An Introduction to SNACC’s 2021 Annual Meeting Keynote Speaker, Gelareh Zadeh, MD, PhD, FRCS(C), FAANS

Lashmi Venkatraghavan, MD, FRCA, FRCPC and Tumul Chowdhury MD, DM, FRCPC
University of Toronto, Canada

Dr. Venkatraghavan
Lashmi Venkatraghavan, MD, FRCA, FRCPC
Dr. Chowdhury
Tumul Chowdhury MD, DM, FRCPC

It is a great honor to write the introduction summary for SNACC’s 2021 Annual Meeting Keynote Speaker Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, a well-renowned neurosurgeon, and neuroscientist who will speak about her work on 'Metabolites in Brain Tumors and Blood-Brain Barrier'.

Dr. Zadeh is Professor of Surgery and Dan Chair of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. At the University Health Network, she is the Head, Division of Neurosurgery at Toronto Western Hospital and Co-Director of Krembil Brain Institute. In addition, Dr. Zadeh works as a senior scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Research Institute. She was most recently appointed as the Wilkins Family Chair in Brain Tumor Research. She has served as the President of the Society of Neuro-Oncology (SNO) 2020-21. Most recently, she was appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of Neuro-Oncology Advances, an official journal of the Society of Neuro-Oncology and the European Association of Neuro-Oncology.

Dr. Zadeh graduated from Medical School at the University of Manitoba and completed her neurosurgery residency and PhD at the University of Toronto. She completed a fellowship at University College London.

Dr. Zadeh
Gelareh Zadeh, MD, PhD, FRCS(C), FAANS

Dr. Zadeh has an active basic science research laboratory with peer-review grant funding from CIHR, CCSRI, NIH Moonshot, DOD, Brain Tumor Charity UK, Terry Fox Research Institute, and Children's Tumor Foundation. She has published her research in numerous high-impact journals such as Nature Medicine, Nature Genetics, Cancer Cell, Cancer Discovery, and Nature Communications. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious research awards including the American Brain Tumor Association Translational Research Award, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Young Investigator award, and William E. Rawls Prize from the Canadian Cancer Research Society.

Her main research focus is on studying tumor metabolism in glioblastomas. Her team has shown that Hexokinase-2 (HK2) is aberrantly expressed and is an important mediator of aerobic glycolysis in malignant brain tumors, providing a proliferative and cell survival advantage to cancer cells. Furthermore, they have shown that HK2 is responsible for the highly invasive nature of malignant brain tumors, which is one of the key factors responsible for malignant brain tumors being resistant to therapy and exhibiting an extremely rapid recurrence rate. 

In addition, they have used an in-silico drug screen to identify drugs that can be repurposed to modulate tumor metabolism and have moved into phase 0 clinical trials examining the pharmacodynamics of the entry of metabolic altering drugs in brain tumors. Most recently, they have used tandem mass spectrometry approaches to look at the global metabolic profiles of glioblastomas and have correlated these findings to genomic results leading to novel prognostic and therapeutic classifications for GBM.

We are greatly confident that Dr. Zadeh's research, expertise, and passion will be a highlight of the SNACC 49th Annual Meeting.

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