See also our related blog for the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Initiative.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Scott Carter's Heroes Golf Classic

This weekend was the Fifteenth Anniversary Scott Carter's Heroes Big Show and Golf Classic to benefit Children's Cancer Research. These events in Tulsa, sponsored by the Scott Carter Foundation, benefit CureSearch research fellowships as well as a research fellowship in our laboratory. Koichi Nishijo, MD, PhD, was introduced as the 2008 Scott Carter Fellow at GCCRI. Koichi and I had a lot of fun meeting the organizers and participants of this event. Scott's parents, Mike and Paula, brother Cason and sister Liz, and grandparents Paul and Crys (and numerous family friends and advocates) are nothing short of tireless in their dedication to this cause. Their support of me as a Scott Carter Fellow in 1999 - 2000 made it possible for me to begin my research career in the laboratory of 2007 Nobel laureate Mario Capecchi, and the project that the Scott Carter Foundation sponsored is featured in Mario's Nobel prize lecture. I am deeply grateful to the Foundation's ongoing support to train new scientists in the pursuit of better treatments for childhood cancer.

[ pictured from left to right: Koichi, Dr. Paul Ol'Dad Compton (Scott's grandfather), and Charles ]

Friday, August 15, 2008

Welcoming Imran !

We're excited to welcome medical student Imran Aslam to our laboratory. Imran graduated from the University of Houston in May 2008 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. He has been interested in medicine from a young age, having had the unique opportunity to shadow Dr. Jonathan C. Trent at his MD Anderson clinic during high school and college. Imran joined Dr. Trent's sarcoma research laboratory as a college junior. He is grateful to his mentor who allowed him the privilege to work in such a dynamic, focused lab environment. During this time Imran's project was to evaluate the role of the cytokine receptor CXCR4 in small cell sarcoma. Imran is currently a first year medical student at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and will continue his research training through the MD with Distinction in Research program as a member of our laboratory.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Rhabdomyosarcoma Therapeutics Study published today in Oncogene

Congratulations to Eri and her co-authors Koichi and Mandy on the publication today of their study, "PDGFR-A is a Therapeutic Target in Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma". Our paper was published in the advanced online edition of the journal Oncogene. This study reveals a very promising new category of non-chemotherapy drugs to try in this disease, as we have done in our mouse model. Moving our results to the clinic will require close attention and some further study of how tumors become resistant to this drug class in about 1/3 of cases. These follow-up studies are currently being undertaken by Corrine and Eri. Further description of our study is given on Newswise.

[ UPDATE (Nov 2008) The formal version of Eri's article is now available. ]

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Collaborator Spotlight: Dr. Brian Rubin

Brian P. Rubin, MD, PhD is our pathologist collaborator and scientific colleague. Dr. Rubin is Associate Professor of Anatomic Pathology and Director of Soft Tissue Pathology at the
Cleveland Clinic and the Lerner Research Institute and Taussig Cancer Center. He studies mouse models of sarcoma himself, having generated an exciting genetically-engineered model of gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST). The original description of the model was reported in Cancer Research. GIST shares many features in common with rhabdomyosarcoma, including the activation of growth factor receptors. We're grateful to collaborate with Brian.

[in the picture we see both Brian in a relaxed setting (vacation at a chateau) as well as in his scientific mode, inset.]

Friday, August 1, 2008

Medulloblastoma grant awarded from the St Baldrick's Foundation

The St. Baldrick's Foundation has awarded our research team a one year grant for the study, "Reversal of Shh-Driven Medulloblastoma by Proteasome Inhibitors". This is an exciting award for this therapeutics project that follows the initial mouse brain tumor model developed in as an award from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. This new project is being led by postdoctoral fellow, Eri Taniguchi, PhD.