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Michelle Monje, Stanford University School of Medicine, has won the 2023 Lounsbery Award for advancing understanding of pediatric brain cancers and the neurological effects of cancer treatments.

"Monje’s pioneering work has fundamentally changed our view about the communication between neurons and glial cells in normal brain function and in neurological disorders, particularly brain cancers.

Monje and her team investigate the role of neuronal activity over the control of both physiological and pathological processes of brain development, maturation, and oncogenesis, with particular focus on both the origins of pediatric brain tumors and the consequences of cancer treatment. Her groundbreaking findings showed that neuronal activity promotes adaptive myelination important for cognition and that neuronal activity drives malignant glioma progression through neuron-to-glioma synapses and paracrine factors.

As both a physician and researcher, Monje plays an active role in bringing her findings into clinical settings. In collaboration with other labs, she identified a molecule on the surface of gliomas to target with CAR T-cell therapy, resulting in the virtual elimination of the tumors in mice. She is currently leading clinical trials for these and other treatment methods."

(Excerpt from the National Academy of Sciences)

Click here to read the press release from the French Académie des sciences.

See the Monje Lab.


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