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As a pediatric neurologist and brain tumor researcher, I seek to understand the link between brain growth and childhood brain tumors. My lab focuses on in vivo studies of the normal process of postnatal neurogenesis and the pathologic process of brain tumor growth, using mice genetically engineered to develop medulloblastoma. Our in vivo approach allows us to study how metabolism, apoptosis regulation and cell cycle control contribute to development and tumor formation. Through a long-term collaboration with Drs. Alexander Kabanov and Marina Sokolsky in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, we are using insight from tumor biology to develop new, nanoparticle-delivered treatments for medulloblastoma, which we then test in our in vivo models. Most recently, we have used single-cell transcriptomic analysis (scRNA-seq) to understand how these treatments impact brain tumors, growing in vivo.
I am strongly interested in developing the next generation of brain tumor scientists by mentoring graduate students and undergraduates in my lab. To enhance graduate student teaching in my lab, I have completed UNC-sponsored training in Mentoring and Unconscious Bias. I work to build an inclusive laboratory environment in which diverse perspectives are valued and contribute to our progress.