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BTP Quarterly Update

March 14, 2019

The mission of the University of Minnesota Brain Tumor Program (UMBTP) is to continually distinguish itself as a national leader in the field of neuro-oncology by combining the principles of outstanding clinical care and education with cutting edge research.

The group consists of many dedicated researchers and clinicians of numerous disciplines and specialties. These disciplines and specialties include - but are not limited to - cancer genetics, neuro-oncology, neurosurgery, pharmacy, biomedical engineering, and veterinary medicine. 

Here's what we've been up to for the last few months:
"Leading-Edge Neurosurgery Suite Under Construction at University of Minnesota Medical Center, " highlighted on MHealth blog, March 4, 2019.
Mike Olin, Chris Moertel, and Elizabeth Pluhar were highlighted in BioQuick News article "Minnesota Scientists Develop Small Peptide to Block Checkpoint Inhibition System in Brain, Possibly Enabling Immunotherapy Treatment of Glioblastoma; Success Seen in Dog Models; Stage 1 Human Clinical Trial Anticipated for Mid-Summer 2019," March 3, 2019. 
Chris Moertel presented work being done on CD200 at the 2019 Forbes/SHOOK Top Advisors Summit in Las Vegas on February 25-27. Find out more about this fundraising event and view an impactful video that was shared on the CCRF website.


Sarah Anderson, graduate student in Biomedical Engineering, presented a poster entitled "Motor-clutch Modeling of the Dynamics of FRET-based Single-molecule Integrin Tension Sensors" at the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, March 2019.

David Odde, PhD, gave presentation entitled "Physical Science of Cancer" at the Gordon Research Seminar, Galveston, TX, February 2019. 

Mike Olin, PhD, gave presentation entitled "Targeting the CD200 Immune Checkpoint for Cancer Immunotherapy" at the Precision Medicine World Conference, Silicon Valley, CA, January 2019.

David Odde, PhD, gave presentation at the University of Minnesota-Mayo Joint Brain Tumor Program meeting, Minneapolis, MN, January 2019. 

David Largaespada, PhD, gave presentation entitled "Exploring the Roles of Chemotherapy, Antigen-Specific Ex Vivo Memory T Cell Expansion, and Non-sense Codon Suppression in Immunotherapy" at The Physics of Cancer Immunotherapy meeting, Houston Methodist Research Institute, May 3, 2018.


David Largaespada receives grant entitled "SHH signaling genetic alterations: A relevant and targetable trait in peripheral nerve sheath sarcomas" from the Karen Wyckoff Rein in Sarcoma Foundation, March 2019.


Grande A, Vasquez CA, Moen SL, Juliano MJ, Jagadeesan BD, Pluhar GE, Chen CC. "Development of a novel canine model of ischemic stroke: Skull base approach with transient middle cerebral artery occlusion." World Neurosurg, in press. 

Beckmann PJ, Larson JD, Larsson AT, Ostergaard JP, Wagner S, Rahrmann EP, Shamsan GA, Otto GM, Williams RL, Wang J, Lee C, Tschida BR. Das P, Dubus AM, Moriarity BS, Picard D, Wu X, Rodriguez RJ, Rosemarie Q, Krebs RD, Molan AM, Demer AM, Frees MM, Rizzardi AE, Schmechel SC, Eberhart CG, Jenkins RB, Wechsler-Reya RJ, Odde DJ, Huang A, Taylor MD, Sarver AL, Largaespada DA. "Sleeping Beauty insertional mutagenesis reveals important genetic drivers of central nervous system embryonal tumors." Cancer Res. 2019 Mar 1; 79(5): 905-917.

Gampa G, Kim M, Mohammad AS, Parrish KE, Mladek AC, Sarkaria JN, Elmquist WF. "Brain distribution and active efflux of three panRAF inhibitors: considerations in the treatment of melanoma brain metastases." J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2019 Mar; 368(3): 446-461.

Keep RF, Jones HC, Drewes LR. "The year in review: progress in brain barriers and brain fluid research in 2018." Fluids Barriers CNS. 2019 Feb 5; 16(1): 4.

Kim M, Laramy JK, Mohammad AS, Talele S, Fisher J, Sarkaria JN, Elmquist WF. "Brain distribution of a panel of EGFR inhibitors using cassette-dosing in wild-type and Abcb1/Abcg2 deficient mice." Drug Metabolism and Disposition. 2019 Jan 31.

Olin MR, Ampudia-Mesias E, Pennell CA, Sarver A, Chen CC, Moertel CL, Hunt MA, Pluhar GE. "Treatment Combining CD200 Immunie Checkpoint Inhibitor and Tumor-Lysate Vaccination after Surgery for Pet Dogs with High-Grade Glioma." Cancers. 2019 Jan 24; 11(2). 

Slipek NJ, Varshney J, Largaespada DA. "CRISPR/Cas9-Based Positive Screens for Cancer-Related Traits." Methods Mol Biol. 2019; 1907: 137-144.

Kohler RJ, Arnold SA, Eck DJ, Thomson CB, Hunt MA, Pluhar GE. "Incidence of an risk factors for major complications or death in dogs undergoing cytoreductive surgery for treatment of suspected primary intracranial masses." J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2018 Dec 15; 253(12): 1594-1603.

Prahl LS, Stanslaski MR, Vargas P, Piel M, Odde DJ. "Glioma cell migration in confined microchannels via a motor-clutch mechanism." Preprint on bioRxiv, 2018 December 9.

Prahl LS, Bangasser PF, Stopfer LE, Hemmat M, White FM, Rosenfeld SS, Odde DJ. "Microtubule-Based Control of Motor-Clutch System Mechanics in Glioma Cell Migration." Cell Rep. 2018 Nov 27; 25(9): 2591-2604.e8.

Past Events

The Brain Tumor Program Team participated in Cupid's Undie Run Fundraiser for the Children's Tumor Foundation on Feb. 9, 2019.

Upcoming Events

April 11 - BTP Data Club, Surabhi Talele, PhD candidate
May 9 - BTP Data Club, Okay Saydam, PhD
June 13 - BTP Data Club, TBD
July 11 - BTP Data Club, Pauline Beckmann, PhD

Highlights & Recognitions

David Largaespada, PhD participated in the Eagles Telethon Dinner and Fundraiser for the Masonic Cancer Center in Rochester, MN on January 18, 2019.

David Odde, PhD was elected co-chair of the 2023 Gordon Research Conference "Physical Science of Cancer."
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