Lab Update: Summer 2016, Partnership Is Powerful

Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield and Dr. Mark Souweidane, co-directors of the Weill Cornell Children's Brain Tumor ProjectOne thing we’ve known from the beginning of our research on pediatric brain tumors is that none of us will be able to do this alone. We must work too fast, and find answers too quickly, to operate in silos. The old model, in which researchers guard their work carefully until they publish results, simply won’t work.

We are so glad that our colleagues in this quest feel the same way. Across the street and around the globe, investigators are working with us—and welcoming us into their projects—in ways that you don’t often see in medical research. Here are two such partnerships that we’d like to highlight:

In May we were invited to join the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC), a multi-institutional research program whose mission is to develop a bank of high-quality brain tumor specimens. This collaborative effort is centered at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and also includes Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Benioff Children’s Hospital at UCSF, and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, with satellite operations at Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence, Italy, and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey at Rutgers. We are proud to have been invited to participate as one of the primary member institutions of this consortium, which will make it possible to obtain cell lines and their related genomic data for further study—the results of which we will in turn make available to the other partners and the global research community.

Closer to home, we are working with Drs. Ching Tung, Richard Ting, and Ben Law of the Department of Radiology on molecular imaging, drug labeling, and nanofiber conjugation. This collaborative team already has one manuscript ready for submission, and was recently awarded a $250,000 grant from Alex’s Lemonade Stand to develop the work. Together, we will find answers.