David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor and vice chair for research affairs in the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the Abhijit Guha Award from the Society for Neuro-Oncology and the Section on Tumors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
The award honors an accomplished investigator who has achieved significant results both in the laboratory and in the clinic, and who has played an active role in mentoring the next generation of neuro-oncology professionals.
For more than 25 years, Gutmann has dedicated his academic career to genetic causes of childhood brain tumors, specifically the neurofibromatosis (NF) cancer predisposition syndromes, a set of complex genetic disorders that cause tumors to grow on nerves in the brain and throughout the body. He established a clinical program for NF at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 1994 and the Washington University NF Center in 2004. His work on NF has broad implications to neuro-oncology, ranging from defining the cells of origin for these cancers to elucidating the role of immune cells in tumor formation and growth, and in vision loss linked to brain tumors. In addition, Gutmann and his colleagues have leveraged both human stem cells and genetically engineered mice to define the factors that underlie disease risk, with a goal of improving precision medicine for this variable disease.