Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors

Current Projects
Angela J. Waanders, MD

Dr. Waanders is committed to developing more effective treatments for the many children diagnosed with brain tumors each year. Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death in children. Mutations in BRAF, an oncogene that can drive cancer growth, are prevalent in pediatric astrocytomas. By studying how mutated BRAF can be targeted by the newest classes of cancer drugs, she hopes to understand why and how these tumors develop in children and which treatments might work best. Her preliminary research has shown that different BRAF mutations identified in pediatric astrocytomas respond differently to targeted BRAF treatments. These studies will be the basis for moving novel, targeted treatment strategies into the clinic to treat the many children afflicted by this devastating cancer.

Project title: "Preclinical models for therapeutic targeting of pediatric astrocytomas"
Institution: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Award Program: Dale Frey Scientist
Cancer Type: Pediatric, Brain
Research Area: Signal Transduction
Swathi Yadlapalli, PhD

Dr. Yadlapalli [HHMI Fellow] aims to elucidate the neural and molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of metabolism. Living organisms from insects to humans have evolved neural mechanisms involving circadian clocks to synchronize their physiology, metabolism and behavior with the external environment. Disruption of these clocks is associated with increased incidence of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. She has developed an ultra-sensitive calorimeter that allows for precise quantification of metabolic activity, which she will use   to investigate the circadian regulation of metabolism. These studies will provide novel insights into how networks of circadian clock neurons orchestrate daily changes in metabolism, and may be applied to the development of novel treatments for cancers and metabolic disorders, particularly those associated with circadian dysfunction.

Project title: "Neural and genetic basis of metabolic regulation"
Institution: University of Michigan
Named Award: HHMI Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Orie T. Shafer, PhD, and Edgar Meyhofer, PhD
Cancer Type: Brain, All Cancers
Research Area: Neuroscience
  • You can support our innovative researchers.