Garnis Lab Research Technician: Razan Sheta
Vestibular Schwannomas (VS) are tumours arising from the vestibular portion of the eighth cranial nerve. Although VS are benign tumours and they usually present with hearing loss only in one ear, disease symptoms secondary to uncontrolled growth or secondary to treatment can be quite severe; larger tumors can cause compression of the brainstem, leading to symptoms associated with increased cranial pressure and death. Existing treatments, while effective in controlling tumour growth (radiotherapy) or in removing tumours (microsurgery), place a heavy burden on the patient and may cause additional nerve damage. Hearing cannot be restored. New targeted therapies that are able to eliminate the tumor in a less morbid manner may also be able to restore hearing upon tumor shrinkage. Molecular analysis of VS represents the best approach for identifying these new potential targets. My research focuses on identifying the molecular mechanism of VS growth.