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Three NF Scientists Recognized for Outstanding Achievements in Research

The Children’s Tumor Foundation is proud to congratulate NF researchers Dr. Brigitte Widemann, Dr. D. Wade Clapp, and Dr. Cristina Fernández-Valle on recent honors recognizing their outstanding achievements in NF and cancer research.

Dr. Widemann is chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch; head of the Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Section; and senior investigator and deputy director of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. This month she was granted the 2021 AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research for her “relentless and seminal contributions to the understanding of genetic cancer predisposition, the development of novel therapies for predisposition syndromes and rare pediatric cancers, and her unwavering leadership of clinical trials. This includes clinical trials that have resulted in FDA approval of the first-in-class MEK inhibitor, Selumetinib, for the treatment of neurofibromatosis type 1 tumors.”

Dr. Clapp is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine; and is also Physician-in-Chief for Riley Hospital for Children and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology/Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. He serves as a reviewer on over two dozen medical journals and co-chairs the Plexiform Neurofibroma Committee for the Department of Defense Multicenter Consortium. This month he was named a 2021 Distinguished Professor for his extensive accomplishments, earning the most prestigious academic appointment at Indiana University.

Dr. Fernández-Valle is Professor and Head of the Neuroscience Division of the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida. In April, she received UCF’s Pegasus Professor award, the university’s highest faculty honor. Professors who receive this distinction have well-established careers at UCF and beyond, with national and international recognition for their impact on their area of expertise

Both Dr. Widemann and Dr. Clapp are members of CTF’s Medical Advisory Council (MAC), which was established to guide efforts to support and fund the most innovative and promising research to find a cure for all forms of neurofibromatosis. It is comprised of physicians and scientists knowledgeable and active in the field of NF, inclusive of leading clinicians, leading research scientists, and directors of other NF research funding organizations. Dr. Clapp also serves as Chair of CTF’s Research Advisory Board (RAB). Dr. Fernández-Valle is one of the Synodos for NF2 researchers and in 2013 she received a Contract Award from the Children’s Tumor Foundation to develop new drug therapeutics for NF2.

The Children’s Tumor Foundation is proud to count distinguished researchers like Dr. Clapp, Dr. Widemann, and Dr. Fernández-Valle among our community of people dedicated to the mission to End NF. We send them our heartfelt congratulations for their well-deserved honors.