About the NMTRC

The Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC) is a group of 25 universities and children’s hospitals headquartered at the Helen Devos Children’s Hospital that offer a nationwide network of childhood cancer clinical trials. These trials are based on the research from a group of closely collaborating investigators who are linked with laboratory programs developing novel therapies for high-risk neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma.

Our mission is to create a national collaborative effort of researchers, oncologists and family advocates to bring forward new therapies for children with relapsed neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma with the goal of improving the quality of life and survival of children with neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma.

Download our informational PDF for more information about the NMTRC.

Meet our Team

Giselle Sholler, MD MSc
Chair, NMTRC

Clinical Research Team

William Ferguson
William Roberts
Don Eslin
Jacqueline M Kraveka
Amy-Lee Bredlau
Javier Oesterheld
Deanna Mitchell
Nehal Parikh
Kathleen Neville
Randal Wada
Peter Zage
Devang Pastakia
Francis Eshun
Sharon Lockhart
Michael Kelly
Mark Fluchel
Jawhar Rawwas
Valerie Brown
Ted Laetsch

Scientific Research Team

Jeff Trent
Jeff Bond
André Bachmann
Jacqueline M Kraveka
Abhinav Nagulapally
Jeremy Miller
Jeff Kiefer

Lab Team
Ping Zhao
Elizabeth VanSickle
Tracey Avequin
Mary Durston
Tyler Maser

NMTRC Administration

Genevieve Bergendahl – Clinical Program Manager
Aylssa Van Der Werff – Clinical Program Coordinator
Monica Fleeman – Clinical Program Coordinator
Shari McKee – Administrator

Parent Advisory Board

Patrick Lacey – Beat NB Foundation
Kyle Matthews – Because of Ezra Foundation
Dawn Burgess – SuperBub’s Foundation
Andy Mikulak – Max’s Ring of Fire
Mayank Gala – Ishan Gala Foundation
Lisa Riniolo – Melina’s White Light Foundation


    Associate Professor, Haworth Family Endowed Director of Innovative Therapeutics Clinic Pediatric Oncology, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Head, Pediatric Oncology Translational Research Program, Neuroblastoma Laboratory, HDVCH.

    Dr. Sholler received her M.D. from New York Medical College, in Valhalla, NY. She was a resident in pediatrics and, subsequently, a fellow in pediatric hematology/oncology at Brown University, before coming to international prominence for her work with relapsed neuroblastoma at the University of Vermont. She then transferred her program to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI. She is now Haworth Director of the Innovative Therapeutics Clinic focused on early phase clinical trials for pediatric cancers Here she sees patients as part of the NMTRC which she Chairs. Dr. Sholler’s lab research at HDVCH where she runs the Neuroblastoma Translational Research Laboratory is focused on identifying new therapies for children with neuroblastoma.

      JEFFREY TRENT, PH.D., F.A.C.M.G.President and Scientific Director, TGEN President and Research Director, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)

      Jeffrey Trent continues as the founding President and Research Director of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona, a position he has held since 2002.

      Dr. Trent’s research has provided important insights into the genetic basis of cancer. He is the author of more than 300 manuscripts in the scientific literature, numerous book chapters, invited reviews in the scientific literature, and hundreds of invited lectures. He has received numerous honors and awards and he has sat on the editorial boards of a dozen scientific publications. He specializes in developing and integrating novel “omic” technologies, supporting studies of molecular changes related to the predisposition to, and progression of, human cancers and other complex diseases.

      Dr. Trent’s previous faculty positions have included: The University of Arizona, where he was Deputy Director and Director for Basic Science of the Arizona Comprehensive Cancer Center; the University of Michigan, where he held the E. Maisel Endowed Professorship in Cancer Genetics, Professor of Human Genetics and Radiation Oncology, and Deputy Director and Director of Basic Research for the Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center; and continuing Adjunct Professorships at Johns Hopkins University and at Arizona State University. He also is a Diplomate of the American College of Medical Genetics. And he is a Member of: the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center; the American Association for Cancer Research; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the American Society of Human Genetics; and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

      Dr. Trent also previously served as Director of the Division of Intramural Research of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health. Under his guidance from 1993 to 2002, the Division became an internationally recognized research center in the field of human genetics.

        ANDRÉ BACHMANN, PHD, MSAndré S. Bachmann, MSc, PhD Professor and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University

        Dr. André S. Bachmann is a Full Professor of Pediatrics with tenure in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University (MSU) and serves as the Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics. Before moving to MSU in 2015, he spent most of his 20-year academic career at the University of Hawaii, Pacific Biosciences Research Center, the NCI-designated University of Hawaii Cancer Center, and most recently, the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy where he was a tenured Full Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He held an additional appointment as Adjunct Professor in Cell and Molecular Biology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. He worked as a research scientist in the U.S. biotechnology industry (1999-2001) and performed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Zürich (1998-1999) under the direction of Dr. Karin Moelling. He received both PhD (Biology, 1998) and MSc degrees (Microbiology, 1994) from the University of Zürich in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). He won a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Young Investigator Scholarship Award (1994-1998) in support of his PhD project, which he performed as an international graduate student at the University of Hawaii.

        Dr. Bachmann has a vibrant research program in cancer cell biology which spans from basic drug discovery to translational oncology and clinical drug advancement in neuroblastoma, a devastating pediatric cancer. One major research focus is to investigate ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), a key enzyme that regulates polyamine biosynthesis. He pioneered the repurposing of a FDA-approved trypanosomiasis drug (ODC inhibitor DFMO) for the treatment of relapsed/refractory neuroblastoma cancer patients. His drug regimen has advanced to phase II clinical studies conducted by Dr. Giselle Sholler at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital who heads the NMTRC. For his efforts to move a drug from “bench to bedside” he received the inaugural “2010 Weinman Innovator Award for Translational Research”. He publishes his research in high-impact journals (for example, Nature, PNAS, Cancer Research, Oncogene), serves on several editorial boards (for example, AACR journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics), and reviews grant applications for NCI and other funding agencies. His scientific accomplishments have been featured in the public domain in the newspapers and TV reports. He has 14-years of classroom experience in teaching cell and molecular biology, oncology, pharmacology, chemoprevention, neurophysiology, and neuropathology. He is frequently invited as a guest speaker at international conferences, universities, and hospitals.

        In addition to his active collaboration with Dr. Sholler and the NMTRC, Dr. Bachmann established a comprehensive network of collaborators in the U.S. and Europe, which, for example, led to the discovery of a new proteasome inhibitor class, the syrbactins (Nature, 2008, 452:755-8). Dr. Bachmann also identified a novel endosome-resident protein called PRAF2 which is a prognostic marker in neuroblastoma (Clinical Cancer Research, 2007, 13:6312-9).

        • PETER ZAGE, MD, PHD
          PETER ZAGE, MD, PHDAssistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine

          Dr. Peter Zage is a member of the Solid Tumor Program, Neuroblastoma Program, and the Developmental Therapeutics Program. He is interested in the efficacy of novel therapies for children with neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, and other childhood solid tumors.

          • JEFFREY BOND, PHD
            JEFFREY BOND, PHDResearch Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Vermont Cancer Center, University of Vermont

            Dr. Bond received his Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Rochester, and obtained postdoctoral training at Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined the faculty of the UVM College of Medicine in 1995, and his research program focuses on genome stability & expression.

              JACQUELINE M. KRAVEKA, MDAssistant Professor of Pediatrics College of Medicine Medical University of South Carolina

              Dr. Kraveka received her MD from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, North Miami Beach, FL. Her research is focused on the regulation of telomerase by ceramide in human neuroblastoma differentiation and telomerase inhibition.

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