Open Science Forum: The DIPG Tumor Cell Hotel

This is the weekly blog update of a joint effort by Storm the Heavens and cc-TDI to find a treatment for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).  Please bookmark this page, and visit weekly!

about DIPG

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is the greatest unmet need among childhood brain tumors, and this is in part because DIPG tumor cells weave themselves into the fabric of the pons nerve cell tracts. Our goal is to un-weave them!

about our Team

Dr. Alexandria Harrold (Ali) is a neuroscientist at cc-TDI leading this project team.  Her mentor is Dr. Charles Keller.

about our Inspiration

Storm the Heavens was established to honor the legacy of Philomena “Bean” Stendardo, who was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma at the age of 7. After fighting DIPG for 10 months, she was called home to our Lord. She leaves behind a legacy of faith that touched the lives of everyone that met her. In her wake, Storm the Heavens aims to bring advancements in DIPG research to the forefront.

update 6/06/2018:

By popular demand, we are switching to less-frequent, more content-rich monthly posts.  These will appear as new blog posts on our website.  For exclusive! week to week updates of late-breaking results, email molly@cc-tdi.org to be subscribed.  Thank you for supporting this DIPG research!

 

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update 04/20/218:

The project has launched! and the press release has been published.  Tune back in every week at this webpage for updates added below!

update 05/03/2018:

The funding kickoff for this project was May 1st – in anticipation of the start, additional DIPG cell lines and reagents for growing the cells and doing experiments have been ordered.  Cells are coming out of liquid nitrogen storage and into the incubator this week to start experiments.  DIPG cells can require TLC … so don’t be surprised if this takes a few weeks to get them ‘just right’ for experiments.  more soon!

update 05/10/2018:

We should have cell images by the end of the week (we just received the media for the cells on Monday).  I’ve also been working out some kinks with our migration assays (aka Boyden chamber assays) with some less precious cell lines with another lab member in preparation for a similar assay with DIPG cells to see if we can attract DIPG tumor cells to migrate to “the tumor cell hotel.”  Additionally, I’m testing out a new means of introducing fluorescent proteins into primary and neuronal cells, like DIPG cells, which will be helpful to track DIPG cells in all our future experiments.

update 5/31/2018:

We have several DIPG cell lines in culture right now, a couple of which are pictured below.  Many of these are extremely slow growing but once we have enough cells of a given cell line we’ll begin experiments with them to see if the cells will migrate to particular chemotractants (many of which we have in-house ready and waiting).  For good measure, too, we’re confirming the identity of each of these cell lines prior to starting an experiment (this is a best practices measure we always do).

update 6/06/2018:

By popular demand, we are switching to less-frequent, more content-rich monthly posts.  These will appear as new blog posts on our website.  For exclusive! week to week updates of late-breaking results, email molly@cc-tdi.org to be subscribed.  Thank you for supporting this DIPG research!

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