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Stegh named Brain Tumor Center research director

Washington University School of Medicine
Alexander H. Stegh, PhD

Alexander H. Stegh, PhD, a leading brain cancer scientist, has been named research director of the Brain Tumor Center at Siteman Cancer Center, based at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Established last year, the Brain Tumor Center brings together the collective expertise of Washington University neurosurgeons, adult and pediatric oncologists, radiation oncologists, otolaryngologists, neurologists, neuroradiologists, pathologists and endocrinologists to provide leading-edge, multidisciplinary care for brain tumor patients. Such physicians and physician-scientists also work together with the center’s scientists to understand how and why brain tumors develop and to conduct transformative research aimed at advancing patient care and clinical outcomes.

“Dr. Alexander Stegh is a national leader in the study of glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer,” said Gregory J. Zipfel, MD, head of the Department of Neurosurgery and the Ralph G. Dacey Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery at the School of Medicine. “With his extensive expertise discovering genetic drivers of glioblastoma and his success in translating nanoparticle-based precision medicine approaches to brain cancer patients, the Brain Tumor Center at Siteman is gaining a visionary scientific leader who will help the center achieve its overall goal of discovering new therapies that will lead to improved outcomes for brain tumor patients.”

Stegh also will have faculty appointments in Washington University’s departments of Neurosurgery, Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry. He comes to St. Louis from Northwestern University, where he was an associate professor of neurology and a researcher. He also is a member of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Glioblastoma Working Group, charged with stimulating translational research and assisting in the development of clinical trial ideas for patients with glioblastoma.

As the inaugural research director, Stegh will expand the basic, translational and clinical research programs within the Brain Tumor Center while partnering with clinical and basic science departments at the School of Medicine. He also will partner with leadership at Siteman, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital to broaden the array of clinical trials available at Siteman.

“In his new role, Dr. Stegh will have a transformative effect on how physicians diagnose and treat patients with brain tumors,” said neurosurgeon-scientist Albert H. Kim, MD, PhD, director of the Brain Tumor Center. “With Dr. Stegh’s leadership, the center will promote the further understanding of brain tumors, advance novel and cutting-edge clinical research and improve treatment for malignant and benign brain tumors.”

Much of the center will be housed within the $620 million, 11-story Neuroscience Research Building, now under construction and scheduled for completion in 2023.

Stegh earned his undergraduate degrees in biochemistry, immunology and biophysics from Leibniz University in Hanover, Germany. He completed his PhD training in cell biology, biochemistry and cancer biology at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany, and the University of Chicago. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

“I am thrilled to join the Department of Neurosurgery, its outstanding basic and clinical faculty and the larger community of experts at Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Siteman Cancer Center focused on further enhancing brain tumor research and the diagnosis and treatment of patients,” Stegh said. “Together, through a multidisciplinary and collaborative effort, we can address the fundamental challenge of improving therapeutic options for brain cancer patients and grow as leaders in the fight against brain tumors.”