UC Brain Tumor Center, Cincinnati Children’s Launch New Collaboration

Dr. Ronald Warnick

Ronald Warnick, MD, director of the Brain Tumor Center and chairman of the Mayfield Clinic.

Can discoveries in pediatric brain cancer research help adults? And can discoveries in adult brain cancer help children?
Hopeful that the answer is yes, University of Cincinnati faculty members at Cincinnati’s adult and pediatric brain tumor centers are collaborating with the new Basic and Translational Pediatric CNS Malignancies Pilot Grant Program. The program was launched recently when $50,000 in funds generated by the endowed John M. Tew Jr., MD, Chair in Neurosurgical Oncology were awarded to two laboratory researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Ronald Warnick, MD, professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Radiation Oncology at the UC College of Medicine and director of the Brain Tumor Center at the UC Cancer Institute and UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute and holder of the Tew Chair, announced the emerging collaboration.
The program awarded two grants to accelerate basic and translational research of pediatric brain tumors. Pilot grants of $25,000 were awarded to:
  • Rachid Drissi, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the UC College of Medincine, and research for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for the study of induced telomere damage in the treatment of poor-prognosis pediatric brain tumors.
  • Richard Lu, PhD, professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the UC College of Medicine and scientific director of the Cincinnati Children’s Brain Tumor Center, for the study of tumor-initiating cells in primary and recurrent medulloblastoma.
“We are collaborating in translational research with the hope that findings in pediatric brain tumors would apply to adults, and vice versa,” Warnick says. “Bringing together this amalgam of adult and pediatric researchers gives us the power of critical mass. The collaboration also provides pediatric researchers with continued access to the UC Cancer Institute’s comprehensive tissue bank.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with the UC Brain Tumor Center to conduct cutting-edge basic and translational research,” says Maryam Fouladi, MD, professor of pediatrics at UC and the Marjory J. Johnson Chair of Brain Tumor Translational Research and Medical Director of the Brain Tumor Center at Cincinnati Children’s.
“Support through these grants is critical to move these novel pilot studies forward. We are lucky to have a team of enthusiastic and smart basic, clinical and translational researchers at both Cincinnati Children’s and UC who work collaboratively to advance the field. I look forward to continuing and expanding these collaborations between our programs.”
The partnership follows a major cancer collaboration through the new Cincinnati Children’s/UC Health Proton Therapy Center in Liberty Township, Ohio. “Although our proton therapy center is primarily regarded as clinical, one of its pillars is translational research,” Warnick says.
Warnick anticipates that pilot grants funded by the Tew Chair will bear fruit in the form of future grants from the National Institutes of Health as well as grants that involve researchers from both the pediatric and adult brain tumor centers.
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