Nancy Ratner, PhD

Co-Director, Rasopathy Program

Program Leader, Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program

Beatrice C. Lampkin Chair, Cancer Biology

Academic Affiliations

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Phone 513-636-9469

Fax 513-636-3549



Preclinical testing in neurofibromatosis tumors


Genetic mutations in tumor suppressor genes; development of the nervous system; peripheral nerve tumor formation

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 and MEK as potential therapeutic targets 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 and the Jacob K. Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award (NIH-NINDS MERIT Award) in 2014.

PhD: Indiana University, 1982.

BA: Brown University, 1975.

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

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

Preclinical Testing: GEM-Neurofibroma. Principal Investigator. Children's Tumor Foundation. Aug 2013-Jul 2016. 

Identification of Neurofibroma Growth and Drug Resistance Pathways. Principal Investigator. Neurofibromatosis Therapeutic Acceleration Program (NTAP). Apr 2014-Mar 2016.

Ras Proteins in Nerve Tumorigenesis. Principal Investigator. Apr 2014-Mar 2019. 1R01 NS083580-01A1.

Novel Combinatorial Therapies for Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors. Co-Principal Investigator. Jul 2014-Jun 2016. 1R21NS084885-01A1.

Disordered Wnt/b-catenin signaling in MPNST Development and Maintenance. Co-Principal Investigator. Oct 2014-Sep 2019. 1R01NS086219-01A1.

Can targeted therapy prevent neurofibroma growth in mice? Principal Investigator. Neurofibromatosis Therapeutic Acceleration Program (NTAP). Sep 2014-Aug 2016.