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Arthur & Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre

Alumni 2006

Anandh Balasubramaniam

Dr. Anandh Balasubramaniam, MD
I wrote to James Rutka and Abhit Guha after reading about their work on brain tumours through an Internet search. Later I met Guha at the WFNS Tumour section meeting at Jaipur, India in 2004.

I trained in general surgery after medical school at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER) in Pondicherry and specialized in neurosurgery at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore, India. I work at NIMHANS as academic clinical faculty in the the Department of Neurosurgery.

I am involved with collaborative research on the clinico-pathological aspects of brain tumours. My aim was to further my knowledge in the current research trends and methodologies in brain tumours. The BTRC offered me the perfect opportunity to learn this and as a research fellow for one year I was associated with a translational work on Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors (MPNSTs). This has given me hands on experience working with mouse tumour models, xenograft techniques, pre clinical drug testing methodologies in vivo and invitro, handling of tumour cell lines and basic bench methods to work with proteins and RNA and DNA.

At the end of one year of work we have investigated a novel small molecule for targeted therapy in MPNSTs, both in vitro and in vivo, and found the same to be effective.

Andrew Muh-Lii Liang

Dr. Andrew Muh-Lii Liang, MD
I have been working as a research fellow at the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre (BTRC) since July 2005 under the supervision of Cynthia Hawkins and James Rutka. I am here to study the application genetic findings and techniques to clinical application in brain tumour field.

I graduated from Chung Shan Medical University (Taiwan) in 1994 and entered neurosurgical residency training program at Taipei Veterans General Hospital in 1996. I then continued the work in the hospital as a staff under paediatric neurosurgeon Tai Tong Wong since 2003 and developed the interest on basic research of neuro-oncology.

I arrived at The Hospital for Sick Children and the Brain Tumour Research Centre for one year of clinical and basic training. My research project here is genetic aberrations and expressions of pediatric high grade gliomas by using array-CGH. I am also attempting to analyze the relation between valuable biomarkers and clinical prognosis of paediatric gliomas by tissue micro-array method.

Chinatsu Kasuga

Dr. Chinatsu Kasuga, MD
I have been working in J.T. Rutka's laboratory since July 2004. I graduated from Tsukuba University School of Medicine Japan in 1993 and worked at Juntendo University in Tokyo.

As a neurosurgeon, I was trained in all aspects of neurosurgery and developed an interest in neuro-oncology and basic science research and I started to conduct research of neuro-oncology at Department of Immunology, Juntendo University under the supervision of Prof. K. Okumura. My research project was about TRAIL, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand, a member of TNF family, and investigated the expression of TRAIL receptors and sensitivity to TRAIL-induced apoptosis in human glioblastoma cells, and also investigated correlation between apoptosis resistance and NF¨ºB.

Currently I am currently analyzing the expression of MAGE, a member of cancer testis antigens, in medulloblastoma and characterizing the functional role to evaluate these genes as possible genetic tumor markers and targets for tumor specific gene therapy.