Our 2016 “Summer Sprint”

Emilie GeorgeThis summer is going to be an amazing one in the Children’s Brain Tumor Project laboratory. Thanks to grants and gifts from families and foundations, we will have six summer researchers conducting several different lines of investigations, which will give our research a tremendous boost.


Raymond ChangeEmilie George and Raymond Chang are testing new drugs and drug combinations against gliomatosis cerebri and DIPG. Emilie is funded by a summer fellowship grant from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and Raymond by a grant from the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA).

Umberto TosiUmberto Tosi is using PET imaging to evaluate the cancer drug dasatinib and molecularly targeted compounds such as panobinostat, modified to fluoresce, in mice models with DIPG. The position is funded by the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) program.

Christopher MarnellChristopher Marnell will test two-dimensional peptide-based nanofibers (NFP) as drug carriers to slow clearance rates and improve the distribution of chemotherapeutics injected into a DIPG tumor. His work is funded by the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) of the American Association of Neurosurgeons (AANS).

Kunal GargKunal Garg is working on a project studying the transformation of low-grade gliomas into malignancies, under Dr. Greenfield’s mentorship. His work is funded by Weill Cornell Medical College.

Matthew BernsteinThe team will soon be joined by Matthew Bernstein, a student intern dedicated to acquiring samples of thalamic gliomas for future study. Matthew’s work has been funded by the Samuel Jeffers Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Many thanks to three members of the Cristian Rivera Foundation board of directors for stepping up to help supply these researchers with the materials they need to conduct their research. Board members Darlene Rodriguez, Andy Epstein, and Craig Serra each made personal donations, and Craig arranged a matching gift from Pfizer. With their help, we are able to supply our summer fellows with the drugs, animal models, and infrastructure they need to do their work.