"The Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award is a generous and prestigious honor that will allow the lab to grow and will accelerate our research program. We are excited by the prospect of using our unique animal models as a tool to further our understanding of glioma biology and to rationally design and test combination therapies. The opportunity to discuss these ideas with a group of outstanding scientists comprised of awardees and Sontag Scientific Advisors will help shape and maximize the impact of our research."

- Dr. Lionel Chow

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Hematology/Oncology, Wright State University
  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
  • Neuro-Oncologist, Cincinnati's Children's Hospital

About DSA-Funded Research

High-grade astrocytoma and in particular glioblastoma are aggressive brain cancers that affect thousands of children and adults each year in the United States. Despite advanced treatment with surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the prognosis is extremely poor and over 90% of patients will succumb to this disease. Sadly, little progress has been made over the past three decades. Therefore, more effective treatment options are desperately needed. To gain a better understanding of how this cancer grows, we have developed a novel laboratory mouse model that closely resembles the human disease at both the microscopic and genetic levels. By studying the tumors that arise in these animals rigorously and comparing them to tumors obtained from both adult and pediatric patients, we will learn more about the genes and proteins that have been altered leading to glioblastoma growth and survival. This may also lead to potential avenues for treatment combinations not currently being contemplated. We will conduct these drug trials in this highly representative mouse model, which we believe will more accurately predict what happens in clinical trials in patients, most of which to date have yielded disappointing results. The goal of this research is to find new drug targets and/or drug combinations that have a high chance of success and that will be tested in patients with glioblastoma.


"I am extremely impressed by Lionel's combination of keen intellect, broad knowledge base and engaging personality. He is very creative and highly dedicated to developing new approaches to understanding the genetics and biology of brain tumors."

Tom Curran, Ph.D., FRS
The Children's Hospital of
Philadelphia Research Institute

"Lionel is a natural talent in the lab, bringing together a powerful combination of outstanding laboratory skills, intellectual insight and creativity coupled with in-depth consideration of the literature and his own data, a clinical awareness and perspective yielding important insights into the human disease that he is modeling in the laboratory. It is rare to find someone who excels in this way in both clinical science and basic research."

Suzanne J. Baker, Ph.D.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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