"It is an honor to be a recipient of the Sontag Distinguished Scientist Award. The Sontag Foundation will provide a network and mentorship that fosters working collaboratively with a group of people to achieve a common goal. I’m truly excited to be a part of this amazing team to make meaningful discoveries that have a translational impact on brain tumors."
About DSA-Funded Research
Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children. Moreover, patients with aggressive brain tumors such as DMG/DIPG have a 5-year survival rate of only 2%. While the cellular machinery for signaling, growth and epigenetic modifications is characterized, the enzymes required to produce the metabolic co-factors essential for these epigenetic modifications (Histone, RNA and DNA) are poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we hypothesize that DIPG cells use one-carbon metabolism to promote growth, by altering the epigenome (DNA) and the epitranscriptome (RNA) by production of novel oncometabolites. Using innovative models, and emerging metabolomic techniques, we will interrogate the role of methionine metabolism on glioma growth. If our hypothesis is correct, we envision targeting metabolism (by dietary intervention or small molecule inhibitors) becoming a mainstay therapy in brain tumors.
Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
University of Toronto, BSc, Molecular Genetics
University of Toronto, Department of Medical Biophysics, Ph.D., Brain Tumor Biology
Sonia and Arthur Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre, Hospital for Sick Children and Princess
Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Genomics and Functional genomics of CNS and PNS tumors (gliomas)