The Schwannomatosis Open Research Collaborative (SORC) is an innovative, community-based research project aimed at utilizing publicly available data to uncover new scientific insights into the rare and understudied genetic disorder, schwannomatosis. Supported by the Children’s Tumor Foundation, SORC’s primary objective is to perform comprehensive genomic analyses to identify noncoding variants, coding variants in under-studied genes, or other genomic features that contribute to disease etiology and heterogeneity.

To encourage participation in this groundbreaking research, the Children’s Tumor Foundation offered travel awards in partnership with SORC. These awards provide financial support for researchers to attend the 2023 Annual NF Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. Recently, three deserving applicants were awarded these travel grants, allowing them to further their research and engage with the larger scientific community.

The awardees are a diverse group of talented individuals, hailing from different parts of the world with unique research backgrounds. Hui Xin Ng is a graduate student in cognitive sciences at the University of California San Diego, researching brain aging in psychiatric disorders. Hector Fugihara Kroes is a medical student at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, passionate about genetics and advancing scientific knowledge. Adon Chawe, who recently completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Zambia, is now working at a hospital and actively developing his bioinformatics skills. All three awardees have made significant contributions to SORC and are eager to expand their knowledge and networks at the conference.

In their applications, the awardees expressed their excitement and goals for attending the 2023 Annual NF Conference. Hui Xin Ng wrote, “I hope to achieve the following goals by attending the 2023 Annual NF conference: a) Learning more about the latest research and developments in diagnosing and treating NF and schwannomatosis… b) Meeting other researchers who are interested in rare genetic disorders and potentially learning more about post-doc opportunities.” Hector Fugihara Kroes shared, “Attending the 2023 Annual NF Conference could provide me with an opportunity to learn about the latest research and advances in neurofibromatosis research from other researchers and experts, with special attention to schwannomatosis… I hope it will be an enriching experience in general, that should broaden my knowledge, expand my horizons, and enhance my overall perspective on this research area.” Adon Chawe shared, “By attending the 2023 Annual NF Conference, I hope to learn about the latest research findings and clinical advances in NF, as well as to present my own research activity through a poster and receive feedback from experts in the field.”

While at the conference, awardees will attend various sessions and present their research, as well as participate in the two SORC satellite conference sessions. This unique opportunity will help them gain invaluable knowledge, establish connections, and contribute to the advancement of schwannomatosis research. We would like to extend our gratitude to the applicants and the Children’s Tumor Foundation for providing the funding for this travel award. 

This blog post was drafted with support from ChatGPT.