Once in awhile, a junior scientist comes along who shows so much promise that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) gives his research career a jump start.
One of these promising scientists is Columbia University Medical Center/New-York Presbyterian neurosurgeon Dr. Adam Sonabend. The NIH has awarded this gifted researcher a prestigious Early Independence Award for his research on gliomas, called “TOP2A Effects on Transcription on Gliomas: Implications for Personalized Therapy.”
Dr. Sonabend is one of only 16 researchers to achieve the distinction this year.
This award recognizes exceptionally talented scientists who have recently received their doctoral degree or finished their medical residency, and allows them to move into independent research positions without further postdoctoral training.
“This is an amazing opportunity for moving my research on glioblastomas forward,” says Dr. Sonabend. “I am extremely grateful to the NIH Director’s office, as the [Early Independence Award] will allow my lab to move full steam ahead on the study of what makes brain tumors different from each other, and identify unique susceptibilities that can be exploited for effective personalized treatments for this cancer.”
“Glioma” and “glioblastoma” are both terms for a type of brain tumor—a glioblastoma is a particularly aggressive type of glioma. Not all gliomas respond the same way to drug therapy. In his research Dr. Sonabend is working to define a set of markers that will predict which patients might benefit from a particular drug. This will personalize treatment for patients based on what therapy seems to affect that particular tumor.
Dr. Sonabend is also investigating new methods of delivering chemotherapy directly into the brain tumor that are more effective and result in fewer side effects for the patient.
Dr. Sonabend earned his medical degree at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where he won the Gabino Barreda Medal for the Highest Academic Achievement. He moved from Mexico to a research associate position at the University of Chicago Brain Tumor Laboratory, where he pioneered the use of stem cells for adenoviral gene therapy for glioblastoma.
He completed his internship and residency here at Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and now serves as Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery at The College of Physicians and Surgeons here at Columbia.
Congratulations, Dr. Sonabend! We look forward to many more great things from you.
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