Kathryn Lemberg, md, phd

Johns Hopkins University - School of Medicine

Investigating novel glutamine antagonists as a therapeutic strategy for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors

Dr. Lemberg is a pediatric oncologist and lab researcher at John’s Hopkins University School of Medicine. She just received her second year of funding from Pablove to continue researching a novel therapy for Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors. Her project focuses on a novel agent developed at John’s Hopkins that works differently than conventional chemotherapy, which is typically not effective on these tumors. 

DEVELOPMENT UPDATE! She’s breaking ground and has been able to effectively demonstrate in live models (mice!) that this new agent is effective in slowing tumor growth and is well tolerated. Next, she plans to combine this new treatment with other existing treatments to see if she can create something even more effective and with fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapy.

In Dr. Lemberg’s own words:

Your body needs to eat food to help it stay healthy and grow bigger and stronger. In people who have cancer, the cancer also uses parts of the food people eat (like sugar, protein, and fat, called “nutrients”) to grow bigger. Scientists have learned that cancers use nutrients differently than healthy parts of the body. My scientific research is focused on trying to understand the difference between how one particular type of cancer called “malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor” (“MPNST” for short) uses nutrients differently from healthy parts of the nerve. Right now I am very interested in how MPNST uses one particular nutrient called glutamine, which is part of proteins, to build the pieces it needs to keep growing. I hope that if I can identify differences between how MPNST uses glutamine compared to healthy nerves it will be a way to invent new treatments that keep the cancer, but not the healthy nerve, from growing. I am a doctor who loves taking care of kids and helping them feel well and and grow bigger and stronger, so it is very important to me that I can learn new ways to help kids and teenagers to have cancer to get better.



Awarded in 2018, 2019