Institute scientists receive award for pediatric brain tumor research

Will present research at national meeting

October 15, 2020 (Austin, Minn.) – Drs. Charles Day, James Robinson, and Edward “Ted” Hinchcliffe of The Hormel Institute University of Minnesota were awarded the Marit Mary Swenson Award for Pediatric DMG/DIPG from the Society for Neuro-Oncology. The award will be presented during the 25th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology in November, an organization dedicated to advancing research and treatment of brain tumors.  The national award was created in honor of a Minnesota teenager who passed away from a pediatric brain tumor at age 16.

Marit Swenson of North Oaks was training for a half-marathon with her mother, Jennifer Swenson, at the time she was first diagnosed. A vibrant teen involved in sports, music, academics, she succumbed to the cancer within a year. Jennifer ran the New York City Marathon in honor of her daughter to raise money for pediatric brain tumor research – specifically for pediatric high-grade glioma, a rare and aggressive form of pediatric brain tumor.

With this award, Dr. Day will present their research, “Suppression of histone H3.3 mitotic phosphorylation drives development of H3K27M-mutant diffuse midline gliomas”, at the upcoming 25th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, which will be held virtually this year due to COVID-19.

Dr. Day is a researcher in the Cellular Dynamics lab at The Hormel Institute, led by Dr. Edward “Ted” Hinchcliffe and is aided in his work through the Hormel Institute’s Cell Signaling & Tumorigenesis lab led by Dr. James Robinson. The Cellular Dynamics lab researches pediatric brain cancer and Dr. Hinchcliffe was awarded nearly $1 million earlier this year for a pediatric brain tumor research project done in conjunction with Dr. Jann Sarkaria at Mayo Clinic.

“It is an honor to receive this award from the Swenson Family,” said Dr. Hinchcliffe. “Charlie’s collaboration with the Robinson Lab has made an important step forward in identifying therapeutic vulnerabilities necessary to develop treatment strategies for this terrible disease.”

Drs. Hinchcliffe and Day have also been invited to share their research on pediatric diffuse midline gliomas at the American Society for Cell Biology annual meeting hosted in Philadelphia, PA and held remotely and the 19th International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology hosted in Nagano, Japan and likely held remotely. Both meetings will be in December 2020.