Joe Toonen received his Ph.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin where he studied ocular development utilizing forward and reverse genetic approaches in rodents. Following his Ph.D., Joe underwent 3 years of training at Washington University in Saint Louis where he studied genetic and cellular mechanisms of optic pathway glioma (OPG) growth and formation in Neurofibromatosis type-1, a genetic etiology for pediatric brain tumors. In these studies, he used murine models to define the temporal course of cellular events leading to loss of visual acuity in optic pathway glioma, demonstrated microglia activation through ER-β underlies sexual dimorphism in NF1-OPG associated vision loss, and showed that germline NF1 gene mutation differentially impacts optic glioma growth in vivo. He plans to elucidate novel strategies of targeting glioma stem cells (GSCs) to improve brain tumor therapies.
View a partial list of Dr. Toonen's publications through the National Library of Medicine's PubMed online database.