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2021 Sontag Award Recipient

"Being awarded a Sontag DSA is a tremendous honor and responsibility. Funding from this award will allow my research group to study exciting new ideas about how metabolism causes treatment resistance in aggressive brain tumors such as glioblastoma. And joining the Sontag family will allow us to benefit from the ideas and expertise of the many talented brain cancer scholars that the Sontag Foundation has supported previously. My research group and I are delighted to work as hard as we can to use these new resources to improve treatments for patients diagnosed with glioblastoma."

About DSA-Funded Research

Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer, and radiation treatment is one of the only therapies that works to slow the growth of these cancer. Still, glioblastomas inevitably develop resistance to radiation and are typically fatal. The Wahl research group tries to understand how alterations in metabolism causes glioblastomas to be resistant to therapies such as radiation. They then block these metabolic pathways to try to make treatments work better. They have found that non-cancerous cells in glioblastoma tumors promote metabolism in the cancer cells, which causes radiation resistance. With the funding provided by the Sontag Distinguished Scientist Award, they will work to understand how non-cancerous cells in glioblastoma promote the metabolism of cancer cells. They will then interrupt this “metabolic communication” to improve how glioblastomas respond to treatment.

Current Appointment(s)
  • Assistant Professor and Physician Scientist, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan
  • Dartmouth College, A.B., Chemistry
  • University of Michigan, Ph.D., Chemical Biology
  • University of Michigan, M.D., Medicine
  • St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Internship
  • University of Michigan, Postdoc/Residency, Radiation Oncology