Spotlight CERN Members

Spotlight CERN Members

In this section we bring you up-to-date on the various projects CERN Foundation members are working on. Check this page often as we will be adding new profiles on an on-going basis. To see a full list of CERN Foundation investigators, click here.

Monthly Spotlight

Anthony Mathile and Stacey Lee

For award-winning filmmakers Anthony Mathile and Stacey Lee, telling the story of ependymoma patients and their families is their most rewarding work. But it’s also personal. READ MORE.


CERN Members

Alvina Acquaye, M.S.

Each month at the CERN Foundation we sit down with unique and inspiring individuals that work to make this effort a success. This month we talked with Alvina Acquaye, MS about her participation in the Pediatric Ependymoma Outcomes Project, whose goals are to increase quality of life in pediatric patient s diagnosed with an ependymoma. READ MORE.

Amar Gajjar, M.D.

When pediatric neuro-oncologist Amar Gajjar, M.D., joined the CERN Foundation leadership team at its inception, he took on a daunting challenge to find new and effective drugs to treat ependymoma. READ MORE.

Charles (Chas) Haynes, J.D.

We enjoy hearing what brought our colleagues to become a member of our team. Most often they have been affected in a personal manner, whether it be a family member or close friend that has been touched by an illness or injury. This was the case for our Executive Director, Charles “Chas” Haynes, whom we had the pleasure of speaking with this month and who reminded us once again, of the dedication CERN Foundation team members have in supporting our organization’s mission. READ MORE.

Clinton Stewart, Pharm.D

Among the many important goals of the CERN Foundation, the most crucial one is to find a better treatment and cure for ependymoma. We had the pleasure of speaking with Clinton Stewart, Pharm.D., Member at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and one of our Project III team members involved in developmental therapeutics. READ MORE.

Dimpy Koul, Ph.D.

Dimpy Koul, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Neuro-Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics at MD Anderson Cancer Center, shared her experiences with the CERN Foundation and what led her into the field of cancer research. READ MORE.

Elizabeth Vera-Bolanos, M.S.

Elizabeth “Liz” Vera-Bolanos is the Project Manager for the Ependymoma Outcomes Project and Tissue Correlates Study at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Liz has been working closely with Terri Armstrong, Ph.D., A.N.P-B.C., creator of the Ependymoma Outcomes Project and co-leader along with Kenneth Aldape, M.D. of the Tissue Correlates Study, on both of these endeavors. READ MORE.

Eugene Hwang, M.D. and Kristina Hardy, Ph.D.

To gain a greater knowledge of how physicians can be a better resource for ependymoma families during and after treatment, Dr. Gene Hwang and Dr. Kristina Hardy talk about the psychological effects that ependymoma can have on the patient and the parents by analyzing data from the Ependymoma Outcomes Project. READ MORE.

Glenn Lesser, M.D.

We were excited to have the opportunity to hear from the extremely accomplished, Glenn J. Lesser, M.D., F.A.C.P., Professor and Director of the neuro-oncology Service at the Brain Tumor Center of Excellence at Wake Forest. READ MORE.

James Davenport, Ph.D.

In continuing with our efforts to highlight the research and work of our CERN Foundation Team, we spoke with James Davenport, Ph.D., researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Dr. Davenport graduated in 1975 from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Cellular Physiology and went on to receive his Ph.D., from Cornell University in Biochemistry. He ultimately settled in Memphis in 1990 and began work at St. Jude on a project focused on a mouse strain that models childhood Leukemia. After 10 years at St. Jude, he moved to UCLA and began working with DNA and RNA samples in children. Once Dr. Davenport completed his research at UCLA, he decided to return to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to continue to engage in basic research with a strong clinical dimension. READ MORE.

Janelle Hibberts, B.S.N.

Here at the CERN Foundation we are extremely thankful for the dedicated, we were lucky to sit down with one of our exceptional team members, Janelle Hibberts, BSN, Manager, Clinical Research Projects at MD Anderson, and learn more about the integral role she plays in keeping our clinical trials running efficiently and accurately. READ MORE.

Jason Dapper, Ph.D.

The CERN Foundation’s research team continues to amaze us with their diligence and immense knowledge that they bring to the laboratory setting.  Recently, we spoke with  Jason Dapper, Ph.D., Senior Research Technologist, in Dr. Richard Gilbertson’s laboratory at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Dr. Dapper is part of the CERN Foundation’s Project III team which focuses on developmental therapeutics and drug development. READ MORE.

Jean Caputo, B.A., M.B.A.

In order to run the CERN Foundation we have created a team of wonderfully talented individuals to keep us moving forward, both productively and successfully. At times, some of our team members may not always be recognized for their efforts because they are working “behind the scenes,” whether it is technologically or administratively. These are the members of the CERN Foundation that help keep us together. We had the opportunity to speak with one of our technological experts, Jean Caputo, Manager, Systems Analyst Services in the Division of Quantitative Sciences at MD Anderson Cancer Center. READ MORE.

Kenneth Aldape, M.D.

So often when we hear the word cancer, our thoughts almost immediately turn to treatment options and how we can fight this disease.  However, with all cancers – especially ependymoma, perhaps the most important step in an individual’s treatment plan begins with a proper diagnosis.  This month we had the pleasure of hearing from Dr. Kenneth Aldape, Tumor Profiling and Pathology Project Leader at The CERN Foundation and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pathology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and learn more about Project II. READ MORE.

Khalida Wani, Ph.D.

This month we had the privilege of speaking with Khalida Wani, Ph.D., one of the CERN Foundation’s Research Fellows at MD Anderson.  Along with her expertise, Dr. Wani has brought an extremely positive attitude reflective of her own excitement for the CERN Foundation and our goals. READ MORE.

Kimberly Wallgren, B.S.

The CERN Foundation is delighted to announce that Kimberly Wallgren has become the President of the CERN Foundation. She has been involved with the Foundation since inception in 2007 as a member of the CERN Foundation’s Awareness and Outreach team. Mrs. Wallgren brings not only a breadth of professional experience to the CERN Foundation, but also a true passion born from her personal experience with ependymoma. READ MORE.

Kiplin Guy, Ph.D.

At the CERN Foundation, a number of our team members spend their days and nights working diligently in the research lab to help us identify new drugs and compounds that will impact the way ependymoma are treated now, and in the future. One of these remarkable individuals, R. Kiplin Guy, Ph.D., Creator and Chairman of the Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics and a Member (Professor) of the St. Jude Faculty, spent some time with us this month to share his knowledge, experience and hopes for the future of ependymoma treatment. READ MORE.

Kristin Odom, B.F.A.

At the CERN Foundation we are constantly striving to make a positive impact on the lives of our patients, and their family and friends. All of our efforts are focused on doing something that will be meaningful and significant in their lives. It was that same thought process that led Kristin Odom, the CERN Foundation’s Publications Coordinator, to become a part of our foundation. READ MORE.

Liz Dawes

The Robert Connor Dawes (RCD) Foundation honors a bright, clever and gifted teen, who passed away after a 16-month journey with anaplastic ependymoma. Funds raised drive research for pediatric brain cancer and the CERN Foundation. READ MORE.

Mary Lovely, Ph.D., R.N.

One of our truly exceptional team members, Mary Lovely, Ph.D. , R.N., is a member of our Scientific Advisory Board. After earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington, Dr. Lovely began working at the San Francisco General Hospital’s department of neurosurgery. It was there that she became intimately involved in research and helping patients who had been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. She then went on to become a Neuro-clinical specialist at the Veteran’s Hospital and began working with patients diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was in her position at the Veteran’s Hospital that she knew she had found her calling working to help patients navigate through their journey after diagnosis. READ MORE.

Nidal Boulos, Ph.D.

The CERN Foundation’s primary focus continues to be finding the best treatment and eventual cure for ependymoma in both pediatric and adult populations diagnosed with this disease. Nidal Boulos, Ph.D., is one of the lead researchers funded by the CERN Foundation at St. Jude to hear about some of the team’s accomplishments in developmental therapeutics. READ MORE.

Richard Gilbertson, M.D., Ph.D.

Each month we take the opportunity to talk with and appreciate the many team members of the CERN Foundation, taking a closer look at what they bring to this exciting and meaningful endeavor.  This month, Richard Gilbertson, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator of the CERN Foundation shared his experiences and what led him on his journey to impact pediatric brain tumor research in such a profound way. READ MORE.

Saba Abutaseh, B.S.

Our team members at the CERN Foundation are constantly working to improve the lives of patients diagnosed with ependymoma. In order to accomplish this, they are often involved in multiple projects, identifying new treatments and striving for better outcomes. This requires an ability to multitask at the highest level, something Saba Abutaseh, the CERN Foundation’s Program Coordinator, is extremely adept at accomplishing on a daily basis. We were fortunate to speak with and get to know him a little better. READ MORE.

Stephen Frye, Ph.D.

Supporting our “Dream Team” of scientists, researchers and clinicians at the CERN Foundation is an essential component to reaching our goal. As part of this support we created a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to provide objective, expert advice to help keep us on our path to success. We were able to sit down with one of our SAB Members, a top expert in medicinal chemistry, Dr. Stephen Frye. READ MORE.

Tanya Kranenburg, Ph.D.

The CERN Foundation has many moving parts, each of which is as important as the other.  From the research team and clinicians, to the outreach and awareness group, as well as the administrative team members that keep us organized and focused on our goal.  This month we had the pleasure of speaking with one of the key members of our administrative team, Tanya Kranenburg, Ph.D., the CERN Foundation’s Project Manager at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. READ MORE.

Terri S. Armstrong, Ph.D., ANP-BC, FAANP

This month at CERN we had the true pleasure of speaking with Dr. Terri Armstrong, our Project 5 Leader for Patient Outcomes and Symptom Management.  Terri not only brings a wealth of knowledge to these efforts at CERN, but upon meeting her you get to experience her natural ability to make others around her feel at ease. READ MORE.

Vijay Ramaswamy, MD, PhD

In late 2015, the CERN Foundation was pleased to announce that Vijay Ramaswamy, MD, PhD, was selected as the inaugural recipient of the CERN Basic Science Ependymoma Research Fellowship.  Applications for this award came in from around the world and were of uniformly high-quality, making the selection process especially difficult for the selection committee!  Ultimately, the committee determined that Dr. Ramaswamy’s proposal offered a strong likelihood of resulting in high-impact research in the fight against ependymoma. READ MORE.