Nancy Ratner, PhD is interested in 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, and to other cancers. She developed cell culture and mouse models of NF1 nerve tumorigenesis, and used them for bioinformatics. She defined EGFR and MEK as potential therapeutic targets in NF1 peripheral nerve tumorigenesis using mouse genetics, cell culture, and preclinical testing. Her laboratory continues to use gene expression analysis to identify critical genes in neurofibroma and their malignant derivatives, MPNST, and is now also using new protein-based methods to define the interactomes of NF1 and NF2 deficient tumor cells.
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 Department of Cancer and Cell Biology faculty at the University of Cincinnati from 1987 to 2004. Dr. Ratner is now 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, co-leads of the Institutional Rasopathy Program.
Dr. Ratner is an active member of the International Consortium on the Molecular Biology of NF1, NF2, and Schwannomatosis. She served on the advisory board for the National Neurofibromatosis Foundation (Children’s Tumor Foundation; 1989 to 2007). She received the von Recklinghausen Award (2010) and a Team Science Award (2016) from the Children’s Tumor Foundation, and the Jacob K. Javits Neuroscience Investigator MERIT Award (NIH-NINDS) in 2014. She chaired the Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Research Program Integration Panel in 2008, and has served on many other review panels. She is (2016-present) a standing member of the translational NIH review panel NSD-A. .
Preclinical testing in neurofibromatosis
Genetic mutations in tumor suppressor genes; development and tumorigenesis of the nervous system; peripheral NF1, NF2
Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Cancer Blood Disease Institute, Experimental Hematology, Brain Tumor Center, Musculoskeletal Tumor Center, Neuroblastoma, Retinoblastoma, Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute, Rasopathy, Neurofibromatosis Program