cancer.duke.edu/btc  
The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at Duke

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at Duke was founded in 2003, and is directed by Darell D. Bigner, M.D., Ph.D.  The Institute is devoted exclusively to pediatric brain tumor research. The primary goal of the Institute is to develop innovative and less invasive clinical treatments for children diagnosed with brain tumors. The PBTF Institute at Duke was awarded a second $6 million, six-year grant in 2008. The Duke Institute collaborates extensively with the three other PBTF Institutes at the University of California at San Francisco, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Faculty and Staff            Summary of Activities

Hai Yan, MD, PhD, Professor of Pathology Hai Yan, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pathology and PBTFI Project Leader, was awarded the 2012 Darell D. Bigner, M.D., Ph.D. Young Investigator Award, presented at the Fall PRTBTC Board of Advisors Meeting in November, 2012. Also in 2012, Dr. Yan was the Linse Bock Visiting Professor in Neuro-oncology at the Mayo Clinic. In 2013, he was elected as a member of the Society for Clinical Investigation.
Yiping He, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology

PBTFI Career Development Awardee and Project Leader Awarded the 2013 AACR-Aflac, Inc. Career Development Award for Pediatric Cancer Research

Yiping He, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology, former PBTFI Career Development Awardee and current PBTFI Project Leader, has been awarded a 2013 AACR-Aflac, Inc. Career Development Award for Pediatric Cancer Research. This is a two-year grant with a total budget of $100,000. Dr. He, as a new grantee, will receive a plaque at the annual AFLAC Awards Dinner in Washington, DC on April 8, 2013. Dr. He’s research is focused on the role of the MLL2-REST link in medulloblastoma pathogenesis. Findings from these studies will contribute to the understanding of medulloblastoma and improving therapeutics. The AACR-Aflac, Inc. support will continue to move forward the long-term goal of developing better medulloblastoma therapeutic strategies. 

Zachary Reitman, Ph.D. Awarded the 2012-13 PBTFI at Duke Career Development Award

Zachary Reitman, Ph.D., Associate in Research in the Department of Pathology, has been awarded the 2012-13 PBTFI at Duke Career Development Award. Dr. Reitman received his B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Pennsylvania State University in 2006, and earned his Ph.D. in Pathology at Duke in 2012. He has completed three of the required four years for his M.D. degree, and is preparing for a career as a physician-scientist in cancer research. Dr. Reitman is working in the Molecular Oncogenomics Laboratory under the mentorship of Hai Yan, M.D., Ph.D., a PBTFI at Duke Project Leader. Dr. Reitman’s research project is entitled, “Determining the genetic landscape of pediatric gliomas to inform new therapeutic approaches.” “Our long-term goal is to determine whether recurrent genetic alterations can be used to refine the classification of pediatric gliomas. Additionally, we aim to identify faithful cell line and animal models of these tumors for preclinical therapeutic testing. Furthermore, we aim to test whether therapeutic approaches targeting any of the oncogenic driver represent valid treatment approaches,” states Dr. Reitman about his work.

2012-13 PBTFI at Duke Developmental Research Program Awardees Have Been Named

Mark Dewhirst, D.V.M., Ph.D., FASTRO, FAAS, Gustavo S. Montana Professor of Radiation Oncology and Ines Batinic-Haberle, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, have been awarded a second year of support from the PBTFI at Duke Developmental Research Program for their project entitled,”Mn porphyrins in the treatment of pediatric medulloblastoma.” Mn porphyrins are potent biological catalysts and modulators of redox-based pathways and thus are able to suppress inflammatory and immune pathways. They show potential to be anticancer drugs in their own right as shown with skin cancer, 4T1 mammary cancer, a few glioblastoma cell lines, and pediatric medulloblastoma. The overall goals with respect to pediatric brain tumor therapy has been to show that Mn porphyrins are:  1) potent radio- and chemosensitizers, 2) potent radioprotectors of normal brain tissue, 3) imaging agents that could be an excellent diagnostic tool for imaging tumors and normal brain while acting as anticancer drugs and radioprotectors, and 4) available to be delivered orally.
Acknowledgement:  Drs. Dewhirst and Batinic-Haberle are grateful for the support for this work from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at Duke and the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke.

 


 

The following Duke Clinical and Research Faculty are members of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at Duke:

Darell D. Bigner, M.D., Ph.D., Edwin L. Jones, Jr. and Lucille Finch Jones Professor of Cancer Research, Institute Director

David Cory Adamson, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery)
Gary Archer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery
Oren Becher, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Melanie Bonner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology
Anne F. Buckley, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology
Wei Chen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine
Mark Dewhirst, D.V.M., Ph.D., Gustavo Montana Professor of Radiation Oncology
Henry S. Friedman, M.D., James B. Powell, Jr. Professor of Neuro-oncology
Herbert E. Fuchs, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery (Pediatric  Neurosurgery)
Gerald A. Grant, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery (Pediatric Neurosurgery)
Matthias Gromeier, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery) and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Sridharan Gururangan, MRCP (UK), Professor of Surgery
Yiping He, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology
Stephen Keir, Dr.P.H., Associate Professor of Surgery
Sally A. Kornbluth, Ph.D., James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology; Vice Dean, Basic Sciences, Duke School of Medicine
Chien-Tsun Kuan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology
Chay T. Kuo, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Cell Biology
Nicole A. Larrier, M.D., Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology
Roger E. McLendon, M.D., Professor of Pathology
Duane A. Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery
Carrie R. Muh, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery)
John H. Sampson, M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Robert H. Wilkins and Gloria Wilkins Professor of Neurosurgery
Hai Yan, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pathology
Michael R. Zalutsky, Ph.D., Jonathan Spicehandler Professor of Neuro-oncology Research

Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center Pediatric Clinical and Research Staff:

Tarah Buckner, New Patient Coordinator
Jean Hartford-Todd, CCLS, Certified Child Life Specialist
Jeanne Krauser, RN, MSN, CPNP, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Trish Peters, MEd, Duke Hospital School Teacher

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About the Foundation

Mission
The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) funds research into the cause and cure of childhood brain tumors, works to increase public awareness about the disease, promotes early detection and treatment, and provides hope and emotional support to children and families affected by brain tumors.

Research
The PBTF has funded innovative research initiatives on behalf of children with brain tumors since 1984. With significant funding from its Ride for Kids® motorcycle charity program, the PBTF has become the world’s largest non-governmental source of funding for research into childhood brain tumors.

Launched in 2003 with a $6-million, six-year grant, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at Duke studies childhood brain tumors exclusively. It was joined in 2005 by pre-PBTF Institutes at the University of California at San Francisco, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Researchers there are now collaborating with Duke to generate more knowledge of pediatric brain tumors.

Family Support
The PBTF offers hope to brain tumor survivors and their families in many ways. Its resources include a full-time family support program manager, a toll-free help line, educational brochures, the Informed Parent and Survivor Internet Conference series, and college scholarships for survivors. For more information, please call (800) 253-6530 or email familysupport@pbtfus.org.

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation