American Family Children's Hospital

Neurosurgeon Honored For Brain Tumor Therapies Study

John Kuo, MD; Neurosurgeon Honored for Brain Tumor Therapies StudyMADISON- John S. Kuo, MD, PhD has been selected as one of three recipients of the 2008 Young Clinician Investigator Award.
Established by the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) in 1985, the Young Clinician Investigator Award supports young faculty who are pursuing careers as clinician investigators. The one-year stipend for each grant recipient is $40,000. 

Dr. Kuo's award was announced on at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in Chicago on April 28, 2008. 

He is an assistant professor of neurological surgery and human oncology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), chairs the UW Paul P Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center brain tumor clinical trials group, and co-directs the multidisciplinary brain tumor clinic.

"Dr. Kuo's research is innovative and invaluable in our understanding of the basic mechanisms that cause brain tumors to appear," said Robert Dempsey, MD, chairman of the department of neurological surgery at SMPH.

Dr Kuo said, "After seeing the human toll of brain cancer by performing surgeries and caring for these patients and families, I am strongly motivated to research and develop better treatments." 

Kuo and colleagues in his brain tumor research lab are studying cancer stem cells isolated from glioblastoma (GBM), the rapidly growing malignant brain tumor, to unlock clues about why cancer recurs despite aggressive surgery, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. In his research, Kuo is determining the molecular differences between GBM-derived stem cells and normal neural stem cells to identify new therapeutic targets.

"We hypothesize that brain cancer stem cells' resistance to current therapies account for the cancer's rapid recurrence and malignant behavior," said Kuo. "The long-term goal is to translate advances in understanding cancer stem cell biology into novel, more effective therapies."

Kuo graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in biology from Harvard College, and then simultaneously earned an MD from Harvard Medical School and PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He completed specialty training in neurological surgery at the University of Southern California, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto's Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center.

Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with more than 7,200 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to patients. All active members of the AANS are certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Neurosurgery) of Canada or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, AC. Neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system including the spinal column, spinal cord, brain and peripheral nerves.

Date Published: 05/05/2008

News tag(s):  neurosurgery

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