Anders Persson, PhD
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Address||675 Nelson Rising Lane|
San Francisco CA 94143
|University of California San Francisco||2012||American Cancer Society Individual Research Award|
|University of California San Francisco||2011||UCSF SPORE -Career Developmental Award|
|University of California San Francisco||2010||American Brain Tumor Association Translational Award|
|University of California San Francisco||2010||Hellman Family Foundation Early-Career Award|
|University of California San Francisco||2008||Sandler Postdoctoral Fellowship Award|
|University of California San Francisco||2008
||2009||American Brain Tumor Association Fellowship|
|University of California San Francisco||2005||Swedish Brain Tumor Foundation|
|University of California San Francisco||2005||Swedish Society of Medicine|
|University of California San Francisco||2005
||2006||Swedish Society for Medical Research|
Dr. Persson is interested in the biological processes that balance cell division and differentiation in neural stem cells (NSCs) and glial progenitors (GPs). Dr. Persson is also interested in how this delicate balance can go wrong in cancer. During neural development, cell division and differentiation in NSCs and GPs is coordinated in a regional and temporal fashion. Transcriptional programs that drive expansion of cells in the brain during fetal and perinatal stages are also active in brain tumors, in particular therapy-resistant and tumor-propagating cells (TPCs) that are thought to underlie relapse in patients. Dr. Persson study brain tumors with a focus on glioma, the most common primary malignancy in adults. Major goals: (i) study how oncogenes and tumor suppressors drive tumorigenesis in NSCs and GPs (ii) develop therapies that target undifferentiated TPCs in pediatric and adult brain tumors.
Cell of origin in brain tumors.
Transformation of fetal and postnatal NSCs and GPs isolated from mice and humans serve as an excellent model system for pediatric and adult brain tumors. This system allows Dr. Persson to study how transformation of neural precursor cells contributes to the phenotype of the resulting brain tumor. Dr. Persson’s work suggests that the block in differentiation and proliferation in transformed cells is mediated by microRNAs that repress expression of members of the SOX and HES families. Genetically-engineered murine (GEM) brain tumor models allow Dr. Persson to study the cell of origin for pediatric and adult brain tumors in mice. Dr. Persson and others have used GEM models to study how transformation of NSCs and GPs give rise to gliomas.
Targeting tumor-propagating cells in brain tumors.
To effectively study human pediatric and adult brain tumors, Dr. Persson developing protocols that enable propagation of tumors in vitro and in xenografts. GEM brain tumor models enable pre-clinical studies of brain tumors that require an intact blood-brain barrier and functional immune system. Tumor-propagating cells (TPCs) in pediatric and adult brain tumors are resistant to radiotherapy and alkylating agents. Dormancy and an undifferentiated state contribute to resistance against anti-proliferative therapies. To prevent relapse in brain tumor patients, Dr. Persson develop sequential therapy regimens that induce cell cycling or promote differentiation of TPCs. He is also collaborating with several laboratories to study molecular interactions between the tumor microenvironment and TPCs after radiotherapy.
During his PhD, Dr. Persson studied glial cells, including NSCs. This worked clarified the effects of opioids, exercise and stress on NSCs. After completion of the PhD in 2003, he established a brain tumor research laboratory at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden. Supported by both Swedish and US Fellowships, he did his postdoctoral training (2005-2008) in Professor William Weiss Laboratory at University of California San Francisco studying cell of origin in murine glioma models and developing new therapies against human glioblastoma. After being promoted to Assistant Adjunct Professor in 2008, he initiated collaborations with multiple research laboratories. In 2012, Dr. Persson was promoted to Assistant Professor In-Residence at Department of Neurology. Financial support and space from the Department of Neurological Surgery and Department of Neurology at UCSF has allowed Dr. Persson to establish his independent laboratory.
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