with distinction in 1986 from the University of Michigan. After completing his Neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Gutmann joined the laboratory of Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., a world-renowned physician-geneticist. During his postdoctoral research fellowship with Dr. Collins, Dr. Gutmann identified the protein encoded by the Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene and defined its function as a tumor suppressor.
In 1993, Dr. Gutmann was recruited as faculty to the Washington University School of Medicine, where he established the NF Clinical Program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Recognizing the need to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and its application to the care of individuals with NF, he founded the Washington University NF Center in 2004.
Dr. Gutmann’s research laboratory has been highly productive, generating many small-animal models of NF, which have provided critical insights into the pathogenesis of brain and nerve tumors, as well as normal brain development. Importantly, these studies have led to the discovery and evaluation of several new treatments for NF-related tumors and medical problems, some of which are currently being studied in human clinical trials.
Dr. Gutmann has published over 500 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and served on many national and international advisory boards, including the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Advisory Council. He has been recognized for his achievements with numerous prestigious honors, such as the 2012 Frederich von Recklinghausen Award, 2013 Washington University Distinguished Faculty Research Award, 2016 Research Program Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2017 Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, 2019 Abhijit Guha Award, 2020 Neuro-Oncology Scientific Award, and the 2020 Triennial George W. Jacoby Award. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Neurological Association, American Academy of Neurology, Association of American Physicians, and National Academy of Medicine.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Division of Hematology/Oncology
Dr. Armstrong is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hematology/Oncology. She directs the pediatric solid tumor program, co-directs the adolescent and young adult sarcoma program, and serves on the renal tumor committee through the Children’s Oncology Group. Dr. Armstrong is a clinical trialist and has a particular interest in the treatment of NF1-related tumors outside of the central nervous system, including plexiform neurofibromas. Dr. Armstrong serves as the site Principal Investigator for Washington University of St. Louis in the NF Clinical Trials Consortium.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Division of Hematology/Oncology
Dr. Brossier is an Instructor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hematology-Oncology. Clinically, she cares for children with brain and spinal cord tumors, with a focus on tumors arising in kids with NF1, NF2 or related disorders. Her laboratory studies how genetic, neurodevelopmental and environmental factors act on neural stem cells to influence pediatric brain tumor formation.
Lindburg professor and chair
Dr. Buchman is a otologist/neurotologist with extensive experience in caring for patients with acoustic neuromas, skull base tumors and NF2. This includes assessment and management with regards to ear, hearing, balance, and facial nerve disorders related to these tumors and conditions. He and others members of the team provide cochlear implants and brainstem implants as well as makes recommendations for vertigo and balance issues.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF Neurology
Dr. Butt is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Washington University. He has a special interest in caring for adults who have brain tumors. His research is focused on complications of immunotherapy.
Director, Adult Neurofibromatosis Clinical Program
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE AND PEDIATRICS
Dr. Hirbe is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics in the Division of Medical Oncology in the Department of Medicine, and Director of the Adult Clinical Neurofibromatosis Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Clinically, she cares for patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas, other rare tumors, and patients with cancer predisposition syndromes including NF Type 1. Her laboratory is focused on genomics and mouse models of soft tissue sarcomas, particularly NF1-associated MPNST, with the goal of identifying drivers that can be exploited as diagnostic biomarkers or therapeutic targets.
Director, Brain Tumor Center
August A. Busch Jr. Professor of Neurological Surgery
Dr. Kim is the Director of the Brain Tumor Center at Washington University School of Medicine / Siteman Cancer Center and a neurosurgeon-scientist. He has clinical expertise in skull base tumors and a research laboratory that investigates vestibular schwannomas and meningiomas. Dr. Kim is committed to offering the best possible clinical care for patients with NF2 alongside his colleagues from multiple departments.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF Neurology AND PEDIATRICS
Dr. Pathak is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology. He has worked in the St. Louis area in private neurology practice, and as a member of the faculty at Washington University. He has special interest in treating patients with neurodevelopmental disorders, movement disorders, and has experience managing behavioral conditions and disorders of attention. Dr. Pathak sees patients for consultation and follow up in the NF Clinic
Erika Ramirez, BSN, RN
NF Center Clinical Nurse Coordinator
Erika is the Clinical Nurse Coordinator for the NF Center. She is a Registered Nurse with 23 years of pediatric nursing experience and has been with the NF Center for 6 years. Erika provides support for families through collaboration with the team to coordinate testing and appointments, interpretation of test results, and the evolving plan of care. She communicates with our patient families to address concerns, answer questions, and schedule appointments.
assistant professor of neurology
Dr. Ray 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 in migraine and the vascular complications of NF1. He also sees patients admitted to Barnes Jewish Hospital with strokes and other cerebrovascular diseases.
Madeline Scherr, MS, OTR/L
NF Center Coordinator
Maddy is a licensed Occupational Therapist who brings a wealth of experience in outpatient occupational therapy and the care of children with autism, attention deficits, and childhood developmental delays. In her position, she provides evaluations and consultations for our children in clinic, directs our therapy programs, and coordinates marketing for the NF Center.
chair, Department of Neurosurgery
Ralph G. Dacey Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery
Dr. Zipfel is a neurosurgeon who specializes in the care of patients with skull base tumors including the types of tumors that afflict patients with neurofibromatosis. He has a comprehensive multidisciplinary acoustic neuroma program that has special interest and expertise treating patients with NF2. Their approach is to effectively treat the tumor, while also preserving hearing whenever possible. They are also increasingly treating NF2 patients with the goal of not only treating the tumor, but also restoring hearing through simultaneous or subsequent placement of cochlear implants (performed by our neuro-otology partners). Dr. Zipfel and his team also have great experience treating other tumors associated with neurofibromatosis including meningiomas and ependymomas.