Charles D. Stiles, PhD (Dana-Farber
Institute, Boston) attacked the problem of brain cancer by asking a
deceptively simple question: What genes regulate the development of the
normal brain? He reasoned that if these genes go awry, giving rise to
cancer, then the proteins encoded by these genes would make attractive
targets for the design of new therapies.
His groundbreaking efforts in this area
have led to important discoveries about the genes for proteins that may
help brain cells to grow and possibly go astray in cancer. Now, Dr. Stiles
is applying his expertise in molecular genetics to the brain and spinal
cord disease of multiple sclerosis, and is the primary investigator of a
new Collaborative MS research Center Award from the National MS Society. He
and collaborators from Dana-Farber and Albert Einstein College of Medicine
(Bronx, New York) are studying genes important to the formation of
nerve-insulating myelin, possibly to develop treatment approaches that
would stimulate the repair of this tissue, which is destroyed in MS.
Dr. Stiles received his doctoral degree
from the University of Tennessee at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories,
and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, San
Diego. In 1976, he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School and its
affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is now a professor in the
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School
and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and is Deputy Director of the
institute's Mahoney Center for Neuro-Oncology.
Dr. Stiles has published more than 100
research articles on molecular genetics in peer-reviewed journals. He has
won several awards for his research and academic efforts in the field of
brain cancer, including the American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award,
the American Association for Cancer Research C.P. Rhoads Award, The Cori
Award from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and the BBS Teaching Award
from Harvard Medical School.