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Cancer Research UK Awards $7.4M to Stanford-led Team for Brain Tumor Project

NEW YORK — Cancer Research UK said on Monday that it has awarded a Stanford University-led research team $7.4 million to use a new in situ RNA sequencing technology to identify the drivers of brain tumor growth in children.

The technology — called spatially resolved transcript amplification readout mapping, or STARmap — allows for the study of gene expression while maintaining 3D spatial information at single-cell resolution. It was described by its developers in a study published in Science last year.

With the funding, Stanford's Michelle Monje and international collaborators will use STARmap to generate detailed 3D maps of developing human and mouse brains, as well as brain tumors, in order to identify signals and mechanisms that are used by cancer to spread, according to Cancer Research UK.

The work could lead to the identification of new drug targets for pediatric brain cancer, the cancer charity noted.