Genetics & Genomics of Cancer
While loss of NF1 gene expression and function is absolutely required for NF1-associated brain and nerve tumor formation, we have recently identified additional cooperating genetic changes that influence glioma and nerve sheath tumor growth. Leveraging whole genome and exome sequencing coupled with epigenetic strategies, we are interested in defining the genomic and genetic landscape of these tumors as an initial step toward developing the most authentic preclinical mouse models in the laboratory and designing more optimized treatments for clinical use.
Current projects in the Gutmann research laboratory are focused on DNA-based sequencing of human low-grade brainstem gliomas and neurofibromas to identify actionable mutations and epigenetic changes. We are also coupling these approaches with microglia and macrophage RNA sequencing to discover stromal factors that dictate glioma growth.