Nancy Ratner, PhD
College of Medicine - UC
Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics
The long term interest of the Ratner laboratory is to define the interactions between glial cells and axons during nervous system development and how those interactions go awry in disease, with the goal of providing novel therapies to patients with nervous system diseases. Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an inherited autosomal dominant disorder (1:3500 humans) that involves the formation of many nerve-associated tumors and other non-tumor related problems. Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) involves the development of Schwannomas, benign tumors composed of Schwann cells (peripheral glial cells). Elucidating the mechanisms by which the nerve-associated tumors arise in both diseases can not only lead to the development of therapy for NF1 and NF2 patients, but can also useful in providing information about non-inherited nervous system cancers.