Key Personnel

Prof. Dr. med. Sabine Mueller PhD

Sabine Mueller, MD, Ph.D.,MAS serves as the Head of the Clinical Programme of the DCEz; Sabine joins from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she remains on faculty as an Adjunct Associate Professor. Sabine is a board-certified paediatrician, child neurologist and neuro-oncologist with a research programme focused on the development and implementation of novel therapies for paediatric brain tumours with an emphasis on DIPG.

Sabine has significant experience conducting multi-centre trials through established consortia, such as the Children’s Oncology Group and she leads the Pacific Paediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC), an 18 member institution clinical trial consortium, focused on developing new biologically driven trials for paediatric brain tumour patients. Novel therapy trials involving Sabine have included MTX-110 (Panobinostat), and a DIPG specific peptide vaccine.

Prof. Dr. med. Sabine Mueller PhD

Sabine Mueller, MD, Ph.D.,MAS serves as the Head of the Clinical Programme of the DCEz; Sabine joins from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she remains on faculty as an Adjunct Associate Professor. Sabine is a board-certified paediatrician, child neurologist and neuro-oncologist with a research programme focused on the development and implementation of novel therapies for paediatric brain tumours with an emphasis on DIPG.

Sabine has significant experience conducting multi-centre trials through established consortia, such as the Children’s Oncology Group and she leads the Pacific Paediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC), an 18 member institution clinical trial consortium, focused on developing new biologically driven trials for paediatric brain tumour patients. Novel therapy trials involving Sabine have included MTX-110 (Panobinostat), and a DIPG specific peptide vaccine.

Prof Dr. Javad Nazarian PhD

Javad Nazarian, Ph.D. leads the associated DIPG Research Institute. Javad is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Center for Genetic Medicine in Children’s National Medical Center, Washington D.C. and in Integrative Systems Biology at the George Washington University.

Javad’s career has been dedicated to understanding the molecular biology of DIPGs. To accomplish this, Javad has formed national and international collaborations in an effort to establish a robust and comprehensive team focusing on childhood high grade gliomas. As the Scientific Co-Chair or Children’s Brian Tumor Tissue Consortium, Javad has worked closely with the CBTTC team to help in advancing the mission of the consortium. Dedicated to the study and treatment of all paediatric brain tumours, CBTTC’s 16 member institutions, paired with the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC), have launched CAVATICA, a comprehensive paediatric genomic cloud. This has allowed for an unprecedented level of data sharing in order to find biomarkers and effective therapies for all childhood brain tumours.

Dr. Nazarian also leads a CBTTC initiative —Project Open DIPG— to bring all known DIPG data and resources under one umbrella. This will enhance the data’s accessibility by researchers and accelerate their discoveries. The ultimate goal is to consolidate biological data with respect to the disease and not the geographic location where the data were generated.

Supported primarily by Foundations, Javad’s laboratory has established avatar models of the disease, and characterized proteomics, genomics, microRNA and mRNA profiles of the tumour. His ground breaking work of developing liquid biopsy in conjunction with PNOC trials, has been one example of accelerating technological advancement for childhood brain cancers.

In his new role in DRIz, Javad will focus on expanding the international collaboration with colleagues across Europe in order to accelerate clinically translatable discoveries for childhood CNS cancers. Located at the Balgrist Campus (http://www.balgristcampus.ch/home), DRIz will have access to state-of-the art facilities to conduct cutting-edge molecular research. Additional resources, core facilities and internationally renowned centres are located within reach at University of Zurich (https://www.uzh.ch) and ETH (https://www.ethz.ch).

Javad will continue his focus on understanding the DIPG and brainstem gliomas with the focus of utilizing research data to derive clinical therapies and therapeutic delivery wholly in concert with Sabine Mueller and the DCEz with the only goal of achieving increased patient survival statistics.

Prof. Dr. med. Michael Grotzer

Professor Dr. Michael Grotzer is the Full Professor of Paediatrics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich and the Director of the Medical Clinic as well as the Medical Director at the University Children’s Hospital Zurich.

Professor Grotzer was previously the Head of Neuro Oncology at the University Children’s Hospital, Zurich. He studied in Zurich and worked at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, at St. Anna Children’s Hospital in Vienna and at the Children’s Hospitals in both St. Gallen and Davos in Switzerland.

Prof. Dr. med. Michael Grotzer

Professor Dr. Michael Grotzer is the Full Professor of Pediatrics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich and the Director of the Medical Clinic as well as the Medical Director at the University Children’s Hospital Zurich.

Professor Grotzer was previously the Head of Neuro Oncology and Immunology at the Children’s Hospital, Zurich. He studied and worked at CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia), at St. Anna Children’s Hospital in Vienna and at the Children’s Hospitals in both St. Gallen and Davos in Switzerland.

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Prof. Dr. med. Niklaus Krayenbuehl

Dr. Krayenbühl has been the senior neurosurgeon and Co-Head of Paediatric Neurosurgery at the Kinderspital since 2017, having studied and worked previously in the USA and Lausanne, Switzerland. Dr. Krayenbühl is also the Chief Physician and the Deputy Hospital Director, Department of Neurosurgery, the University Hospital Zurich.

His primary areas of focus are paediatric neurosurgery, microsurgical treatment of brain tumours, convection enhanced delivery implant surgery, cranial microsurgery, epilepsy surgery, microsurgical anatomy.

Dr. Stephanie Mathes PhD

Stephanie Mathes, PhD contributes to the DCEz as project manager. She is a critically important contributor to the essential translation of therapy from research to clinic.

Until 2017 she was head of the “Tissue Engineering” research group of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences with the focus on 3D tissue model establishment for drug development. Afterwards she expanded her knowledge and competencies in respect to clinical trial management at the University of Zurich. In her position as “International study manager” Dr. Mathes supported the establishment of the Center of Implant Research with multiple partners from academia and med-tech industry.

Her primary aim now is to realize translation of promising therapeutic approaches from bench to bedside.

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Dr. Stephanie Mathes PhD

Dr Stephanie Mathes is the International Study Manager of the “Centre of implant research”. Prior to joining the DIPG Research Institute, Zurich within the Children’s Hospital, Zurich, Stephanie was part of the Management of international and multi-centre clinical trials at the University Hospital Zurich.

She worked on contract negotiations with partners from academia and industry. Stephanie is a critically important contributor to the essential translation of therapy from research to clinic.

Dr. med. Nicolas Gerber

He is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric oncology, and pharmaceutical medicine, and he is active in the development of clinical trials within international collaborative groups and in the evaluation of novel treatment approaches for patients with DIPG and other brain tumors.

Dr. med. Ana Guerreiro Stücklin

Dr. Ana Guerreiro Stücklin is a pediatric oncologist. After her medical studies at the University of Porto, Portugal, she graduated from the MD-PhD Program at the University of Zurich and completed her pediatric residency at the University Children’s Hospital in Zurich.

She was a pediatric hematology/oncology and subsequently neuro-oncology fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto until 2018, when she returned to Zurich and joined the Neuro-Oncology Group at the University Children’s Hospital.

Her research interests include the study of chemoresistance, metastases and the molecular causes of treatment failure, especially in gliomas and medulloblastomas affecting infants and young children. Additionally, she is interested in the development of new targeted therapies and clinical trials for pediatric brain tumors.

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Mrs Tiffany Wermelinger

Tiffany has had first-hand experience of dealing with all of the issues of paediatric hospital care as a mother, both in Zurich and with the demands of taking her own child overseas for important treatment.

Tiffany is deeply qualified to support parents who are bringing their children to the DCEz; she has extensive knowledge of the University Children’s Hospital Zurich and of Zurich as a city.

Tiffany is deeply motivated by the same goal as the DCEz team, which is to improve therapeutic benefit for kids with DIPG and other midline gliomas, and ultimately to find a cure for these children.

She is committed to supporting the medical team at the DCEz to provide support and pastoral care for children and their parents to the highest possible standards.

Tiffany’s skill sets include organisation, logistical coordination and the capability to have a deep sense of empathy with parents who are experiencing the trauma of caring for a sick child.

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