Defeat GBM Research Collaborative –
Driving Research to New Brain Cancer Therapies

Part I – Discovery Science and Systems Biology Approaches

National Brain Tumor Society’s Program Insights is an exclusive, online chat series providing an inside look into groundbreaking research and initiatives.

“Program Insights: Defeat GBM Research Collaborative,” will be a two part series focused on the National Brain Tumor Society’s Defeat GBM Research Collaborative.

All webinars are moderated to facilitate an open dialogue and participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and interact with others through our text-based chat room.

Part I – Discovery Science and Systems Biology Approaches
Monday, June 9, 2014
3:00 – 4:00PM EDT

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About Our Guests

W.K. Alfred Yung, MD – Chair, Department of Neuro-Oncology, co-director of the Brain Tumor Center, Margaret and Ben Love Chair of Clinical Cancer Care, and Professor of Neuro-Oncology and Cancer Biology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Yung’s primary research interest focuses on development of molecular therapeutic strategies targeting the EGFR and PTEN/PI3 kinase pathways, as well as the angiogenic regulatory mechanisms that are crucial to human glioma genesis and progression. Recently, his laboratory has focused on investigating the biological activity of a series of new PTEN/PI3K pathway inhibitors in glioblastoma in vitro and in vivo models. Another project investigates the subcellular localization of the tumor suppressor MMAC/PTEN gene and its nuclear signaling pathway.

As Scientific Director of the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative, Dr. Yung is tasked with charting the strategic direction, regularly reviewing achievements and progress, and holding project teams accountable for attaining key milestones and goals within the initiative.


Frank Furnari, PhD - Senior Investigator at Ludwig Cancer Research, San Diego and Professor of Pathology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

As Senior Investigator at Ludwig Cancer Research, San Diego, Dr. Furnari’s interests are how expression of ∆EGFR potentiates tumor heterogeneity and hence aggressiveness, the role of this receptor in tumor maintenance, and how modulators of the PTEN/PI3K signaling axis influence the effectiveness of receptor-directed therapeutics.

Dr. Furnari earned his PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and his Postdoc at Ludwig Cancer Research, focusing on genetic alterations driving the genesis of grade IV gliomas, the amplified and truncated epidermal growth factor receptor gene, and mutation of the PTEN gene.


Ingo Mellinghoff, MD – Vice Chair of Research, Department of Neurology, Evnin Family Chair in Neuro-Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Mellinghoff is currently leading a number of clinical trials, including: (i.) Phase II Study of BKM120 in Patients with Recurrent Glioblastoma and an Activated P13K Pathway and (ii.) A Pilot Study of Weekly High-Dose Erlotinib for Recurrent High-Grade Gliomas with the EGFR variant III Mutation. Dr. Mellinghoff’s research focuses on the study of aberrant growth factor signaling in glioma, and the development of quantitative technologies to monitor oncogenic signaling pathways in human tumors.

Dr. Mellinghoff earned his MD from the Technische Universitat Munchen (Technical University Munich, Germany) and his Postdoc in molecular biology from the UCLA School of Medicine.