"When I joined the Brain Tumor Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco, in February 2003, I moved one step closer to my ultimate goal in life: making a difference in the treatment of brain cancer patients. I strongly believe that our research efforts will dramatically increase our knowledge regarding the causes of brain tumors and lead to novel therapies for meningioma patients."

- Dr. Anita Lal

View Resume

Academic Appointments

  • Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics - Senior Program Manager, Molecular IVD (October 2015-present)
  • Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics - Staff Biochemist, Molecular IVD (March 2013-September 2015)
  • Clinical Persona - Consultant, Companion Diagnostics Development (July 2013-January 2014)
  • Pathwork Diagnostics
    • Associate Director, Product Development and Clinical Affairs (April 2012-March 2013)
    • Manager, Product Development and Clinical Affairs (April 2009- April 2012)
  • University of California, San Francisco – Neurological Surgery
    • Assistant Professor (October 2004-February 2009)
    • Assistant Researcher (February 2003-October 2004)

About DSA-Funded Research

Notch Signaling in Meningiomas

The brain tumor research community has largely ignored meningiomas because they are perceived as being benign brain tumors. However, 10% of meningiomas are more malignant, some recur and sometimes, benign tumors occur in locations that are not amenable to surgery. Cancer results when a cell ignores normal signals to stop growing. Recent studies have suggested that cancer is triggered by the erroneous reactivation of signaling pathways that are normally only active during embryonic development in the womb, a period of active cell division. The Notch pathway is one such signaling pathway. During development, Notch signaling causes certain cells to remain immature and divide. Similar to its role in development, unregulated Notch signaling triggers the formation of cancer by causing continued cell division. We have preliminary data indicating unregulated Notch signaling in meningioma tumor development. In this proposal, we will investigate the consequences of disrupted Notch signaling in meningioma tumor development. We will, firstly, evaluate how Notch pathway components regulate meningioma cell growth in culture and as tumors in mice. Secondly, we will test the therapeutic ability of drugs that inhibit Notch signaling. And finally, we will use gene expression technology to identify new genes that are downstream targets of Notch signaling in meningiomas. These studies will significantly increase our knowledge about the molecular changes in meningiomas and potentially identify new treatments based on the unique biologic properties of these tumors.

Accolades

"I give Anita my highest recommendation. She is without question the best post-doc I had the pleasure to work with in my six years at Duke?. Anita understands, and will do, what is needed to make a project successful. She knows what is important and is willing to exert enormous effort to focus on a project and bring it to completion."

Gregory J. Riggins, M.D., Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

"I am highly impressed by Anita, and I am convinced that she will mature into an outstanding brain tumor researcher. ?I must rank her among the many young investigators whom I've interacted with over the past 28 years at UCSF. She clearly ranks in the top few percent of this group, and I believe she is on the threshold of a very successful career."

Dennis F. Deen, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco

Back to Recipients