Shenandoah's Mountain Movers
Shenandoah is excited to announce the kickoff of our new Mountain Movers program, commending our most influential scientists and loyal customers!
Our FIRST EVER Mountain Mover scientist is so incredibly fitting because she has been a Shenandoah customer for almost as long as Shenandoah has been making proteins. Her name is Dr. Michelle Monje-Deisseroth, MD, PhD and she is on a mission to find a treatment for pediatric brain cancer.
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) is a devastating brain cancer that afflicts children ages four to nine. The disease is particularly heart-wrenching because it has no effective treatment options, survival times are measured in months, and it is 100% fatal. DIPG tumors are extremely destructive and rapidly progressive due to their location in the pons brain structure, which is required for critical brain functions such as breathing.
The major hurdle for understanding the development of DIPG tumors and for designing treatment strategies lies is in gaining access to tumor cells. Since DIPG tumors intertwine with normal brain tissue, surgical removal or biopsy presents many challenges, including the risk of causing irreparable damage. Thus, post-mortem access to DIPG tumors is the only option for research analysis. With the generous premission of families of children who have succumbed to DIPG, Dr. Monje-Deisseroth and others have worked to culture DIPG tumor cells and develop a tumor model in mice. This work has led to significant progress in identifying the tumor source and the mechanisms of tumor growth. Dr. Monje-Deisseroth has published several papers in which she utilizes Shenandoah’s growth factors (FGF-basic, EGF, and PDGFs) to culture DIPG cells and test drug compounds that slow tumor cell growth. This has led to the identification of several promising compounds to be examined for clinical trials in hopes of dramatically enhancing the treatment options available to children with DIPG. At the moment, Dr. Monje-Deisseroth’s work at Stanford University primarily focuses on the role of epigenetics underlying DIPG disease progression.
In addition to her research, Dr. Monje-Deisseroth works closely with a group called The McKenna Claire Foundation. They support the global distribution of DIPG cells to labs interested in studying DIPG. The McKenna Claire Foundation covers the cell banking, cell culture, and shipping charges associated with the DIPG cells in hopes that with more labs studying the disease, quicker advancements towards DIPG treatments will be made.
In Shenandoah’s opinion, Dr. Monje-Deisseroth is a model scientist and inspires us to do what we can to help the DIPG cause. We have created a DIPG protein bundle containing the proteins needed for culturing DIPG cells and have discounted it 20% from our retail pricing. We hope that making these products more affordable will increase experimentation and lead to more questions being answered. We are also proud to offer Dr. Monje-Deisseroth our support with a product grant. Although Shenandoah is a very small company, we are thrilled to contribute to Dr. Monje-Deisseroth being able to distribute the DIPG cell line and more effectively focus on her groundbreaking research.
Please review her recent publications citing Shenandoah’ growth factors HERE
Please visit Dr. Michelle Monje-Deisseroth, MD, PhD Lab's webpage HERE
Learn more about DIPG causes here: