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5 Questions with a CTF-funded Researcher: Vijaya Ramesh

By April 1, 2020December 18th, 2023NF2-SWN, Science & Research

The NF2 Accelerator Initiative is funding a variety of research projects to bring NF2 treatments to the clinic and to patients. We asked one of these researchers, Vijaya Ramesh (Massachusetts General Hospital), to tell us more about her work and how she ended up in the NF field.

CTF: What are you hoping to learn from this project?
Dr. Ramesh: We are hoping to learn from this project whether some of the potential drugs identified in the Synodos for NF2 Project can be validated in our meningioma and schwannoma in vitro and in vivo models.

We also expect to learn whether these drugs could be efficient alone or when combined with other drugs that are already in clinical trials for NF2.

What are your long-term research goals? What are you looking to achieve?
Our long-term research goals are to identify effective treatment for NF2-associated tumors. We are looking to achieve this by translating our lab research in to the clinic through collaboration with our clinical partners.

What does it mean to you to receive this funding from CTF?
The CTF funding allows us to continue the progress achieved in the Synodos for NF2 project. The funding allows timely testing of potential drugs that came out of the drug screening studies of the Synodos for NF2.

What brought you to the NF research field? 
The cloning of the NF2 gene in Dr. Gusella’s lab at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in 1993 originally allowed me to bring my expertise to examine the functions of the NF2 protein merlin.

The work in my laboratory then expanded in the areas of cell signaling, identifying drug targets relevant for human meningioma and schwannoma cell models and translating our work to the clinic in collaboration with Dr. Scott Plotkin at MGH.

What do you like to do when you’re not in the lab?
I like to travel, listen to podcasts, read books, trying new recipes in my kitchen, and take long walks with my dog!

To learn more about the NF2 Accelerator Initiative, Dr. Ramesh’s project, and another NF2 drug discovery project from Dr. Elisabeth Castellanos-Perez, click here.