Division Director: Suzanne J. Baker, PhD
The Division of Brain Tumor Research brings together researchers focused on the unique and intimate connections between tumorigenesis and brain development that drive CNS malignancies of childhood. Pediatric brain tumors arise during development, and genetic changes and selective pressures driving neoplasia converge on key signaling pathways and developmental processes that are distinct from those underlying adult brain tumors. Areas of active investigation include advanced genome-wide studies to provide an in-depth understanding of the genetic and epigenetic landscape of pediatric brain tumors, and use of in vitro and in vivo model systems to illuminate mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and the normal role of critical cancer signaling pathways in the context of brain development. Division of Brain Tumor Research investigators are integrated as a component of the Department of Developmental Neurobiology, and are active participants in the Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program in the St Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Division of Brain Tumor Research investigators have access to specialized departmental shared resources that include an integrated support structure for preclinical modeling including genetically engineered and patient-derived xenograft mouse models, human stem cells, cell sorting, live cell imaging, and advanced image processing and analysis. Institutional Shared Resources and Core Facilities also provide access to expertise and state-of-the-art technologies.
Research Focus Areas
Molecular, cellular and development pathogenesis of pediatric high-grade glioma
Regulatory mechanisms of neural progenitors in brain development, disease, and evolution
Integrative genomics and molecular features of pediatric brain tumors