findings home/archives       contact us       other AHC publications   

March 2004 Issue

RSS feed

UC's Ratner, Miller Receive $3.9 Million to Study Tumor Formation

Published March 2004

Nancy Ratner, PhD, professor, and Shyra Miller, PhD, research assistant professor, both of the UC Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, have received a three-year, $3.9 million award from the USA Medical Research and Materiel Command Program on Neurofibromatosis.

One in 3500 individuals worldwide has neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), making it one of the most common of all inherited disorders. NF1 patients are predisposed to the formation of benign peripheral nerve tumors, neurofibromas. NF1 patients are also at risk for learning disabilities, optic nerve tumors, skin hyperpigmentation, bone deformities, and other problems. Neurofibromas, present in nearly all NF1 patients, can cause disfigurement or disability and can develop into malignant tumors that are lethal.

To understand how tumors form, and ultimately to halt their formation, this new consortium project brings together seven groups of investigators from around the world to compare and contrast mouse and human NF1 tumor data.

Four NF1 investigators at other institutions, led by Dr. Ratner, will work with Dr. Bruce Aronow and the Bioinformatics Core at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and a statistical core at the University of Alabama to assemble and facilitate mining of multi-experiment integrated datasets. The groups will work together to identify expression patterns, gene groups and specific genes. It is hoped that as molecules associated with tumor formation are identified, these will mark or be a candidate therapeutic target in NF1 disease. In addition, the correlation of gene expression patterns to tumor progression can lead to identification of prognostic or early detection markers in tumors or in plasma.

 back to list | back to top