18330-Rhodes, Steven

Steven D. Rhodes, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

RI 4340
Indianapolis, IN


Dr. Steven Rhodes completed his M.D., Ph.D. and pediatric residency training at the Indiana University School of Medicine/Riley Hospital for Children. He completed an additional year of advanced fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology in NF-focused clinical care supported by the Francis S. Collins Scholars Program in Neurofibromatosis Clinical and Translational Research funded through the Neurofibromatosis Therapeutic Acceleration Program (NTAP). In July 2021, he became a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.

Key Publications

Exploring transcriptional regulators Ref-1 and STAT3 as therapeutic targets in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours. Gampala S, Shah F, Zhang C, Rhodes SD, Babb O, Grimard M, Wireman RS, Rad E, Calver B, Bai RY, Staedtke V, Hulsey EL, Saadatzadeh MR, Pollok KE, Tong Y, Smith AE, Clapp DW, Tee AR, Kelley MR, Fishel ML. Br J Cancer. 2021 Apr;124(9):1566-1580. PMID: 33658640

Cabozantinib for neurofibromatosis type 1-related plexiform neurofibromas: a phase 2 trial. Fisher MJ±, Shih CS±, Rhodes SD, Armstrong AE, Walter PL, Dombi E, Zhang C, Angus SP, Johnson GL, Packer RJ, Allen JC, Ulrich NJ, Goldman S, Gutmann DH, Plotkin SR, Rosser T, Robertson KA, Wideman BC, Smit AE, Bessler WK, He Y, Park SJ, Mund JA, Jiang L, Bijangi-Vishehsaraei K, Robinson CT, Cutter GR, Korf B, Blakeley JO, Clapp DW. Nat Med 2021 Jan;27(1):165-173. PMID 33442015.

A molecular basis for neurofibroma-associated skeletal manifestations in NF1. Ma Y, Gross A, Dombi E, Pemov A, Choi K, Chaney K, Rhodes SD, Angus SP, Sciaky N, Clapp DW, Ratner N, Widemann BC, Rios JJ, Elefteriou F. Genet Med. 2020 Nov;22(11):1786-1793. PMID: 32601387

Genetic disruption of the small GTPase RAC1 prevents plexiform neurofibroma formation in mice with neurofibromatosis type 1. Mund JA, Park SJ, Smith AE, He Y, Jiang L, Hawley E, Roberson MJ, Mitchell DK, Abu-Sultanah M, Yuan J, Bessler WK, Sandusky G, Chen S, Zhang C, Rhodes SD, Clapp DW.  J Biol Chem. 2020 May 29; doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.010981. PMID: 32471868.

Early administration of imatinib mesylate reduces plexiform neurofibroma tumor burden with durable results after drug discontinuation in a mouse model of neurofibromatosis type 1. Armstrong, AE, Rhodes SD, Smith A, Chen S, Bessler W, Ferguson MJ, Jiang L, Li X, Yuan J, Yang X, Yang FC, Robertson KA, Ingram DA, Blakeley JO, Clapp DW.  Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2020 May 27;e28372. PMID: 32459399.

Brain death secondary to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Encephalitis. Rhodes SD, Teagarden AM, Graner B, Lutfi R, John CC. Case Reports in Critical Care. Published online 2020 May 1. doi: 10.1155/2020/5329420. PMID: 32426169.

Ketotifen modulates mast cell chemotaxis to Kit-ligand but does not impact mast cell numbers, degranulation, or tumor behavior in neurofibromas of Nf1-deficient mice. Burks CA, Rhodes SD, Bessler WK, Chen S, Smith A, Gehlhausen JR, Hawley ET, Jiang L, Li X, Yuan J, Lu Q, Jacobsen M, Sandusky G, Jones DR, Clapp DW, Blakeley J. Mol Cancer Ther. 2019 Dec;18(12):2321-2330. PMID: 31527226.

Cdkn2a (Arf) loss drives NF1-associated atypical neurofibroma and malignant transformation. Rhodes SD, He Y, Smith A, Jiang L, Lu Q, Mund J, Li X, Bessler W, Qian S, Dyer W, Sandusky GE, Horvai AE, Armstrong AE, Clapp DW. Hum Mol Genet. 2019 May 15. pii: ddz095. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddz095. PMID: 31091306.

A proteasome-resistant fragment of NIK mediates oncogenic NF-κB signaling in schwannomas. Gehlhausen JR, Hawley E, Wahle BM, He Y, Edwards D, Rhodes SD, Lajiness JD, Staser K, Chen S, Yang X, Yuan J, Li X, Jiang L, Smith A, Bessler W, Sandusky G, Stemmer-Rachamimov A, Stuhlmiller TJ, Angus SP, Johnson GL, Nalepa G, Yates CW, Wade Clapp D, Park SJ. Hum Mol Genet. 2018 Oct 17. PMID: 30335132.

Titles & Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
  • Education
    2015 MD Indiana University
    2013 PhD Indiana University
    2007 BA Wabash College
  • Research

    Dr. Rhodes performed his post-doctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Wade Clapp. During his training, he developed new mouse models that recapitulate the progression of plexiform and pre-cancerous atypical neurofibroma precursor tumors to a deadly sarcoma called malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST); the leading cause of death in people with NF1. 

    Using these models and other state-of-the art technologies, Dr. Rhodes is working to characterize molecular mechanisms underpinning tumor progression, and further to identify new therapeutic strategies not only to treat MPNST but also to prevent malignant transformation from occurring.

  • Professional Organizations
    Children's Oncology Group
    Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trials Consortium (NFCTC)
  • Board Certifications
    American Board of Pediatrics - Pediatrics
  • Clinical Interests

    As a pediatric oncologist, Dr. Rhodes devotes his clinical practice to caring for children with NF-associated neurofibromas, MPNST, optic pathway gliomas, schwannomas, and other related tumors in the context of the Neurofibromatosis Multidisciplinary Clinic at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

  • Awards
    Org: Neurofibromatosis Therapeutics Acceleration Program (NTAP)
    Desc: Francis S. Collins Scholarship in Neurofibromatosis Clinical and Translational Research
    Scope: National
    Date: 2020-07-01
    Org: Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
    Desc: Grzegorz Nalepa Fellowship Award
    Scope: Department
    Date: 2020-05-01
    Org: Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
    Desc: Red Shoes Award
    Scope: Department
    Date: 2018-12-01
    Org: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs
    Desc: Fellow of the Pediatric Scientist Development Program
    Scope: National
    Date: 2018-07-01
    Org: Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
    Desc: Morris Green Physician Scientist Award of Excellence, Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine
    Scope: Department
    Date: 2017-05-01
    Org: Indiana University School of Medicine
    Desc: Indiana University School of Medicine Joyce Victoria McRobbie Pediatric Fellowship Award
    Scope: University
    Date: 2015-10-01
    Org: Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
    Desc: Lyman T. Meiks Research Award in Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
    Scope: Department
    Date: 2015-05-01

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