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 award, an R35 Research Program Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the 2019 Society for Neuro-Oncology Abjihit Guha Award, the 2019 American Academy of Neurology Neuro-Oncology Scientific Award, the 2020 National Neurofibromatosis Network Advocate of Hope Award, the 2020 American Neurological Association George W. Jacoby Award, and Election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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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Faculty

Corina Anastasaki, PhD
Assistant Professor in Neurology

Education:
BSc, Genetics, University of York, 2006
MSc, Human Genetics, University of Edinburgh, 2007
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

Shilpa Sanapala, MS

Education:
MS, Biotechnology, University of Texas at San Antonio
Research Focus:
Modeling pediatric low-grade gliomas.

Bioinformatics Specialist

Olivia Cobb, MS

Education:
BA, Liberal Arts, Thomas Aquinas College, 2016
MS, Biostatistics, Washington University in St. Louis, Expected Graduation Dec 2019
Research Focus:
Bioinformatic analytics for laboratory projects

Technicians

Stephanie Bozeman, BS

Education:
BS, Biochemistry, Missouri Southern State University
Research Focus:
Preventing vision loss from NF1 optic gliomas in mice

Yunqing (Clare) Gao, BA

Education:  
BA, Biology, Boston University 2022
Research Focus:
Neuronal regulation of brain tumor growth

Xuanhe “Dahlia” Qi, BA

Education:
BA, Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis, 2022
Research Focus:
Modeling low-grade brain tumors in mice

Postdoctoral Fellows

Rasha Barakat, PhD

Education:
MSc, Neuroscience, American University of Beirut
PhD in Neurobiology, Université De Paris
Research Focus:
T cell trafficking and stromal interactions in brain tumors

Alexander Chen, PhD

Education:
BA, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
PhD in Cancer Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Research Focus:
Exploring the role of cell of origin in pediatric brain tumors

Jit Chatterjee, PhD

Education:
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

Yunshuo “Caroline” Tang, MD, PhD

Education:
BA, University of California, Berkeley, 2005
PhD, University of California, San Francisco, 2015
MD, University of California, San Francisco, 2017
Research Focus:
My research focuses on defining why retinal ganglion cells die in the setting of Nf1 optic glioma, and result in vision loss.  I am using a variety of approaches, including single cell RNA sequencing, to determine which RGC subtypes are most susceptible to optic glioma-induced death, and to leverage these findings to identify new treatments to reduce vision loss.

Graduate Trainees

Lucy Boggs, BS

Education:
BS, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2022
Pursuing MSBIS, Washington University in St. Louis

Ethan Hillis, BS

Education:
BS, Washington University in St. Louis, 2021
Pursuing MSBIS, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Focus:
Employing single cell and bulk RNA sequencing approaches to study NF1

Rui Mu, BS

Education:
BS, Capital Medical University, 2022
Pursuing MSBIS, Washington University in St. Louis

Postbaccalaureate Trainees

Anna Wilson, BA

Education: 
BA, Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, 2021
Research Focus:
Investigating autism risk genes in NF1

Anna Gabrielsen, BS

Education: 
BS, Neuroscience & Cognitive Science, University of Arizona, 2022
Research Focus:
Neuronal control of nerve sheath tumor growth

Undergraduate Trainees

Astoria Chao

Education:
Pursuing undergraduate degree, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Focus:
Working with Jit Chatterjee on injury and tumor development

Karen Gao

Education:
Pursuing undergraduate degree, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Focus:
Working with Rasha Barakat on T cell trafficking in mouse models of pediatric brain cancer

Rujuta Idate

Education: 
Pursuing undergraduate degree, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Focus:
Working with Jit Chatterjee on T cell involvement in brain tumors

Taylor John-Lewis

Education: 
Pursuing undergraduate degree, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Focus:
Working with Caroline Tang on vision loss in NF1 optic glioma

Leah Karush

Education:
Pursuing undergraduate degree, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Focus:
Working with Anna Wilson on autism risk genes in NF1

Chloe Kernan

Education: 
Pursuing undergraduate degree, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Focus:
Working with Corina Anastasaki on developing humanized models of pediatric brain tumors

Lara Isabel Marco Y Marquez

Education: 
Pursuing undergraduate degree, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Focus:
Working with Jit Chatterjee on understanding immune cell control of brain tumors

Hannah Wang

Education: 
Pursuing undergraduate degree, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Focus:
Working with Alex Chen on analyzing the requirements for tumor formation using human induced pluripotent stem cell engineering

Ameera Zafar

Education: 
Pursuing undergraduate degree, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Focus:
Working with Corina Anastasaki on neuronal regulation of cancer

International NF1 Collaboration

Overview
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
Helmut Kettenmann Laboratory
MDC NF1 Microglia Research Team

Lab Alumni