Year 7 NCE
The goal of our studies has been to elucidate the role of stem cells in development, regeneration and tumorigenesis in the cerebellum. We have made significant progress towards this goal during the course of our work. Our studies have provided insight into the types of cells derived from cerebellar stem cells during development, and shown that cerebellar stem cells can serve as cells of origin for pediatric brain tumors. Moreover, we developed several new stem cell-based animal models of pediatric brain tumors, and used them to study mechanisms driving tumorigenesis and metastasis. Importantly, we also used these models to screen for compounds that might be effective inhibitors of tumor growth, and identified a number of promising candidates. Our long-term goal is to move these agents toward clinical trials, to improve outcomes for pediatric brain tumor patients.