|Awarded On||August 18, 2021|
|Title||Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members|
|Award Mechanism||Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members|
|Institution/Organization||The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center|
|Principal Investigator/Program Director||Yuan Pan|
|Cancer Sites||Brain and Other Nervous System|
|Summary of Goals and Objectives||
My primary research interest is to understand the emerging role of neuronal activity in childhood cancer. Neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1) is a cancer predisposition syndrome; children born with mutations in the NF1 tumor suppressor gene are predisposed to nervous system neoplasms [e.g., optic pathway gliomas (OPG) and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST)]. Using a mouse model of NF1-OPG, I uncovered, for the first time, that neuronal activity can drive the initiation of nervous system cancer (Pan et al., Nature, 2021). Moreover, I found that the cancer-predisposing Nf1 mutation synergizes with neuronal activity to initiate OPG.
At MD Anderson, my first objective will be to expand on my...