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Scientific Committee Co-Chairs

Day 1: Scientific Program Co-Chairs

Joseph Costello
Dr. Costello is a Professor of Neurosurgery at UCSF and holds the Karen Osney Brownstein Endowed Chair in Neuro-oncology. Dr. Costello is the Basic Science PI of the UCSF Brain Tumor SPORE, Director of the NIH supported Training Program in Translational Brain Tumor Research at UCSF and served as the Director of the UCSF-based NIH Roadmap Epigenome Mapping Center. He has substantial experience in teaching, mentoring, and scientific leadership.   Examples of his activities include serving as mentor/co-mentor for undergraduate and medical student trainees, trainees at the PhD and postdoc level funded through F31, F32, and F99/K00 from NIH, medical residents on the Holman Pathway, NIH R25, and junior faculty who have received K08, K23 and R01 awards.  The Costello laboratory is composed of cell, molecular and computational biologists working alongside clinician-scientists from Neurosurgery, Neuropathology, and Radiation Oncology. Our goal is to understand the full evolutionary history of human brain tumors, from the first mutation through cellular immortality, clonal selection and tumor recurrence. Current projects incorporate MRI guided tumor biopsies and treatment data with longitudinal genomics to allow the reconstruction of tumor evolution in the context of the human tumor in vivo. We recently discovered the multimeric factor, GABP, which is recruited by the mutation to activate TERT and immortalize brain cells, allowing them to maintain telomeres, proliferate indefinitely and evolve into tumors.  We are pursuing studies of the role of GABP in tumor immortality and approaches to therapeutically target it to reverse immortality.

Frank Furnari
Dr. Furnari is Member and Head of the Laboratory of Tumor Biology at the Ludwig Institute as well as Professor of Pathology at UCSD. His lab has made significant contributions to our understanding of glioma biology and therapeutic resistance with studies illustrating the requirement of EGFRvIII expression for tumor maintenance and for the establishment of tumor heterogeneity. His recognition in the field of glioma biology is highlighted by scholar awards from the V, Kimmel and Goldhirsh Foundations, Awards for Basic and Translational Research from the Society for Neuro-Oncology, and by his service as associate editor for Neuro-Oncology, advisory board positions for the National Brain Tumor Society, the Society for Neuro-Oncology and the Sontag Foundation.

Annette Molinaro
Dr. Molinaro's research interest and expertise are focused on developing and implementing statistical and machine learning methods in cancer research, spanning basic research, translational, and clinical studies. In her current roles as the Director of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics for the UCSF Department of Neurological Surgery and Biostatistics Core Director for both the Brain SPORE and Program Project, Dr. Molinaro advises study design and modeling, and analyzes data from all UCSF Brain Tumor Center projects in imaging, genetics, genomics, epidemiology and immunology. For example, this may involve predicting clinical outcomes from enormous datasets like DNA sequencing arrays, or large-scale epidemiology studies. In addition, she is deeply involved in the design and analysis of both adult and pediatric clinical trials offered here at UCSF.  She also has designed and oversees the coordinated acquisition of all clinical, imaging, and genomic data in Neurological Surgery in the Brain Tumor Center Database (BTCDB).

 

Day 2: Scientific Program Co-Chairs

 Vinay Puduvalli
Dr. Puduvalli is chair of Neuro-Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Co-director of the Brain Tumor Center, Co-leader of the Glioblastoma Moon Shot® and Leader of the Brain Cancer Program of the CCSG. He is an authority on developing novel therapies for patients with primary brain tumors — specifically malignant gliomas. Dr. Puduvalli joined the faculty at MD Anderson in 1999. He earned his degree from Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute in India and then completed his residency in neurology at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston and earned his fellowship in Neuro-Oncology at MD Anderson from the same program he would later direct.  Prior to his appointment as chair, he served as professor and director of clinical research of Neuro-Oncology and led the neuro-oncology fellowship program at MD Anderson. In 2013, he was recruited to the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center to serve as the director of the division of Neuro-oncology and was instrumental in establishing a multidisciplinary brain tumor center in that institution. He was recruited back to MD Anderson in 2020 to assume the position of chair of the Department of Neurooncology. 

Erik Sulman
Dr. Sulman is a Professor and Vice-chair of Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine and the Co-director of the Brain and Spine Tumor Center in the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health. In addition, Dr. Sulman is Co-director of the NYU Grossman School of Medicine Medical (MD/PhD) Scientist Training program. Prior to joining NYU, he was the Chief of the CNS/Pediatric Radiation Oncology Section at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Sulman directs a research program studying the biology of malignant brain tumors, including glioma stem cell biology, tumor microenvironment, and the mechanisms of treatment resistance. In addition, his laboratory focuses on the development of novel molecular biomarkers of treatment response and and patient outcome. He has received funding from the NCI/NIH, the NBTS, ASTRO, The Ivy Foundation, the Rose Foundation, and the ABTA, among others. In addition, he serves as the translational/correlative co-chair on some of the largest clinical trials for patients with brain tumors in both NRG Oncology and the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. He currently serves on SNO executive board of directors as Secretary/Treasurer after completing his term as Radiation Oncology Representative. In addition, he has served as the Technology Committee Chair for more than 12 years. Dr. Sulman is also the Specialty Chief Co-Editor for the Neuro-Oncology and Neurosurgical Oncology section of Frontiers in Oncology.