Jun 07, 2022 / Research & Innovation

Scottish Rite for Children Awarded Department of Defense Research Grant

Researchers at Scottish Rite for Children were awarded a $100,000 grant from the Department of Defense’s Neurofibromatosis Research Program. This grant will fund efforts to investigate new treatments for bone fractures in children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1).
NF1 is an uncommon genetic disorder associated with pediatric and adult tumors. Some children with NF1 develop orthopedic conditions requiring treatment, such as scoliosis and persistent bone fractures. For many years, Scottish Rite has been recognized as an international leader in the care of children with NF1. Recently researchers at Scottish Rite, led by former Assistant Chief of Staff B. Stephens Richards, M.D., co-led a clinical trial testing the INFUSE graft to treat persistent fractures in children with NF1. Surgery is currently the best option for children with NF1, but a team of Scottish Rite researchers is dedicated to developing new, less invasive treatment methods.
“Our team has dedicated years of research to understand why these persistent fractures occur in children with NF1,” says Jonathan Rios, Ph.D., assistant director of Molecular Genetics and lead investigator of the study. While several drugs are either approved by the FDA or currently in clinical trials to treat tumor manifestations of NF1, no such treatments exist for orthopedic conditions associated with NF1. “All of our team’s efforts have led to this moment, where we can now test new therapies in the lab. And by evaluating therapies already in clinical trials for other aspects of NF1, we hope to rapidly translate the most promising of these therapies to treat fractures in children with NF1,” Rios says.
“Dr. Rios’ research will allow us to advance how we care for children with NF1 suffering from persistent fractures and will improve the lives of children with NF1 at Scottish Rite and around the world,” Chief of Staff for Scottish Rite for Children Daniel J. Sucato, M.D., M.S., says. “Dr. Rios’ research exemplifies Scottish Rite’s reputation as an international leader in translational research that will bring new treatments to children for years to come,” Director of Basic Research Carol Wise says.
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Jonathan J. Rios, Ph.D., is the assistant director of Molecular Genetics at Scottish Rite, as well as an associate professor in the McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development and the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Pediatrics and is a member of the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW). Carol Wise, Ph.D., is the Director of Basic Research at Scottish Rite and is a professor in the McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development and the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Pediatrics at UTSW. Dr. Sucato is the Chief of Staff at Scottish Rite and is a Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UTSW.

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