Magimairajan Issai Vanan, MD, MPH, FAAP

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Magimairajan Issai Vanan, MD, MPH, FAAP

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Research Discipline(s): Basic, Translational, Clinical, Neuro-Oncology

Primary Title: Pediatric Neuro-Oncologist, Cancer Care Manitoba

Additional Titles & Affiliations: Scientist, Cancer Care Manitoba Research Institute. Principal Investigator, Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM)


Pediatric Neuro-Oncology with emphasis on Radiation and Chemotherapy Sensitization of Brain Tumors, Neuro-therapeutics (BBB permeability, novel drug delivery methods), Precision Medicine (Targeted and Biological therapies) in brain tumors

To contribute to the treatment (and if possible, cure) of Pediatric High-Grade Gliomas (especially DIPG)

Research Summary

After moving to Winnipeg in the winter of 2012, I established a Clinical / Translational research program in pediatric Neuro-Oncology encompassing 3 main areas of focus: 1) Clinical research: with emphasis on how to lessen the adverse effects of the treatments given to patients undergoing cancer therapy and participation in clinical trials. 2) Basic Science research: focusing on validation of therapeutic targets that cause chemotherapy and radiation sensitization of pediatric brain tumors and Blood Brain Barrier permeability in pediatric brain tumors with special emphasis in Diffuse midline glioma of the Pons (DMG-P). 3) Translational Neuro-Oncology research: with special emphasis on precision medicine and targeted therapies.


The long-term goal of research in my lab is to establish a strong “Experimental and Translational Neuro-Oncology therapeutics program” that will bridge the bench and the bedside and translates to personalized precision medicine and targeted therapies for children with brain tumors.

Research Biography

I did my Pediatric Neuro-Oncology fellowship training at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York under Mark Atlas; and my postdoctoral training in the labs of Marc Symons and Maria Ruggieri at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (FIMR) looking at the role of MRK Kinase (MAP3K) in High Grade gliomas (PMID: 22552889). I moved to Winnipeg in the winter of 2012 and am practicing as a Physician Scientist/ Pediatric Neuro-oncologist. My lab has a translational brain tumor research program focused on radiation and chemotherapy sensitization of brain tumors, BBB permeability and novel neurotherapeutics. My lab has been funded by St Baldrick’s foundation (childhood cancer research fellowship and career Development award); my lab is also funded by CCMB, CHRIM and HSCF to establish my research program. As a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics I have > 70 peer reviewed publications and 5 book chapters. I am the Principal Investigator for all clinical trials related to pediatric Brain tumors in CCMB and a Co-principal investigator in two ongoing clinical research trails funded by the CIHR.


  • St Baldrick's Childhood Cancer Research Fellow: 2008- 2011.
  • St Baldrick's Childhood Cancer Research Scholar (Career Development Award): 2012-2018.
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    Featured Publications

    • Sajesh BV, On NH, Omar R, Alrushaid S, Kopec BM, Wang WG, Sun HD, Lillico R, Lakowski T, Siahaan TJ, Davies NM, Puno PT, Miller DW, Vanan MI. Validation of HAV6 cadherin peptide in the transient modulation of the blood brain barrier for the treatment of Brain tumors. Pharmaceutics 2019; 11(9): e481. PMID: 31533285.
    • Yathindranath V, Safa N, Sajesh BV—Vanan MI, -- Miller DW. SAT1-A gene target for selective sensitization of GBM cells using an Ionizable lipid nanoparticle to deliver siRNA. Cancers 2022 14(21):5179. PMID: 36358597.
    • Vanan I, Dong Z, Tosti E, Warshaw G Role of a DNA damage check point pathway in irradiation-induced Glioblastoma invasion and migration. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2012; 32:1199-1208. PMID: 22552889.
    • Sustained and durable response with Alisertib monotherapy in the treatment of relapsed Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT). Howden K, McDonald PJ, Kazina C, Ong A, Ho B, Huang A, Orr BA, Vanan MI.Neurooncol Adv. 2022 Jun 7;4(1): vdac090. PMID: 35967099.
    • Management of Inoperable Supra-Sellar Low-Grade Glioma with BRAF Mutation in Young Children. Howden K, Chapman S, Serletis D, Kazina C, Rafay MF, Faury D, Hazrati LN, Jabado N, Vanan MI. Cureus. 2021 Nov 9;13(11): e19400. PMID: 34926002.
    • Medical cannabis in pediatric oncology: a survey of patients and caregivers. Chapman S, Protudjer J, Bourne C, Kelly LE, Oberoi S, Vanan MI. Support Care Cancer. 2021 Nov;29(11):6589-6594. PMID: 33932156.
    • Bouffet E, Larouche V, Campbell BB---Magimairajan Immune Checkpoint Inhibition for Hypermutant Glioblastoma Multiforme Resulting from Germline Biallelic Mismatch Repair Deficiency. J Clin Oncol 2016; 34919):2206-2011. PMID: 27001570.
    • Durno C, Ercan AB, Bianchi V, Edwards M, Aronson M, Bouffet E, Al-Battashi A, Alharbi M, Basel D, Bedgoode R, Vanan MI---, Tabori U. Survival benefit for individuals with CMMRD undergoing surveillance. J Clin Oncol 2021;39(25):2779-2790.PMID: 33945292
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