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Children’s Tumor Foundation Funds Two New Neurofibromatosis Drug Testing Grants

By May 28, 2010December 5th, 2023Awards & Grants, Awareness

The Foundation is delighted to announce two new recipients of our Drug Discovery Initiative Award. These are pilot grants to seed-fund testing of candidate drugs for neurofibromatosis in cells or animal models. The DDI program has been very successful, to date funding a total of 33 projects. Many Awardees have gone on to secure larger grants to expand the research, published their findings and even established collaborations with biotech and pharma.

In our new Awards, Dr. Rajesh Khanna (Indiana University) focuses on a potential new intervention for the learning disabilities that affect an 60% of persons with NF1.  Dr. Khanna will target the protein CRMP‐2 which is involved in growth and development of nerve cells. In the normal brain CRMP-2 binds to the NF1 protein neurofibromin, but in NF1 its activity seems to be abnormal. Meanwhile Dr. David Largaespada (University of Minnesota) focuses on NF1-related malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST). He will use a unique ‘genetic interrogation’ approach to identify MPNST-inducing genes that will represent candidate drug targets for MPNST treatment.

Both Awardees will receive in vitro DDI Awards of $15,000 for these studies. The DDI program also offers $30,000 for in vivo studies.  Next application deadline is August 31st. More information and application packet: