Science Acceleration by Megan Cleary

Recently, I have been moving through the submission and peer review process for two manuscripts relating to side projects I have completed in the lab. The first manuscript investigates the combinatorial effect of the mek inhibitor trametinib with γ-secretase inhibitors on rhabdomyosarcoma cell viability. It was published in April on the pre-print server BioRxIV and can be found here: The second manuscript examines the efficacy of commercially available compounds which claim to inhibit the NF-κB pathway, then tests the most potent inhibitors on a patient derived cell culture of ependymoma. It was recently discovered that supratentorial ependymoma exhibits a RELA fusion which alters NF-κB pathway activity, and one goal of this research was to identify a compound that would inhibit proliferation in cells with aberrant NF-κB activity. This manuscript has been submitted and is currently under editorial review. 

I am also been preparing to submit the first manuscript pertaining to my focus project in the lab. The in-preparation manuscript describes some of the research I have completed as part of a large NIH funded grant awarded to cc-TDI. This work studies the role of IL-4, a cytokine that is secreted by cells, and its receptor IL-4R, in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (aRMS). My work expands on previously published research on IL-4 and IL-4R from our lab which indicates that in mice, IL-4 blockade is effective in reducing metastasis of aRMS.  In my current work I use a clinically available IL-4R inhibitory antibody and test in vivo the effectiveness on reducing cell growth or metastasis in various adult and pediatric cancers to see if these results are reproducible between cancer types. This work should be submitted by the end of the month so stay tuned!

Finally, I’m also delighted to be working closely with Ms. Shamamah Kahn, a Westview High School student. Shamamah has been interning in the lab for almost a year and has set herself apart from other student interns. She has been a valued support to the scientists, and I am excited to be interacting with her more directly moving forward. 

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