Welcome to the Brossier lab

The brain is the most common site for solid tumors to arise in childhood, but we understand relatively little about the factors that drive brain tumor formation in kids.  

Oncogenic mutation is a necessary but not sufficient part in this process, given the observed presence of oncogenic mutations at relatively high rates in healthy, tumor-free pediatric brains. In the Brossier lab, we are interested in identifying which factors increase the rate of tumorigenesis following oncogenic mutation and the molecular basis underlying this effect, with an eye towards using this information for patient risk assessment and to identify new targets for therapeutic intervention.

Projects in the lab revolve around two major themes: (1) how neurodevelopmental factors (cell type, age) affect response to oncogenic mutation, and (2) how environmental factors modulate the effects of mutation on the cell of origin and tumor penetrance.  Current projects include:

Theme 1: cell of origin / mutation interaction
Theme 2: maternal environmental exposure effects on cell of origin / tumor
Both themes lend to proliferation, differentiation, self-renewal and tumor formation.
Projects in Theme 1 of the Brossier lab focus on how specific oncogenic mutations affect different cellular populations relevant to pediatric gliomagenesis. Projects in Theme 2 focus on how environmental exposures affect cellular populations and tumor penetrance
  1. Determining how germline Nf1 mutation affects neural stem cells from different regions of the brain, relevant to the unique spatial and temporal patterning of NF1-related glioma. (Theme 1)
  2. Determining how brain location influences the effect of sporadic glioma-associated mutation on neural stem cell properties, MAPK pathway activity and tumor formation. (Theme 1)
  3. Determining how maternal high-fat diet exposure affects the NF1 optic pathway glioma cell of origin and tumor penetrance. (Theme 2)