PBTF Expands Research Advisory Network with New Member Karin Marie Muraszko, M.D., World Leading Surgeon for Pediatric Brain Tumors and Tethered Spinal Cords

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is proud to announce Dr. Karin Marie Muraszko as the newest member of our Research Advisory Network (RAN), an essential part of PBTF’s research strategy. Dr. Muraszko joins PBTF’s panel of 16 volunteer expert scientists and clinicians that help shape PBTF’s research agenda and funding priorities. Dr. Muraszko joined the network on April 15th and will serve a three-year, renewable term.

“I am excited to join the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Research Advisory Network that consists of an extremely talented, passionate, and dedicated team,” says Dr. Muraszko. “I look forward to working alongside my fellow RAN members and PBTF leadership. We all share the same desire and commitment to advance targeted therapies from discovery through development to benefit children battling brain tumors today.”

Dr. Muraszko has over 40 years of experience in the medical field. She is the Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and Julian T. Hoff, M.D. Professor with joint appointments in Plastic Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan. She is the first woman to chair an academic neurosurgical department in the United States. She is also the first woman admitted to the neurosurgery residency at Columbia University’s New York Neurological Institute and the first woman to serve on both the American Board of Neurological Surgeons and the Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery.

Dr. Muraszko currently serves as the Director of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Clinic at the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, where her research and expertise include:

  • Discovery of experimental immunotherapies for treating pediatric tumors of the brain and central nervous system.
  • Treatment and diagnosis of Chiari malformations and other congenital anomalies of the brain and spine.
  • Treatment of children with complex craniofacial anomalies.

Her various research projects have contributed to her authorship of over 140 peer-reviewed publications and numerous book chapters, articles, and non-peer-reviewed publications. For these contributions and more, Dr. Muraszko was elected in 2020 to the National Academy of Medicine – one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

“We’re excited to broaden our Research Advisory Network panel with the addition of Dr. Muraszko, who will bring diverse expertise and insight when reviewing grant applications and developing strategic priorities. And we are eager to channel her talent, expertise, and energy into furthering our mission,” says Courtney Davies, PBTF President and CEO. “We have worked diligently to ensure that our RAN team represents a variety of experts, and Dr. Muraszko is a great addition to this auspicious group. As a highly respected investigator and surgeon with interest and experience in immunotherapy, we look forward to Dr. Muraszko’s engagement and assistance in guiding PBTF’s goal to bring breakthrough medicines towards approval and widespread availability for children.”

In addition to her research, Dr. Muraszko is deeply committed to teaching and mentorship. She co-established Women in Neurosurgery (WINS) in 1990 and served as an executive board member for more than 25 years, mentoring and guiding other women in neurosurgery.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, has also called Dr. Murasko the second most powerful woman in his life after his mother, following his seven-year neurosurgical residency with her at the University of Michigan Health System. Watch Gupta’s CNN segment, Gupta’s Lesson: Everyone Matters Equally and Infinitely, for the story of how his mom and Dr. Muraszko shaped him into the man and surgeon he is today.

“We all need someone like Karin in our lives, who believes in us
and shows us that nothing is impossible,” Dr. Gupta in CNN special

An important facet of PBTF’s partnership with the research community, the Research Advisory Network actively engages with foundation leadership to provide highly informed perspectives that help shape PBTF’s funding priorities and evaluate the impact of our research investment on the lives of children diagnosed with a brain tumor. For a full list of current RAN member, visit curethekids.org/research/advisory-network.html.

About the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

Every day, 13 children and teens are diagnosed with a brain tumor, the deadliest and most common form of cancer in kids under 15. Every day after, they are in a fight for their life. It’s a fight the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is here to help families win. A leader in the brain tumor and childhood cancer communities, PBTF’s mission of Care. Cure. Thrive. reflects its commitment to curing all pediatric brain tumors and transforming how children and their families are cared for. Since 1991, PBTF has provided strategic leadership and funding to accelerate the number of targeted therapies for children battling brain tumors today, while equipping families with the patient family education, financial relief, and emotional support they need to navigate their child’s journey. A world without childhood brain tumors is possible when we stand together to effect real, meaningful change. Learn more at www.curethekids.org.