News Story

Washington University NF Center Trainee Presents Research at CTF Conference

hughHugh Bender, MS, a graduate student in the laboratory of David H. Gutmann, MD PhD, is investigating how neural stem cells (NSCs) function during brain development.
NSCs are the precursors to all major cell types found in the brain. While vital to brain development, overgrowth of NSCs may lead to abnormal brain development and/or tumor formation.
Mr. Bender is studying how hyper activation of one class of proteins, known as Ras proteins, may cause abnormal NSC growth. These studies are particularly relevant to people with NF1 as the NF1 gene functions as a suppressor of Ras activity in the brain. These studies may lead to the identification of potential drug targets suitable for the treatment of tumors arising in individuals with NF1.
Mr. Bender, who was awarded the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) Young Investigator Award in 2012, will present his work at the 2014 CTF Conference in Washington D.C.