The Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation currently supports research being pursued by Dr. Wei Li, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Penn State Cancer Institute. His work investigates the role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in pediatric high grade gliomas. Gliomas, which account for about half of all pediatric brain tumors, are categorized into different levels based primarily on their severity. The most aggressive of these tumors are known as high grade gliomas. Pediatric high grade gliomas often have unique characteristics that set them apart from their adult counterparts, meaning adult treatments may not prove effective in children. Dr. Li will study the molecular mechanisms that fuel the development of high grade gliomas. His lab focuses on a specific transcriptional regulator (TAZ) that likely plays a key role in the tumor’s ability to hijack immune cells and use them for its growth. Understanding the mechanisms that drive these tumors may help identify molecular targets and biomarkers to develop new, more effective therapies for children with brain cancer.
See the press release from Penn State regarding our award!