DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

The NFRP Presents the Fiscal Year 2018 Early Investigator Research Award Recipients

Posted November 6, 2019

Juan Mo, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Jean-Philipe Brosseau, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Yuan Pan, Ph.D., Stanford University

The Neurofibromatosis Research Program (NFRP) Early Investigator Research Award (EIRA) mechanism was offered for the first time in fiscal year 2018 (FY18). The EIRA supports neurofibromatosis (NF)-focused research opportunities for individuals in the early stages of their careers, under the guidance of a designated Mentor. This opportunity allows early-stage investigators to develop a research project, investigate a problem or question in NF research, and further their intellectual development as a future independent NF researcher. These researchers bring novel concepts to the NF research community and aim to address a variety of NF research topic areas of interest. The NFRP is enthusiastic about supporting these investigators in performing their work and is looking forward to seeing their accomplishments and how they will benefit the NF community.

Juan Mo, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dr. Juan Mo

Dr. Juan Mo of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas was recruited to Dr. Lu Le’s laboratory to work on NF research in hopes of providing knowledge and therapeutics to aid the NF community. Dr. Mo’s research is focused on elucidating NF tumor origin and progression using a humanized mouse model of neurofibroma and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST). Using this EIRA award, Dr. Mo will investigate mechanisms that initiate and drive human cancer, using Neurofibromatosis type I (NF1) as a model, with the ultimate aim to develop novel and effective therapies to treat NF1- associated tumors. Dr. Mo hopes to become an independent researcher in the NF field and to generate new ideas, apply new techniques, and investigate the mechanisms that drive NF and human cancer.

Jean-Philipe Brosseau, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dr. Jean-Phillipe Brosseau

Dr. Jean-Philipe Brosseau, also of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, is a member of Dr. Le’s laboratory as well and previously performed research focused on the “normal cells” within an NF1 tumor and the role of fibroblasts and collagen in the growth of the tumor. Dr. Brosseau was drawn to the NF field by a desire to participate in developing therapies for NF patients. Using this EIRA, Dr. Brosseau will aim to understand how the NF1 mutation in “normal cells” influences further development into neurofibromas and MPNSTs. Dr. Brosseau hopes to become an independent researcher in the future and to continue his research on tumor mechanisms in the NF population and related cancers.

Yuan Pan, Ph.D., Stanford University
Dr. Yuan Pan

Dr. Yuan Pan of Stanford University initially joined Dr. David Gutmann’s laboratory to study the immune microenvironment of NF1-associated optic pathway gliomas, which she learned about during her graduate studies. Dr. Pan has continued that work after transitioning to Dr. Michelle Monje’s laboratory, where she currently studies the neuronal regulation of NF1-associated optic pathway gliomas. Using this EIRA, Dr. Pan will study the neuronal activity of retinal cells and the specific cellular mechanisms that regulate initation and growth of optic gliomas. This proposed research aims to reveal new theraputic options for children with NF1-associated optic gliomas. Dr. Pan hopes to become an independent researcher in the future and to continue her research on defining neuronal influences on NF tumors and developing theraputic stratagies in the NF field.

Links:

Abstracts for Dr. Mo
Public and Technical Abstracts: Deciphering the Role of NF1 in Schwann Cell Differentiation and Tumorigenesis Using Novel Models of Humanized Neurofibroma and MPNST

Abstracts for Dr. Brosseau
Public and Technical Abstracts: The NF1 Microenvironment: Friend or Foe?

Abstracts for Dr. Pan
Public and Technical Abstracts: Defining the Role of Neuronal Activity on the Initiation and Growth of Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1)-Associated Optic Glioma

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Last updated Wednesday, November 6, 2019