Citing a growing interest in the PLGA arena, Principal Investigator, Dr. Eric Raabe and his colleagues Dr. Rodriguez and Dr. Eberhart are focusing an increasing amount of their expertise in PLGA. Building on previous successes in creating human neural stem cell models, Dr. Raabe’s project will test the central hypothesis that activation of mTOR and suppression of p16 in human neural stem cells will allow these cells to tolerate constitutive activation of RAS/BRAF/MAP kinase pathway, leading to increased growth in vitro and tumorigenicity in vivo. The goal of the experiments will be to develop a genetically defined human neural stem cell model of PLGA. This will assist significantly in drug development studies and will complement the mouse model recently developed in the Gutmann lab. With success of this project, this model will be of great value for preclinical testing of novel therapeutics as it will allow scientists to screen novel therapeutic compounds in a rapid fashion, speeding the development of NEW drugs for attacking PLGA brain tumors.