Nancy Ratner, PhD

Beatrice C. Lampkin Chair, Cancer Biology

Program Leader, Cancer and Biology and Neural Tumors Program

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Phone 513-636-9469

Fax 513-636-3549


Clinical Interests

Development of the nervous system; peripheral nerve tumor formation

Research Interests

Genetic mutations in tumor suppressor genes

Visit the Ratner Lab.

Nancy Ratner, PhD, is interested in understanding mechanisms of peripheral nerve tumor (neurofibroma) formation in Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a common inherited disorder in which children are predisposed to cancer of the nervous system, to learning problems, bone disorders, and other cancers. She identified EGFR as a potential therapeutic target in NF1 peripheral nerve tumorigenesis, and has developed cell culture and mouse models of NF1 nerve tumorigenesis. Her laboratory has also used analysis of gene expression to identify critical genes in neurofibroma and their malignant derivatives, MPNST. 

Dr. Ratner received her bachelor's from Brown University, her doctorate from Indiana University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. She was a member of the faculty at the University of Cincinnati from 1987 to 2004. Dr. Ratner is currently a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati, and the program leader for Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program in the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute where she holds the Beatrice C. Lampkin Endowed chair in cancer biology and serves as PI of the NINDS P50 “Cincinnati Center in NF Research”. 

Dr. Ratner is an active member of the International Consortium on the Molecular Biology of NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis and was a member of the advisory board for the National Neurofibromatosis Foundation (now Children’s Tumor Foundation) from 1989 to 2007. She chaired the Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Research Program Integration Panel in 2008, and currently serves as a member of the James McDonnell Brain Tumor Research Advisory Board. She received the von Recklinghausen Award from the Children’s Tumor Foundation in 2010.

PhD: Indiana University, 1982.

BA: Brown University, 1975.

Fellowship: Washington University St. Louis, 1982-1987.

Mayes DA, Rizvi TA, Cancelas JA, Kolasinski NT, Ciraolo GM, Stemmer-Rachamimov AO, Ratner N. Perinatal or Adult Nf1 Inactivation Using Tamoxifen-Inducible PlpCre Each Cause Neurofibroma Formation. Cancer Res. 2011 Jul 1;71(13):4675-85.

Shang X, Cancelas JA, Li L, Guo F, Liu W, Johnson JF, Ficker A, Daria D, Geiger H, Ratner N, Zheng YR. Ras and Rac1 GTPase Crosstalk Regulates Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Migration, Homing and Mobilization. Biol Chem. 2011 May 13.

Wu. J, Dombi E, Jousma E, Dunn SR, Lindquist D, Kim M, Kim A, Cripe TP, Ratner N. Preclinical testing of sorafenib and RAD001 in the Nf(flox/flox); DhhCre mouse model of plexiform neurofibroma using magnetic resonance imaging. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012 Feb;58(2):173-80.

Hummel TR, Jessen WJ, Miller SC, Kluwe L, Mautner VF, Wallace MR, Lázaro C, Page G, Worley P, Aronow BJ, Schorry E, Ratner N. Gene expression analysis identifies potential biomarkers of neurofibromatosis type 1 including adrenomedullin. Clin Cancer Res. 2010;16 5048-57.

Ryan MA, Nattamai KJ, Xing E, Schleimer D, Daria D, Sengupta A, Köhler A, Liu W, Gunzer M, Jansen M, Ratner N, Le Cras TD, Waterstrat A, Van Zant G, Cancelas JA, Zheng Y, Geiger H. Pharmacological inhibition of EGFR signaling enhances G-CSF induced hematopoietic stem cell mobilization. Nature Med. 2010 16(10):1141-6.

Miller SJ, Lan Z, Hardiman A, Wu J, Kordich JJ, Patmore D, Hegde R, Cripe TP, Cancelas J, Collins M, Ratner N. Inhibition of Eyes Absent Homolog 4 expression induces malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor necrosis. Oncogene. 2009 29(3):368-79.

Miller SJ, Jessen WJ, Mehta T, Hardiman A, Sites E, Kaiser S, Jegga A, Li H, Upadhyaya M, Giovannini M, Muir D, Wallace MR, Lopez E,  Serra E, Lazaro C, Stemmer-Rachamimov A, Page G, Aronow BJ, Ratner N.  Integrative genomic analyses of neurofibromatosis tumors identify SOX9 as biomarker and survival gene. EMBO Mol. Medicine. 2009 1(4): 236-48.

Mahller Y, Williams J, Baird W, Mitton B, Grossheim J, Saeki Y, Cancelas J, Ratner N, Cripe T. Neuroblastoma cell lines contain pluripotent tumor initiating cells that are susceptible to a targeted oncolytic virus. PLoS ONE. 2009 4(1):e4235, 1– 0.

Williams JP, Wu J, Johansson G, Rizvi T, Miller SC, Geiger H, Malik P, Li W, Mukouyama Y, Cancelas JA, Ratner N.  Nf1 mutation expands an EGFR-dependent peripheral nerve progenitor population that confers neurofibroma tumorigenic potential. Cell Stem Cell. 2008 3(6):658-69.

Johansson G, Mahller Y, Collins MH, Kim M-O, Nobukuni T, Perentesis JP, Cripe TP, Lane HA, Kozma S, Thomas G, Ratner N. Effective In Vivo Targeting of the mTOR Pathway in Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor. Mol. Cancer Therapeutics. 2008 7(5):1237-45.

Mitogenic Activities in Neurofibromatosis. Principle Investigator. Sept 2011-2016. NIH-R01 NS 28840-20.