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Northcott Lab: About Us

Welcome to the lab of Paul A. Northcott, PhD

Northcott Lab Group

The Northcott Lab aims to fully characterize the molecular, cellular, and biological basis of medulloblastoma, one of the most prevalent types of malignant childhood brain cancer. The foundation of our work is based upon recent comprehensive next-generation genomic analyses through which we have discovered the genes, pathways, and molecular processes recurrently altered in patients with medulloblastoma. Our current focus is to summarize these somatic alterations in the context of medulloblastoma subgroups and functionally validate candidate driver genes and pathways using a variety of technically advanced in vivo methodologies. In addition, we are working closely with the Division of Neuro-Oncology at St. Jude to improve understanding of how specific genomic variants correlate with the demographic and clinical features of medulloblastoma patients treated on clinical trials conducted at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Collectively, these studies will lead to a better understanding of the molecular and cellular origins of medulloblastoma and translate to improved stratification and treatment options for patients and their families.

News and Information

Inherited mutation can predispose children to a type of brain tumor
Collaboration co-led by researchers at St. Jude discovers a novel predisposition gene in pediatric medulloblastoma.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital News Release. April 1, 2020

To understand a childhood brain tumor, researchers turn to single-cell analysis
Research at St. Jude and Massachusetts General Hospital digs into the cells of origin for key medulloblastoma subtypes.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital News Release. July 24, 2019

High-resolution genomic map gives scientists unprecedented view of brain development
Detailed measurements of genes in individual brain cells allows scientists to trace specific developmental trajectories in the cerebellum.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital News Release. September 13, 2018

St. Jude trial identifies a medulloblastoma subset that requires less aggressive therapy
St. Jude researchers have identified a subtype of the brain tumor medulloblastoma that is associated with improved survival of infants treated with less aggressive, risk-adapted therapy.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital News Release. May 17, 2018

Honors and Awards

  • 2020 St. Baldrick’s Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award
  • 2016 Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award
  • 2016 Pew-Stewart Scholar for Cancer Research
  • 2016 Inaugural AACR NextGen Grant for Transformative Cancer Research
  • 2015 2015 V Foundation V Scholar Award
  • 2014 Pediatric Basic Science Award (Society for Neuro-Oncology Annual Meeting)
  • 2014 DKFZ Alumni Award (German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ)
  • 2013 Lap-Chee Tsui Publication Award for 2012 (CIHR Institute of Genetics)
  • 2012 Roman Herzog PostDoctoral Fellowship (Hertie Foundation)
  • 2011 Stuart Alan Hoffman Memorial Prize (U of T)