International Virtual NF Tumor Board Launched (Links to an external site)

The Washington University NF Center in collaboration with Dr. Mohamed Abdelbaki in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology has initiated a virtual International Tumor Board to discuss the management of children and adults with NF. For these quarterly meetings, we leverage the expertise of dedicated specialists in the NF Center, including those in Adult and Pediatric Neurosurgery, Adult and […]

New Autism Gene Discovered Using Human Mini-Brains (Links to an external site)

Neurodevelopmental disorders are often caused by losses of large pieces of chromosomes containing many genes. This is also true for a subset of individuals with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) who have severe developmental delays and intellectual disabilities. These NF1 patients often harbor a large deletion involving the NF1 gene on chromosome 17q11.2, termed a total […]

New Autism Gene Discovered Using Human Mini-Brains

Neurodevelopmental disorders are often caused by losses of large pieces of chromosomes containing many genes. This is also true for a subset of individuals with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) who have severe developmental delays and intellectual disabilities. These NF1 patients often harbor a large deletion involving the NF1 gene on chromosome 17q11.2, termed a total gene deletion […]

Brain tumors caused by normal neuron activity in mice predisposed to such tumors (Links to an external site)

Light triggers formation, feeds growth of optic nerve tumors Seeing, hearing, thinking, daydreaming — doing anything at all, in fact — activates neurons in the brain. But for people predisposed to developing brain tumors, the ordinary buzzing of their brains could be a problem. A study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in […]

Brain tumors caused by normal neuron activity in mice predisposed to such tumors

Light triggers formation, feeds growth of optic nerve tumors Seeing, hearing, thinking, daydreaming — doing anything at all, in fact — activates neurons in the brain. But for people predisposed to developing brain tumors, the ordinary buzzing of their brains could be a problem. A study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in […]

NF Center Researchers Identify a Universal Change in MPSNT (Links to an external site)

Dr. Angela Hirbe led a multi-investigator research effort to generate a large collection of patient-derived tumor lines from NF1 patients with the most deadly NF1-associated cancer – malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs).  These human cancer lines were developed from actual human tumors in order to identify the genetic changes that cause these tumors. This […]

NF Center and Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) Synodos Team Publish Landmark Genomic Study of NF1 Brain Tumors (Links to an external site)

Dr. Michael Fisher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Dr. David Gutmann from the Washington University NF Center spearheaded an internal consortium effort to define the genetics of low-grade brain tumors in children with NF1. In their study, involving 25 centers worldwide, they characterized the genetic changes seen in these tumors, and analyzed the importance […]

Star NF Center Student Graduates (Links to an external site)

Anna Wilson graduated summa cum laude from Washington University and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Anna completed her honor thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. David Gutmann where she studied sex differences in neurons in mice with a genetic mutation in the neurofibromatosis type 1 gene. Following graduation, Anna will return […]

Gutmann Laboratory Receives A Grant From Ian’s Friends Foundation (Links to an external site)

The Gutmann laboratory recently was awarded a grant from Ian’s Friends Foundation (IFF) to develop better models of human NF1 low-grade brain tumors (gliomas). In their proposal, this team will be investigating what cells and signals allow human pediatric gliomas to grow in the mouse brain, eliminating a major barrier to the development and deployment […]

NF Clinical Trials Consortium Reports Vision Stabilization Following Everolimus Therapy (Links to an external site)

The NF Clinical Trials Consortium recently published a study examining vision in children with NF1 and optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) following treatment with Everolimus. Leveraging preclinical studies from the Gutmann laboratory demonstrating that mouse Nf1 optic glioma growth is controlled by activated RAS operating through the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein.  Everolimus is an […]

NF Clinical Trials Consortium Study Reveals New Vision Problems in Children with NF1 Optic Gliomas (Links to an external site)

As part of the NF Clinical Trials Consortium study on vision function after treatment for NF1-optic glioma, lead author, Dr. Gena Heidary, discovered additional vision deficits in children. While most clinical trials focus on visual acuity, the ability to read numbers or letters at a distance, this new study found that children also have problems […]

NF Clinical Trials Consortium Identifies a New Therapy for Plexiform Neurofibromas (Links to an external site)

A recent study spearheaded by Dr. Michael Fisher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Dr. D. Wade Clapp at Indiana University found that cabozantinib as an effective therapy for NF1-associated plexiform neurofibromas. Using a preclinical mouse model of plexiform neurofibromas, this team showed cabozantinib was effective at reducing mouse tumors. Leveraging these exciting findings, they […]

Ji-Kang Chen Joins the Gutmann Laboratory (Links to an external site)

Ji-Kang Chen, MS recently joined the research laboratory of NF Center Director, David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, as a Research Technician. He completed his master’s degree at Taiwan National Yang-Ming University, where he studied how hippocampal nerve cell (neuron) work in the brain. Bringing his expertise in neuron biology to the Gutmann laboratory, Ji-Kang is […]

First Human Models of NF1-Associated Neurofibromas Developed by NF Center Collaborative Team (Links to an external site)

The most common tumor in children and adults with NF1 is the neurofibroma, a peripheral nerve sheath tumor composed of Schwann-like cells. While mouse models of plexiform neurofibromas have been developed, Dr. Lu Le, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Texas-Southwestern joined forces with Drs. Corina Anastasaki and David Gutmann to develop a human […]

Gutmann Receives Neuro-oncology Scientific Award (Links to an external site)

David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor and Vice Chair for Research affairs in the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is a recipient of the 2020 Neuro-oncology Scientific Award from the American Academy of Neurology. The award recognizes singular scientific achievement that has advanced […]

Andrea Goldstein Joins the Gutmann Laboratory (Links to an external site)

Andrea Goldstein, BS recently joined the research laboratory of NF Center director, David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, as a Research Technician. She completed medical school at the University of MIssouri in Columbia, and is currently applying to residency programs in Obstetrics/Gynecology. Her prior laboratory experience includes work in the laboratory of Michelle Monje MD, PhD […]

NF Center Trainee Publishes Groundbreaking Study on the Origins of NF1 Optic Gliomas (Links to an external site)

Dr. Nicole Brossier, Instructor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, recently reported that numerous factors explain why children with NF1 develop optic gliomas. In her study, Dr. Brossier, who is a pediatric neuro-oncologist specializing in the care of children with NF1-associated brain tumors, showed that the cells which […]

Alexander Chen awarded Training Grant from the Center of Regenerative Medicine (Links to an external site)

Alexander Chen, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Gutmann Laboratory, was recently awarded a “Training in Regenerative Medicine” training grant (T32) from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. This program aims to develop highly-trained individuals by providing a unique, multidisciplinary experience for postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Chen is honored and privileged to be one […]

Kyra Rosen Joins the NF Center (Links to an external site)

The NF Center recently welcomed a new undergraduate student, Kyra Rosen, to the team. Kyra studies philosophy and art history at Washington University in St. Louis, and is pursuing a career in medicine and public health. In the NF Center, she will be researching access to healthcare services for those with NF.

International NF Collaborative Research Reveals Brain Sex Differences (Links to an external site)

As part of a Berlin Institute of Health Einstein Fellowship, investigators at the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin worked with NF Center Director, David H. Gutmann, to discover sex differences in microglia function. In this study, researchers in the laboratory of Professor Helmut Kettenmann found that mouse brain cells, called microglia, react differently to Neurofibromatosis […]

Gutmann Receives Award from the American Neurological Association (Links to an external site)

Honored for work on role of immune system in brain tumors David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor and Vice Chair for Research Affairs in the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the George W. Jacoby Award from the American Neurological Association for […]

Alexander Chen joins the Gutmann Laboratory (Links to an external site)

Alexander S. Chen, PhD recently joined the research laboratory of NF Center Director, David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, as a postdoctoral research scientist. Dr. Chen completed his PhD training in Cancer Biology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Under the mentorship of Renee D. Read, PhD, Dr. Chen investigated how the novel protein kinases RIOK2 […]

Gutmann Awarded Three-Year Drug Discovery Grant (Links to an external site)

David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor and Vice Chair for Research Affairs in the Department of Neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine, was awarded a three-year grant from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation award will support Dr. Gutmann’s research on pediatric low-grade astrocytomas […]

NF1 Researchers Investigate the Role of MicroRNA in NF1-Associated Tumors (Links to an external site)

Dr. David H. Gutmann, and fellow researchers at John’s Hopkins University, confirmed the importance of microRNA in the biology of glioma tumors in NF1. MicroRNAs are small, noncoding molecules that control how cells build proteins. Previous findings have shown that the levels of different types of microRNA molecules help determine the way cells function. The […]

Dr. Xiaofan (Gary) Guo Successfully Defends PhD Thesis (Links to an external site)

On June 5th, 2020, Dr. Xiaofan (Gary) Guo successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Immune Regulation of Brain Tumors”. Dr. Guo was a visiting MD/Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Dr. David H. Gutmann from 2017-2020, where he sought to define the interactions between neurons, immune cells and tumor cells in NF1-associated optic pathway gliomas. Gary’s […]

NF1 Researchers Discover New Genes in NF1 Cancers (Links to an external site)

Dr. Angela Hirbe, Assistant Professor in Medical Oncology, and her team found that malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are complex tumors composed of numerous distinct populations of cancer cells. MPNSTs are aggressive cancers that are traditionally difficult to treat, and frequently result in early patient death. Moreover, no effective treatments have been identified. Dr. […]

Dr. Michelle Wegscheid Successfully Defends PhD Thesis (Links to an external site)

Michelle Wegscheid, an MD/PhD trainee in the Neurosciences Program at Washington University, successfully defended her PhD thesis titled “Genetic risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders: Insights from hiPSC-cerebral organoids.” Michelle conducted her PhD training in the laboratory of Dr. David H. Gutmann at the Washington University Neurofibromatosis (NF) Center, where she worked to define how distinct […]

New Targets for Childhood Brain Tumors Identified (Links to an external site)

Neurons, immune cells work together to promote tumor growth in neurofibromatosis type 1 Children with the genetic condition neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) can develop brain and nerve tumors. If a tumor develops within the optic nerve, which connects the eye and the brain, the child may lose his or her vision. New research at Washington […]

The “Emerging Field of Cancer Neuroscience” (Links to an external site)

As an outgrowth of a seminal meeting at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Banbury Center in December 2019, a white paper contributed to by Dr. David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, FAAN, outlined the new field of “cancer neuroscience”. This emerging scientific discipline is built on the idea that the nervous system normally controls the development, […]