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2021 Sontag Award Recipient

"My laboratory seeks to understand how alterations in metabolism shape cell identity and promote brain cancer development and progression. The generous support of the Sontag Foundation will accelerate our research and allow us to pursue innovative, high yield approaches to studying this topic. It is a true honor to receive the Distinguished Scientist Award and join the remarkable group of past awardees who have made an indelible impact on the brain tumor research field."

About DSA-Funded Research

Many brain tumors are initiated by mutations in genes that control cellular metabolism. The altered metabolic state produced by these mutations has broad effects on DNA organization and gene expression. Identifying which of these numerous effects are responsible for causing cells to become cancerous is essential to deepen our understanding of brain tumor biology. Unfortunately, many conventional systems used to study brain cancer in the laboratory are not optimized to address this issue. Employing a variety of genetic engineering techniques, the McBrayer lab has created new systems that accurately model the process of brain cancer initiation and are now using sequencing and computational approaches to reveal the underlying molecular dynamics. They aim to generate new insights into the mechanisms that link altered cellular metabolism with increased brain cancer risk. This information may foster the development of new treatment strategies for brain cancer patients and help maximize the impact of existing therapies.

Current Appointment(s)
  • Assistant Professor, Children’s Medical Center Research Institute and Dept. of Pediatrics, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Baylor University, B.S., Biochemistry
  • Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Certificate, Management
  • Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Ph.D., Cancer Biology
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Postdoc, Cancer Biology