American Brain Tumor Association-Supported Junior Investigator Awards Presented at Global Brain Tumor Conference

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July 22, 2016

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ABTA continues legacy of supporting early-career scientists BTEC Junior Investigator Awards

The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) commends Stephen S. Francis, Ph.D. of University of California San Francisco and Magdalena Neuhauser of the Institute of Neurology, Medical University in Vienna, Austria as the recipients of the 2016 Junior Investigator Awards for their research focused on the involvement of immune factors and viral interactions in the development of brain cancer and on patient outcomes.

“We are proud to support Stephen and Magdalena’s travel to the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium, which provides them an opportunity to present their innovative research at an important global conference,” said Nicole Willmarth, Ph.D., chief science officer, American Brain Tumor Association. “As one of the founding funders of the BTEC meeting, the ABTA is dedicated to promoting the early careers of forward-thinking brain tumor epidemiologists, which is helping us expand our understanding of brain cancer.”  

The Junior Investigator Award is presented to two early-career scientists, one originating from the U.S. and the other from abroad at the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium (BTEC) meeting. This year’s award was presented at the BTEC meeting, held June 21-23 in Barcelona, Spain, where the focus was on “immune factors and viral interactions in brain cancer etiology and outcomes.”

Stephen S. Francis, Ph.D., University of California San Francisco (UCSF), is a postdoctoral scholar at the UCSF School of Medicine in the Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Neurosurgery Departments. His research interests focus on the causes of cancer and include the role of both exogenous viruses and human endogenous retroviruses (HERV). Dr. Francis examines novel HERV insertions in the human genome, and studies how they influence the genes function and regulation. He uses whole genome data presented in large-scale cloud computing to make his observations. He plans to tie this research to the response of viral infections and subsequent risk for brain tumors and other cancers. He has co-authored 11 peer-reviewed journals, including the Lancet, American Journal of Epidemiology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Oncotarget and Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.

Magdalena Neuhauser is a fourth-year medical student and researcher at the Institute of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. Her research interests include the study of care patterns for primary central nervous system lymphoma and research on glioblastoma at the Austrian Brain Tumor Registry.  

About the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium 

The Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium (BTEC) is an open scientific forum organized to foster the development of multi-center, international and inter-disciplinary collaborations that will lead to a better understanding of the etiology, outcomes and prevention of brain tumors.

About the American Brain Tumor Association

Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first and is the only national patient advocacy organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing support and education programs for people of all tumor types and all ages.

For more information, visit or call 800-886-ABTA (2282).