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Young Investigator: Q&A with Srirupa Bhattacharya

The Young Investigator Award (YIA) provides two-year salary support to early-career NF researchers to help them get established as independent NF investigators. Since its inception, several YIAs have made groundbreaking research findings and notable publications through this program, and many have advanced to become leaders in the NF research and clinical communities.

We’re pleased to introduce some of these researchers from the latest class of awardees: Srirupa Bhattacharya (Massachusetts General Hospital) shares how this YIA-funded project is just the first step in her journey to understand better and identify more therapies for NF2-related schwannomatosis. 


What are you hoping to learn from this project? 

I am working with meningioma and schwannoma cell lines and have started generating 3D models to more closely mimic the tumors in vivo. From this project I hope to learn the role of the angiogenic peptide apelin in NF2-deficient tumors and understand whether targeting apelin could disrupt the abnormal vascularization and tumor growth.

What are your long-term research goals? 

My long-term research goal is to better understand the abnormal processes that contribute to the development and growth of these tumors, with the aim to identify improved therapeutic strategies for the disease.

What brought you to the NF research field? 

I completed my PhD in the field of tumor biology and was interested in pursuing these studies. Upon joining the laboratory of Dr. Vijaya Ramesh as a postdoctoral fellow, I was introduced to the field of NF2-SWN (short for NF2-related schwannomatosis and formerly referred to as NF2) research. This turned out to be the perfect fit for me as I could implement my previous expertise in tumor biology and expand my understanding of NF2-deficient tumors.

What does it mean to you to receive this funding from CTF?

Receiving the YIA grant from CTF is indeed an honor and is extremely motivating for me to pursue my goal of becoming an independent investigator in the field of NF2-SWN. This award from CTF will provide me a foundation to expand my research to better understand the pathophysiology of NF2-SWN and find a superior therapeutic strategy to treat this disease.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

I would like to thank the Children’s Tumor Foundation for providing budding researchers the opportunity to explore their own projects and further their careers. I could not have achieved this without the unparalleled guidance of my mentor Dr. Vijaya Ramesh. No words can express her contribution and the help from my cohesive and supportive lab members, especially Roberta L. Beauchamp. Furthermore, I also thank my family members, without whose support nothing would have been possible.


Learn more about our latest investments in young investigators; click here for NF1 projects and click here for SWN projects (including NF2-related schwannomatosis). Click here to learn more about funding opportunities, including the Young Investigator Awards, from the Children’s Tumor Foundation.