Neuropathology Unit

The Neuropathology Unit performs both independent and collaborative research related to the characterization and understanding of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. As a part of its mission, the Neuropathology Unit collects and maintains neurosurgical tissue for the Surgical Neurology Branch (SNB) biorepository. This annotated tissue is available for SNB investigators and is also accessible for collaborative research across the NINDS and the NIH.

Under the supervision of Dr. Cimino, the Unit’s primary research efforts are in molecular neuro-oncology, focusing on identifying and characterizing genetic drivers of IDH-wildtype and IDH-mutant adult diffuse gliomas, utilizing both human tissue and genetically engineered mouse models. Most recently, projects have concentrated on identifying and characterizing prognostic somatic copy number alterations (SCNAs), as well as uncovering the biology of novel SCNA-related oncogenes and tumor suppressors in IDH-wildtype glioblastoma and IDH-mutant astrocytoma. An additional active area of investigation includes characterizing developmentally regulated transcription factors in IDH-mutant and 1p/19q-codeleted oligodendroglioma.

Research collaborations occur both within the SNB and NINDS, along with outside academic institutions. Recent collaborative research efforts with Dr. Cimino as co-investigator involve several aspects of brain tumor biology, including characterizing mouse models of fusion-driven brain tumors, investigating mechanisms of dormancy for metastatic carcinoma to the brain, characterizing the response of microtubule inhibiting agents in a mouse model of glioblastoma, developing handheld confocal instruments for improved glioma resection, and validating new techniques of epigenetic testing in glioblastoma. Current collaborative investigations also include applying whole-genome methylation profiling to CNS tumor classification and risk-stratification. The Unit is also available for Neuropathology-related services, such as histopathology-based collaborative research.

NPU Focus
Downloadable SNB Biorepository Research Requisition Forms: