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Donna Senger
Senior Investigator, Lady Davis Institute
Associate Professor,
Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology, McGill University

Dr. Donna Senger is a Senior Investigator at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, an Associate Professor in the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology at McGill University, and a founding scientist of Arch Cancer Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Arch Biopartners. Dr. Senger has had a long-standing interest on the development of pediatric and adult central nervous system (CNS) tumours including defining the molecular characteristics of invasive glioma, investigating cancer stem cells as therapeutic targets and understanding how the brain microenvironment impacts treatment. More recently Dr. Senger’s research has focused on mechanisms important for the development of organ selective cancer metastasis, establishing in vivo cancer models for preclinical testing and identification and implementation of therapeutics for the treatment of sarcoma and metastatic melanoma.
Major Research Activities
Dr. Senger’s specific research interests include:

Pediatric and adult central nervous system tumours including defining the molecular characteristics with a specific interest in investigating the brain microenvironment and how it impacts the growth and progression of brain tumours. Dr. Senger has established a track record of taking some of the discoveries from the bench to the clinic.

Identification and implementation of therapeutics for the development of organ specific cancer metastasis with a particular emphasis in the areas of melanoma and osteosarcoma and the role inflammatory pathways play in these processes. Specifically, Dr. Senger is interested in identifying molecules within a specific organ endothelium.

Establishment of a preclinical in vivo drug-screening core and a “live” pediatric tumour bank that focuses on the establishment of pediatric-patient-derived-xenografts from rare cancers with a specific focus in the area of brain tumours, sarcomas and neuroblastoma. These activities support the Terry Fox PROFYLE (Precision Oncology for Young People) Model Systems Node.

Recent Publications
De Boeck A, Ahn BY, D’Mello C, Lun X, Menon SV, Alsherhi M, Szulzewsky F, Shen Y, Khan L, Dang NH, Reichardt E, Goring KA, King J, Grisdale CJ, Grinshtein N, Hamardzumyan D, Reilly KM, Blough MD, Cairncross JG, Yong VW, Marra MA, Jones SJM, Kaplan DR, McCoy K, Holland EC, Bose P, Chan JA, Robbins SM, Senger DL. (2020) Glioma-derived IL-33 orchestrates an inflammatory brain tumor microenvironment that accelerates glioma progression. Nature Communications 2020 Oct 5;11(1):4997.

Rahn JJ, Lun X, Jorch SK, Hao X, Liane B, Venugopal C, Vora P, Ahn BY, Cairncross JG, Singh SK, Kubes P, Senger DL*, Robbins SM*. (2020) Development of a peptide-based delivery platform for targeting malignant glioma. Biomaterials 2020 2020 Sep;252:120105. * Corresponding Authors.

Choudhury SR, Babes L, Rahn JJ, Ahn BY, Goring KAR, King JC, Lau A, Bjorn P, Hao X, Chojnacki AK, Thanabalasuriar A, McAvoy EF, Tabaries S, Schraeder C, Patel KD, Siegel PM, Schriemer DC, Muruve DA, Kelly MM, Yipp BG, Kubes P, Robbins SM, Senger DL. (2019) In vivo screen identifies Dipeptidase-1 as a major adhesion receptor for organ-selective neutrophil recruitment in inflamed pulmonary and hepatic vasculatures. Cell 2019 Aug 22;178(5):1205-1221.e17.

Goh ETH, Lin A, Ahn BY, Lopes-Rodrigues V, Dang NH, Salim S, Berger B, Dymock B, Senger DL, Ibanez CF. (2018). A small molecule targeting the transmembrane domain of death receptor p75NTR induces melanoma cell death and reduces tumor growth. Cell Chemical Biology Dec 20; 25(12):1485-1494.

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