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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dr. Angela Hirbe and collaborators publish a three-dimensional MPNST culture system to test therapeutic combinations

The laboratory of Dr. Angela Hirbe, along with collaborators in the Largaespada and Wood labs at the University of Minnesota, the Pratilas lab at Johns Hopkins University, and the Gosline lab have just published a novel three-dimensional MPNST culture system to test novel therapeutic combinations. They hope this system will allow for high throughput testing of […]

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 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 […]