Day 1: Scientific Program Co-Chairs
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.
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.
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).