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Issai Vanan MD, MPH, FAAP

Currently accepting students.

Current Position

Physician-Scientist and a Pediatric Neuro-Oncologist at the Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology, and CancerCare Manitoba


Dr. Vanan received his basic medical education in India (BMC / PGIMER). He completed his Pediatric Hem-Onc and Pediatric Neuro-Oncology fellowships in New York (CCMCNY). His main research interests are in translational Neuro-Oncology with special emphasis on Radiation and Chemotherapy sensitization of Pediatric Brain tumors, Developmental Neurobiology as related to Brain tumors and Novel Neuro therapeutics (including BBB permeability and novel drug delivery methods). He is a PJ McKenna St Baldrick’s Cancer research scholar and his research is also supported by CCMF, MMSF, HSCF and CCRS.

2009/7 – 2010/6 Doctorate Equivalent, Fellow, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Cohen Children’s Medical
Center of New York
Degree Status: Completed
Supervisors: Dr Mark P Atlas

2006/7 – 2009/6 Doctorate, Fellow, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Cohen Children’s Medidcal Center
of New York
Degree Status: Completed
Supervisors: Dr Jeffrey M Lipton

2004/7 – 2006/6 Doctorate, MD (Doctorate in Medicine), Pediatrics, Brookdale University Hospital
Medical Center
Degree Status: Completed
Supervisors: Dr Kusum Viswanathan

1994/1 – 1996/6 Doctorate, MD (Doctorate in Medicine), Pediatrics, PGIMER (Post Graduate Institute for
Medical Education and Research
Degree Status: Completed
Supervisors: Dr Sunit C Singhi

1987/8 – 1992/4 Doctorate Equivalent, MBBS, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology,
Pediatrics, ENT, Opthalmology, Bangalore Medical College
Degree Status: Completed

1985/7 – 1987/7 Bachelor’s, Pre-University Certificate, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology,
The National College
Degree Status: Completed

Research Focus:

Radiation is an integral part of the therapeutic armamentarium in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology. The therapeutic benefits of radiotherapy are, however, accompanied by late toxicity that severely affects quality of life in children; deleterious effects include neurocognitive deficits, developmental problems and secondary malignancies in the majority of survivors (>90%). Identifying new approaches that would allow reduction of the total radiation dose in these treatments without compromising therapeutic efficacy is critical for improving tumor management and quality of life. Dr Vanan’s lab has identified several potential targets that mediate radiation and chemotherapy resistance in pediatric brain tumors. Validation of these targets using patient derived xenografts (PDX) in orthotopic murine brain tumor models will provide us with novel radio-sensitization drugs with larger therapeutic window; when used with current treatment protocols, this may lead to low dose therapeutic radiation and less long term side effects in survivors of childhood brain tumors.