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PBTF’s Research Advisory Network Welcomes Four New Scientific Leaders and Forms PLGA Advisory Sub-Committee

12/13/21

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) is proud to announce Drs. David Adams, Kenneth Aldape, Darren Hargrave, and Nada Jabado as the newest members of our Research Advisory Network (RAN), who will join existing members Drs. Mark Kieran and Sabine Mueller to form the RAN’s new PLGA Advisory Sub-Committee. Drs. Adams, Aldape, Hargrave, and Jabado bring unique pediatric cancer perspectives and extensive experience conducting translational research, developing and coordinating clinical trials, and leading clinical research teams and networks. They join PBTF's RAN panel of 17 volunteer scientists and clinicians who share the same desire and commitment to advance targeted therapies from discovery through development for kids battling all forms of brain tumors.  

While PBTF relies on the expertise of its RAN members to address scientific discovery for the full spectrum of pediatric brain tumors, the PLGA Advisory Sub-Committee will focus its attention on helping steward successful drug development for young patients battling a pediatric low-grade glioma or astrocytoma diagnosis. In addition, the PLGA Sub-Committee will continue to be supported by two existing internal PLGA advisors Cory Johannssen and Evan Hecker, who further engage with PBTF leadership to provide highly informed scientific vision coupled with a patient advocacy perspective.

"We created this specialized PLGA Advisory Sub-Committee as pediatric low-grade glioma and astrocytoma tumors are among the most common, but oftentimes the least researched, form of brain tumors in children. Children impacted by this disease face life-long health issues and compromised quality of life," said Amy Weinstein, PBTF Director of Research Investments and Advocacy. “Ensuring that every child has the opportunity to fight for their dreams, not for their lives is a priority for PBTF and this population is frequently overlooked in the scientific community.”

RAN is an integral part of PBTF's partnership with the research community. Members contribute insights that help shape PBTF's funding priorities and evaluate the impact of our research investment on the lives of children diagnosed with a brain tumor. PBTF is grateful to Drs. Adams, Aldape, Hargrave, and Jabado for sharing their experience, talent and time to shepherd the most promising science and clinical trial development for new targeted drug therapies currently in clinics helping a subset of PLGA kids.

  • David Adams, PhD, is the Senior Group Leader & Head of Experimental Cancer Genetics at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK. His expertise is in high-throughput functional genetic screens in human cells and mice, cancer genetics, and computational biology. By developing and applying new genomic technologies and experimental model systems, Dr. Adams has redefined our understanding of critical processes that control tumor growth, metastasis, and predisposition to tumor formation.
  • Kenneth Aldape, MD, is a diagnostic and molecular neuropathologist and the Chief of the Laboratory of Pathology at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. He studies genomic and epigenomic alterations in brain tumors and integrates new precision diagnostics to better classify and treat cancer and improve patient outcomes. His vision is to disrupt the current practice of sole reliance on morphologic interpretation by integrating technologies within our current standard of care to promote precision diagnostics of cancer. 
  • Darren Hargrave, MD, MRCP, is a full professor of Pediatric Neuro-oncology at University College London and Honorary Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, UK, where he leads the Neuro-oncology and Experimental Therapeutics program. His research includes the biology of Neurofibromatosis, innovative imaging techniques in childhood cancer, and drug development of targeted therapies in childhood and adolescent oncology. Dr. Hargrave is a global leader in his field, the current Chair of the European SIOP-E Children's Brain Tumour Group, and serves on several national and international clinical and research committees. 
  • Nada Jabado, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Pediatrics and Human Genetics at McGill University and a staff physician in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Montreal Children's Hospital. She specializes in human genetics and experimental medicine and focuses primarily on pediatric and young adult astrocytomas, a deadly group of brain tumors. Dr. Jabado has served in other roles at PBTF over the last eight years to help PBTF foster collaboration across all types of childhood brain cancer.

Learn more about PBTF’s RAN and its members at curethekids.org/research/advisory-network.html.

About the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
Every day, 13 children and teens are diagnosed with a brain tumor, the deadliest and most common form of cancer in kids under 15. Every day after, they are in a fight for their life. It's a fight the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is here to help families win. A leader in the brain tumor and childhood cancer communities, PBTF's mission of Care. Cure. Thrive. reflects its commitment to curing all pediatric brain tumors and transforming how children and their families are cared for. Since 1991, PBTF has provided strategic leadership and funding to accelerate the number of targeted therapies for children battling brain tumors today, while equipping families with the patient-family education, financial relief, and emotional support they need to navigate their child's journey. A world without childhood brain tumors is possible when we work together to put kids first. Learn more at www.curethekids.org.