Paul A Northcott, PhD Paul Northcott earned his PhD at the University of Toronto while working under the mentorship of Michael Taylor, MD, PhD at the Arthur & Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre affiliated with the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Paul continued at SickKids as a Research Fellow before accepting a new position within Dr. Stefan Pfister’s group at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) in early 2012. The focus of Paul’s research over the past 8 years has been the genomic characterization of medulloblastoma, with a particular interest in dissecting the genomic landscape of medulloblastoma subgroups. Paul is currently using next-generation sequencing approaches to comprehensively explore the mutational spectra of medulloblastoma subgroups and gain insight into medulloblastoma predisposition through large-scale genomic studies.
David TW Jones, PhD David Jones has played a major role in the ICGC PedBrain Tumor sequencing project since moving to Heidelberg from the group of V. Peter Collins at the University of Cambridge two years ago. In 2008, he was the first to describe a highly recurrent BRAF fusion gene occurring in two-thirds of the most common childhood brain tumor (pilocytic astrocytoma). His primary research focus is the application of cutting-edge genomics techniques to identify new diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic targets in the field of neurooncology.
Marcel Kool, PhD Marcel Kool’s expertise is the genomics of pediatric brain tumors. His aim is to characterize each brain tumor entity in full detail at the genomic level in order to identify clinical relevant subgroups, to find diagnostic and/or prognostic/predictive biomarkers for each of these tumors and their subgroups for use in clinical settings, to find the oncogenic driving events in these tumors, and to find the best therapeutic targets.
Giles W Robinson, MD Giles Robinson is a Research Associate in Neuro-Oncology at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He obtained his MD from Warren Albert Medical School of Brown University and completed his pediatric residency training in Children’s Hospital Colorado. He came to St Jude Children’s Hospital in 2007 where he completed his pediatric hematology-oncology and neuro-oncology fellowship training prior to joining the division as faculty. He treats children with all types of brain tumors and has a particular research focus in medulloblastoma. He has conducted extensive genomic analyses of this tumor, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the knowledge of tumor biology and translating that knowledge into novel curative therapies.
Richard J Gilbertson, MD, PhD Richard Gilbertson trained as a pediatric oncologist in England, where he also completed his Ph.D., studying the biology of pediatric medulloblastoma. He moved to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, in 2000 where he is Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Executive Vice President, and Director of the Division of Brain Tumor Research. He holds the Lillian R. Cannon Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Endowed Chair. His laboratory research is focused on understanding the link between normal development and the cellular and molecular origins of cancer, particularly pediatric brain tumors. He is involved in a series of clinical trials of new treatments of cancer.
Yoon-Jae Cho, MD, PhD Yoon-Jae Cho obtained his MD from the Oregon Health & Science University and then completed training in Pediatric Neurology and Neuro-oncology at Children’s Hospital Boston and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, respectively. He performed post-doctoral studies with Scott Pomeroy, MD, PhD, characterizing the genomic landscape of medulloblastoma. He is now Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Stanford University where his laboratory is focused on translating genomic studies of pediatric brain tumors into novel diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic applications.
Scott L Pomeroy, MD, PhD The lab of Scott Pomeroy is focused on understanding the molecular and cellular basis of medulloblastomas and other embryonal brain tumors. They have used integrative genomics, including transcriptome, DNA copy number and exome sequencing, to analyze medulloblastoma samples from more than 200 children, including a cohort that participated in clinical trials conducted by the Children’s Oncology Group. It was discovered that medulloblastomas are quite heterogeneous, consisting of multiple molecular subtypes that each have unique gene expression and DNA copy number changes and somatic mutations reflecting the mechanisms that regulate tumor growth. In collaboration with Jill Mesirov and Pablo Tamayo at the Broad Institute and our colleagues at the University of Toronto and DKFZ in Heidelberg, outcome prediction models based on genomic data are being developed for risk stratification and molecular subtyping to be used in the next generation of clinical trials. Moreover, molecular mechanisms of identified from genomic data will be used in the development and implementation of targeted therapies to further reduce and ultimately replace conventional therapies based on radiation and chemotherapy. Dr. Pomeroy currently is the Chair of the Department of Neurology and Neurologist-in-Chief of Boston Children’s Hospital, the Bronson Crothers Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and the Director of the Eunice K. Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development funded Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Andrey Korshunov, MD Andrey Korshunov is professor of neuropathology and senior research associate of Clinical Neuropathology Unit at the German Cancer Research Center and Department of Neuropathology at the Heidelberg University. Previously, he was a chairperson in the Department of Neuropathology at the Neurosurgical Burdenko Institute (Moscow; Russia), where Dr. Korshunov received his “doctor of sciences” degree. He is actively involved in basic research focusing on genetics and molecular pathology of pediatric tumors of the nervous system.
Peter Lichter, PhD Peter Lichter pioneered the development of technologies to delineate virtually any chromosomal region by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and to detect DNA copy number alterations via high resolution comparative genomic hybridization (arrayCGH). Applying these as well as next generation DNA sequencing approaches, he made major contributions to decipher the higher order genome organization and to elucidate pathomechanisms of tumor etiology and progression, including the description of novel prognostic or predictive gene signatures.
Michael D Taylor, MD, PhD Michael D. Taylor is a pediatric neurosurgeon and senior scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. His clinical practice is focused on the treatment of children with malignant brain tumors. The Taylor laboratory uses tools from human cancer genetics and genomics in combination with mouse modeling and functional genomics to better understand the molecular underpinnings of childhood medulloblastoma.
Stefan M Pfister, MD Stefan Pfister was appointed Head of the Division Pediatric Neurooncology at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany, in 2012. He is a paediatrician by training, and received his M.D. from Tübingen University, and his clinical education at Mannheim and Heidelberg University Hospitals. As a physician-scientist, he completed postdoctoral fellowships with Christopher Rudd at the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, and with Peter Lichter at the German Cancer Research Center, Division of Molecular Genetics, Heidelberg, Germany. His research is focused on the genetic characterization of childhood brain tumors through the application of next-generation profiling methods and subsequently translating novel findings into a clinical context.