“My laboratory is focused on developing new single-cell and other genomics technologies with the goal of identifying the cellular origins of brain tumors and the origins of other brain diseases whose causes remain a mystery. The Sontag Foundation’s support of high-risk research is vital to enabling the next generation of breakthroughs for brain cancer. Our lab is deeply grateful to be joining the Sontag community and its distinguished group of researchers.”
- Dr. Gilad D. Evrony
- Assistant Professor, Center for Human Genetics and Genomics, Depts. of Pediatrics and Neuroscience, New York University School of Medicine, 2018-present
About DSA-Funded Research
Over half a million people in the US have a brain tumor or other central nervous system tumor, of which about 1/3 are malignant with poor prognosis and little improvement in treatments over the past few decades. Brain tumors are also remarkably diverse, with more than 100 known types, posing a challenge for research and treatment. However, the origins of brain tumors-i.e. the specific brain cell type that initiates each type of tumor-are almost entirely unknown. Put simply, we do not know where brain tumors come from. This has been a major roadblock hindering research progress, because current classifications, research, and clinical trials are blind to the cell of origin that likely underlies much of each tumor's characteristics. Indeed, studies of induced brain tumors in animals have shown that tumor diversity is not only due to different genetic mutations, but also due to different "cells of origin". Importantly, the enduring mystery of the origins of brain tumors is due to the lack of a method to trace the lineages, or "family tree", of cells in humans. This project will create new "single-cell" technologies to reconstruct lineage histories revealing tumors' origins. These technologies have the potential to reveal the origins of brain tumors, and may facilitate future lineage-targeted therapies.
"He is an outstanding scientist in terms of experience, willingness to tackle high-risk - high-reward research questions, high quality publications, and strong leadership promise. His highly original studies contributed not only to new technology development (single-cell genomics) but the demonstration that humans have widespread somatic mosaicism in the brain. His work has won several prestigious awards, including the ‘Eppendorf & Science Magazine Prize for Neurobiology’ and the MIT Technology Review ‘World’s Top Innovators Under 35’ award (TR35)."
Dr. Aravinda Chakravarti
New York University School of Medicine
"Gilad is scientifically fearless, technically outstanding, equally skilled in the design, the completion, and in the technical and even statistical analysis of complex experiments, and is as comfortable programming as he is at the bench. He is a remarkable intellect, headed for truly major contributions to science, and I consider myself lucky that he came my way."
Dr. Christopher A. Walsh
Boston Children's Hospital