Press Release

CE Concepts Hosts First Annual Neurofibromatosis Young Investigators’ Forum

CE Concepts, (“CEC” or the “Company”) an accredited provider of interprofessional continuing medical education and division of KnowFully Learning Group, hosted its first annual Neurofibromatosis Young Investigators’ Forum (@NFYIForum) held live virtually on September 23rd-24th, 2021.

The Neurofibromatosis Young Investigators’ Forum (NFYIF) is a highly competitive research and professional development forum that strives to encourage, promote and empower Young Investigators to forge collegial connections and acquire the necessary skills and relationships to increase their research productivity and catalyze their career trajectory in neurofibromatosis. Young Investigators include North American-based junior faculty, fellows and postdoctoral researchers (MDs, DOs and PhDs) involved in neurofibromatosis research. The goal of the NFYIF is to foster the careers of many young physician scientists and PhD-trained scientists. The innovative research presented included a wide array of topics, ranging from novel diagnostic strategies to evolving tumor control methodologies.

Predicated on educational core competencies set forth by the ACGME, the NFYIF was specifically designed to fulfill the “scholarly activities” fellowship requirement for graduate medical education by equipping Young Investigators with resources and expert guidance to help them effectively present, publish and communicate their work to the larger scientific community.

“The success of this first annual NFYIF underscores just how far and fast research in neurofibromatosis is advancing. It’s important for us as medical education providers to support learners at all stages of their careers. Educating and enabling these early-in-career junior faculty, fellows and researchers with their transitions to the next phases of their careers is at the heart of CEC’s mission to enhance healthcare through engaging learner opportunities for the entire interprofessional healthcare team,” said Rebecca Weaver, CHCP, senior account director at CE Concepts.

The program included six expert faculty judges, 18 Young Investigators, along with one patient and one patient/caregiver. To aid in professional development, time was set aside for Mentoring Moments, wherein the Young Investigators were able to receive direct 1-on-1 feedback from some of the distinguished faculty members. The attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Bill Riter and Lilly Ann Brooks, who graciously shared their patient and caregiver stories during the event.

The expert faculty judges included Bruce Korf, MD, PhD (Activity Co-Chair), Andrea Gross, MD (Activity Co-Chair), D. Wade Clapp, MD, Michael J. Fisher, MD, AeRang Kim, MD, PhD and Nancy Ratner, PhD.

Seven research grant awards were provided to clinical fellows and PhD postdoctoral fellows, along with clinician scientists and research scientists. These grants are awarded with the purpose of furthering neurofibromatosis research. Winners and projects were announced on Twitter @NFYIForum and on LinkedIn using #NFYIF. This forum was made possible through an independent educational grant from AstraZeneca and an educational partnership with the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) which is working to end neurofibromatosis through research. You can learn more about CTF’s mission and efforts at and via #EndNF on Twitter and Linkedin.

The wins from the day include:

Clinician Scientist and Research Scientist

Distinguished Young Investigator Research Award
Melissa Perrino, MD from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Title: Complementing MEK Inhibition in NF1: C5aR-antagonism in Combination with MEK Inhibition Reduces Plexiform Fibroma Growth, Demonstrating the Importance and Targetability of the Tumor Micro-environment

First Runner-Up
Ina Ly, MD from Massachusetts General Hospital
Title: A Multi-center Radiomics-based Model to Differentiate between Neurofibromatosis Type 1-associated Plexiform Neurofibromas and Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors

Second Runner-Up
Daochun Sun, PhD from the Medical College of Wisconsin
Title: MPNST Cancer Stem Cells Promote the Metastatic Progression

Clinical Fellows

First Place
R. Taylor Sundby, MD from the National Cancer Institute, Pediatric Oncology Branch
Title: Cell-free DNA Ultra-low-pass Whole Genome Sequencing to Distinguish Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor (MPNST)

Second Place
Stephanie Brosius, MD, PhD from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Title: Characteristics of Moyamoya Syndrome in Pediatric Patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 1

PhD Postdoctoral Fellows

First Place
Xiyuan Zhang, PhD from the National Cancer Institute
Title: Single-cell Omics Reveals Diverse Epigenetics and Transcriptomic Reprogramming of NF1-deficient Cells through the Loss of PRC2 in MPNST

Second Place
Kevin Bruemmer, PhD from Stanford University
Title: Chemoproteomic Approaches for Identifying the Roles of Glycosylation in Neurofibromatosis 1

Click here to view the winner’s photos with a summary

“On behalf of all the NFYIF Faculty Judges, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Young Investigators on their accomplishments and wish them the very best in their future research and career endeavors. The presentations and wealth of knowledge shared makes me hopeful for the future of NF1-related research,” said Bruce Korf, MD, PhD the activity co-chair.

“Though we had initially planned on holding this event in-person, the myriad challenges presented by COVID-19 and the recent upsurge of the delta variant necessitated that this event be held virtually. Our team was able to quickly and effectively pivot to a dynamic virtual format in which Young Investigators were able to network, share presentations and experiences, establish collegiality and, of course, learn from one another,” said Bryan C. Taylor, PharmD, vice president of client relations at CE Concepts.

CEC hosts a variety of other Young Investigator Forums, including the EGFR Young Investigators’ Research Summit (EGFR RS), the Immuno-Oncology Young Investigators’ Forum (IOYIF), and the Northwestern Cardiovascular Young Investigators’ Forum (NCYIF).

About CE Concepts
CE Concepts designs, develops and delivers responsive continuing medical education initiatives for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and related members of the interprofessional healthcare team. CEC educational modalities include live symposia, grand rounds, chapter series, young investigator forums, resident immersion programs, interactive webinars, webcasts and on-demand web-based enduring activities, all with the concerted purpose of promoting clinician knowledge, improving clinical practice and optimizing outcomes for patients. For more information, please visit

About KnowFully Learning Group
KnowFully Learning Group is a leading provider of end-to-end professional education in the accounting, finance and health care sectors. KnowFully’s brands enable students and professionals to more efficiently prepare for and pass professional licensure exams, satisfy required credit hours to maintain credentials and leverage the comprehensive, practical, in-depth continuing education they need to remain at the forefront of their professions thereafter. KnowFully is backed by NexPhase Capital, LP, a thematic and operationally-focused private equity firm. For more information, please visit