Penn State pediatrics professor receives grant for brain cancer study

October 25, 2018

Wei Li, assistant professor of pediatrics and biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State College of Medicine, has been awarded the Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation Pediatric Brain Cancer Pilot Grant. The $40,000 award, which will support Li’s study on how the regulation and function of tumor-associated immune cells contributes to tumor progression in brain cancer, was presented at the foundation’s annual gala.

Wei Li poses for a professional headshot, wearing a button-down shirt.

Wei Li

IMAGE: Penn State

“We are so grateful to the Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation for their generous support for pediatric brain cancer research,” Li said. “This grant will help us make major progress in understanding the tumor immune environment and further our goal to find molecular targets and biomarkers for cancer therapy.”

The tumor immune microenvironment is a complex system, in which the interactions of tumor cells and various immune cells can significantly impact tumor development. Li’s lab is focused on a specific transcriptional factor (TAZ) that likely plays a key role in the tumor’s ability to hijack immune cells and use them for its growth. Li believes that such a mechanism could be exploited as a likely therapeutic target.

The Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation was established in December 2004 in memory of Meghan Bradley, who died from brain cancer on Nov. 7, 2004. To honor her life, the foundation aims to raise public awareness of, and promote research for, pediatric brain cancer.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 25, 2018