We are conducting a pilot project with the Institut Gustave Roussy (IGR) in Villejuif, France / University Paris-Sud to lay the groundwork for a collaboration that studies sphingolipid metabolism in pediatric brain tumors.
The project will contribute to the exploration of sphingolipids as stratifying tools in pediatric brain cancers.
The IGR is the biggest comprehensive pediatric cancer center in Europe and foremost clinical center in development and testing of new drugs for pediatric cancer. The collaborator Dr. B. Georger heads the pediatric translational and early drug development program at the IGR and is the Chairman of the Clinical Trial Committee of the ‘Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer Consortium’ (itccconsortium.org), a European network devoted to early drug development. Goal of the pilot project is to evaluate the hypothesis that S1P is dysregulated in pediatric brain tumors and a stratifying tool for targeted therapy. Exploration of sphingolipids as stratifying tools in pediatric brain cancers is of great interest to the IGR. The large collection of primary samples with known clinical outcomes, access to active clinical European trials and associated funding opportunities are a unique opportunity to the Columbia Group.
Experiments are designed to be carried out by students in both laboratories. Sphingolipid analyses will be carried out at Columbia. The effect of modulating S1P on cell death and response to therapeutic drugs will be carried out at the IGR.
The Global Center at Paris will add value by providing office space, meeting rooms for student seminars and a representative environment to attract external funding.
Both collaborators have the expertise, tools, laboratory space, and departmental support to carry out the proposed work. Long-term goal is to obtain independent funding and to extend collaboration to the African Nutritional Sciences Research Consortium (ANSRC) founded by the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University, and both associated with the Nairobi Global Center.
Birgit Georger, MD, PHD is collaborating on this project.