American Brain Tumor Association Names Student Research Award Winner

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New York University Medical Student Wins 2012 Lucien Rubinstein Award

February 7, 2013 - Chicago, Illinois

The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) has named Benjamin Lu, second-year medical student at NYU School of Medicine, as the recipient of the 2012 Lucien Rubinstein Award. The ABTA’s distinguished Scientific Advisory Council deemed Lu, one of 11 ABTA Medical Student Summer Fellows in 2012, to have performed outstanding brain tumor research.

The Medical Student Summer Fellowship and Lucien Rubinstein Award are part of the ABTA’s commitment to supporting early investigator careers in the field of brain tumor research. Lu’s research focused on developing viral gene therapy vectors targeting cancer stem cells in brain tumors.

“My interest in exploring brain tumor research has only increased as a result of the Fellowship, and I’m very grateful to the ABTA for facilitating such a wonderful research experience,” Lu said. “I am deeply honored and believe the award is truly a reflection on the wonderful, enriching experience I had this past summer.”

Lu’s work was conducted under the direction of his mentor, Dimitris G. Placantonakis, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of neurosurgery and director of the Neurosurgical Laboratory for Stem Cell Research at NYU School of Medicine.

“The ABTA’s support is instrumental in encouraging medical students to consider research as a career,” said Dr. Placantonakis. “The ABTA Medical Student Summer Fellowship helps foster the individuals who are interested in such careers, and we are certainly very grateful for this kind of support. Working with Ben was an absolute pleasure. He is an outstanding medical student and a very promising young researcher.”

Each year, the American Brain Tumor Association offers a select group of medical students the opportunity to spend ten to twelve weeks in a brain tumor research laboratory. Based on reports that each student is required to submit at the end of their summer internship, an outstanding student is selected to receive the Lucien Rubinstein Award. The award is named in memory of Dr. Lucien J. Rubinstein, a professor of neuropathology at the University of Virginia and a world-renowned brain tumor researcher.

Information about the American Brain Tumor Association’s research awards program, including guidelines for applying for 2013 ABTA Medical Student Summer Fellowships, is available at

Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first and is now the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing both support services to brain tumor patients and their families and the funding of brain tumor research. For more information, visit

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