Shayna Cohen
Shayna Cohen
Shayna Cohen
Ivy Neurological Sciences Internship Program

School: Scottsdale Preparatory Academy

Hometown: Scottsdale

Mentor: Kendall Jensen, Ph. D.

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Transcriptome analysis of recurrent papillary craniopharyngiomas

Craniopharyngiomas (CPs) are benign, slow-growing cellular tumors that reside near the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and optic nerve. Although they are uncommon, making up 1.2% - 4.6% of all intracranial brain tumors, the effects of CPs on quality of life are grim. Along with disrupting hormone function and vision, CPs have high recurrence rates, forcing patients to undergo multiple surgical resections and many bouts of radiotherapy. While the B-RAF V600E mutation was recently shown to be a driving mutation in papillary craniopharyngiomas (pCPs), there is still an unmet clinical need for treatment targeted toward battling the recurrent and persistent nature of these pCPs. The differences between tumors, those that recur and grow quickly, versus those that grow more slowly, are unknown. Through next-generation whole transcriptome sequencing of pCP tissue samples, we will analyze the transcriptomes of recurrent pCPs and non-recurrent pCPs. Through this transcriptome analysis, differences in gene expression will be identified and hopefully used to elucidate underlying changes driving tumor growth. These new data sets would provide additional information about the genetic cause of high recurrence rates in pCPs. Additionally, through NEXTFlex Small RNA Sequencing, expression of small, non-coding YRNA fragments in benign CP samples will be compared to their expression in malignant glioma samples to better understand the differences in small RNA profiles between the two tumor types, and the role YRNAs play in metastasis.

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