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Children's National Researcher Receives Grant for Pediatric Brain Cancer Research

Washington, DC—  Javad Nazarian, PhD, a researcher with Children's Research Institute (CRI) at Children’s National, is the recipient of a $99,979 grant from the DIPG Collaborative for his proposal entitled, “Comparative Proteomic and RNA Sequencing of DIPGs.” The DIPG Collaborative is a leading association of foundations funding pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) research.

DIPG is an aggressive, fatal brain tumor in the pons of the brainstem that comprises nearly 15 percent of all pediatric brain tumors. With the grant funding, researchers will conduct targeted proteomics, which is the study of the protein function and pathways, for analyzing distinct DIPG subtypes, and RNA expression profiling with the goal of assessing genomic expression pattern of DIPG tumors. The work will be completed using novel technologies such as targeted proteomics using the Human DIPG Proteome Atlas, which CRI developed through Stable Isotope Labeling of Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC).

The award provides funds for international collaboration between CRI and a team lead by Cynthia Hawkins, MD, PhD, of the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Hawkins is one of the leading scientists in pediatric brain tumors.

 “Pediatric DIPGs are understudied brain tumors,” said Dr. Nazarian. “The idea is to share expertise between our team and the team from the Hospital of Sick Kids which will triple the number of tissue samples and combine our expertise with the single goal of understanding the molecular biology of this lethal childhood cancer. We hope that once we understand the tumor proteome profile, we can develop more non-invasive methods for subtyping the cancer by analyzing the liquid biopsy rather than performing more invasive biopsies of the brain stem.”

The grant was sponsored by the Cure Starts Now Foundation, Hope for Caroline Foundation, Reflections of Grace Foundation, Soar with Grace Foundation, Abbie’s Army Charity Trust, Julian Boivin Courage for Cures Foundation, Smiles for Sophie Forever, Caroline’s Miracle Foundation, Love, Chloe Foundation, Benny’s World Foundation, Pray Hope Believe Foundation, Jeffrey Thomas Hayden Foundation and the DIPG Collaborative.

Contact: Emily Hartman or Caitlyn Camacho at 202-476-4500.

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