Page 5 - Labatt BTRC Annual Report 2019-2020
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Byungjin (James) Kim, Graduate Student Christopher Li, Graduate Student
Evan Lubanszky, Graduate Student
Liana Figueiredo Nobre, Graduate Student Lauren Phillips, Graduate Student
Alessia Portante, Graduate Student Patricia Rakopoulos, Graduate Student Scott Ryall, Graduate Student
Haley Yun, Graduate Student
Palak Patal, Postdoctoral Fellow
Robert Siddaway, Postdoctoral Fellow
Arun Vadivel, Postdoctoral Fellow
Laura Canty, Research Technologist
Sophia Khan, Research Technologist
Scott Milos, Research Technologist
Sanja Pajovic, Research Associate
Javal Sheth, Assistant Research Technologist Nobish Varghese, Bioinformatician
Dr. Cynthia Hawkins
Senior Scientist, Principal Investigator
Dr. Hawkins’ laboratory focuses on genetic and proteomic markers for prognostication and therapy guidance in paediatric brain tumours including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and high-grade glioma. Dr. Hawkins’ laboratory developed a clinical-biological model to predict the survival of DIPG patients and
is now working on acquiring a more detailed knowledge of the biology of DIPG in order to tailor therapy to the particular biology and predict behaviour of an individual patient’s tumour. Recent studies have led to findings related to the clinical relevance of histone mutations in DIPG, molecular subgroups of DIPG, and mutations in ACVR1. Current projects aim to model the interactions between these genetic alterations in DIPG to determine
which combination of changes are necessary for tumour formation. The development
of new subgroup-specific models will help
us understand why current radiation and chemotherapeutic strategies are failing and will serve as useful models for testing promising, new therapies and set the stage for stratified, subgroup-tailored clinical trials.
Research Support: Bayer Pharma AG, b.r.a.i.n.child, Canadian
Cancer Society Research Institute, Canadian Children’s Brain Cancer Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Curing Kid’s Cancer, Genome Canada, Meagan’s Hug (Meagan Bebenek Foundation), Ontario Centres of Excellence, SickKids Garron Family Cancer Centre, The Cure Starts Now Foundation
Dr. Annie Huang
Senior Scientist, Principal Investigator
Dr. Annie Huang graduated with a PhD in Molecular Genetics and an MD from the University of Toronto, and obtained training in Paediatric Oncology at The Hospital for Sick Children. She is a senior neuro-oncologist at The Hospital for Sick Children, with a Laboratory Research Program focused on the Molecular Pathogenesis of rare childhood brain tumours.
Dr. Huang’s research focuses on understanding the molecular spectrum of rare childhood brain tumours including ATRTs and PNETs/embryonal brain tumours, with the goal of defining disease mechanisms and improving diagnosis and therapeutics for rare diseases. She leads an International Consortium for studies of Rare Paediatric Brain Tumours, in which over 70 International centres contribute to a tissue and clinical data repository. The creation of this repository has enabled her group and others
to conduct sentinel genomic studies leading to discovery of new rare brain tumour entities, as well as molecular classes of ATRTs, which has helped advance detection and diagnosis, and development of new therapeutic approaches to these rare, often fatal diseases of childhood.
Research Support: b.r.a.i.n.child, Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Meagan’s Hug (Meagan Bebenek Foundation)
Gibran Edun, Graduate Student
Ben Ho, Graduate Student
Sara Khan, Graduate Student
Bryan Li, Graduate Student
Iqra Mumal, Graduate Student
Fupan Yao, Graduate Student
Sivan Gershanov, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dean Popovski, Postdoctoral Fellow
Salma Al-Karmi, Clinical Research Coordinator Xiaolian Fan, Research Project Coordinator Mei Lu, Research Project Manager
Liming Xu, Bioinformatician

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