Principal Investigator


David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, is the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor, Vice Chair for Research Affairs in Neurology and Director of the Washington University NF Center

David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD

Dr. Gutmann received his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Michigan Medical School, working as a graduate student in immunogenetics under the guidance of Dr. John Niederhuber. He then received residency training in Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was mentored by Dr. Kenneth Fischbeck in neurogenetics, prior to joining the laboratory of Dr. Francis S. Collins to identify the function of the NF1 gene.

For over 25 years, Dr. Gutmann has cared for children and adults with neurofibromatosis, as well as directed a basic research laboratory focused on using NF as a genetic model system to better understand normal brain and brain tumor development relevant to improving the lives of people with NF and related disorders. His work has been internationally recognized, with numerous honors, including the 2012 Children’s Tumor Foundation Frederich von Recklinghausen and an R35 Research Program Award from the National Institutes of Health.

In addition, Dr. Gutmann was awarded a Alexander von Humboldt Award and Berlin Institute of Health Einstein Fellowship to establish an international research team focused on NF1 and microglia in Professor Helmut Kettenmann’s laboratory at the Max Delbruck Center in Berlin.

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Corina Anastasaki, PhD
Instructor in Neurology

BS, Genetics, University of York, 2006
PhD in Human Genetics, University of Edinburgh, 2011
Research Focus:
Discovering new approaches (utilizing iPSCs) to identify targets for managing NF1 neuronal dysfunction.

View Dr. Anastasaki’s publications

Staff Scientists

Jason Papke, MS 

MS, St. Louis University
Research Focus:
Stem cell modeling of human neurologic diseases.


Shilpa Sanapala, MS

BS, Biotechnology, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, India (2007)
MS, Biotechnology, University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas (2011)
Research Focus:
Assisting with the maintenance of Gutmann Research Laboratory mouse colony and the study of T-cell-microglia interactions for Nf1 optic glioma growth.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Nicole Brossier, MD, PhD

MD, PhD, University of Alabama, Birmingham
Research Focus:
Defining the cells of origin for pediatric
low-grade brain tumors (gliomas).

Amanda Costa, PhD

MS, University of Porto, Portugal
PhD, Max Delbrück Center, Berlin
Research Focus:
Integrative approaches to brain tumor therapy.

Jit Chatterjee, PhD

BSc ,Fergusson College, Pune, India
MSc, MS University Baroda, Gujarat, India
PhD in Neurobiology, Department of Applied Zoology, Mangalore University, Mangalore, India
Research Focus:
The role of T cells in experimental glioma models.

Elizabeth Wright-Jin, MD, PhD

MD, PhD, Washington University
Pediatric Neurology Residency, Washington University
Research Focus:
The impact of germline genetics and sex on microglia function.

Graduate Trainees

Olivia Cobb, MS

BA, Liberal Arts, Thomas Aquinas College, 2016
MS, Biostatistics, Washington University in St. Louis, Expected Graduation Dec 2019
Research Focus:
Bioinformatic analytics for various projects related to NF1 and MPNST disorders.

Xiaofan (Gary) Guo, MD

MD, School of Medicine, Shandong University, China
Research Focus:
Leveraging low-grade glioma stem cells to identify new treatments for pediatric brain tumors.

Michelle Wegscheid, BS

BS, Biochemistry, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2013
MD, PhD candidate, Washington University in St. Louis, 2014 – present
Research Focus:
Engineering cerebral organoids from NF1 patient stem cells to investigate disease specific neurodevelopmental anomalies and tumorigenesis.

Laurel Zelnik, BS

BS, Psychology and French, Carnegie Mellon University, 2014
PhD Candidate, Washington University in St Louis
Research Focus:
Defining the molecular basis of sexually dimorphic differences in mouse models of NF1.

Undergraduate Trainees

Kelly Hartigan

Pursuing undergraduate degree, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Focus:
Working with Michelle Wegscheid on modeling neurodevelopment and low-grade gliomas using cerebral organoids derived from NF1 patient stem cells.


International NF1 Collaboration

Lab Alumni