M Sue O'Dorisio, MD, PhD

sue-odorisio
Pediatrics
UI Distinguished Professor
Summary statement: 

Role of neuropeptides in development of neural crest and cerebellum

Office phone: 
(319) 356-7873
Office number: 
2526
Office building: 
JCP

Nervous system tumors are the most common cause of death from pediatric malignancies and rank second only to accidents as a cause of death in this age group. These cancers arise in the developing nervous system or neural crest during fetal growth or infancy. Neuropeptides are both neurotransmitters and important modulators of neurodevelopment. Vasoactive intestinal peptide is both a differentiation factor and a neuroprotective agent. Somatostatin is a potent modulator of growth factor release and also modulates the signal transduction pathway for multiple growth factors. We are studying the role of vasoactive intestinal peptide and somatostatin in development of the neural crest and cerebellum using transgenic and knock out mice. Understanding of the role of neuropeptides in neural crest development should allow us to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic options for children with neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma.

“My experience living in Iowa City has been positive. Everyone is very friendly, there is a lot of collaboration and interactions between members involved in Neuroscience research, and coursework is diverse and provides a strong foundation for cutting-edge research in the field of Neuroscience. IC is definitely a collegiate town, with many watering spots for graduate and undergraduates, coffee shops, and an extremely lively school spirit for football games. I'm never bored here, and I would recommend it to everyone!”