Our Highest Honor

The Joel A. Gingras Jr. Award

ABTA President & CEO Ralph DeVitto, Board Chair Jim Reilly and Johnathan Gingras present Fern Bomchill with the Joel A. Gingras Jr. Award during the 2019 National Conference.

Since 2010, the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) has awarded the Joel A. Gingras Jr. Award, our highest honor, to recognize an individual, organization or group that has made significant contributions to the Association’s mission through philanthropy, advocacy, discovery, or patient care.  

The ABTA’s highest honor, the Gingras Award pays tribute to Joel A. Gingras Jr., who died in 1988 due to complications from treatment of a choroid plexus papilloma, a rare, non-cancerous brain tumor.

The following year—channeling all of their grief and good intentions—the Gingras family created the Joel Anthony Gingras Memorial Foundation (JAG Fund) to raise money for and increase awareness of brain tumors. An already popular annual tube float organized by the family became the fundraising mechanism. Since then, the entire Gingras family and its board of directors have made an unprecedented impact within the brain tumor community, by raising much-needed funds to help the American Brain Tumor Association provide patient services and invest in research. Never losing sight of their mission, the JAG Foundation has donated $2 million to the ABTA over the past 30 years.

Serving as the pinnacle of our philanthropic honors, the Gingras Award is also a testament to the dedication of the Gingras Family and others like them, who continue to support the ABTA mission. Thanks to all past, present and future recipients, we may be closer to a cure for brain tumors.


2022 Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award Recipient

Dr. Mark GIlbertDr. Mark Gilbert 

Chief, Senior Investigator,

Neuro-Oncology Branch, CCR, NCI, NIH, CCR Deputy Director.

ABTA leadership is pleased to announce Dr. Mark Gilbert as the 2022 Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award recipient.

At the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Dr. Mark Gilbert leads a robust team of researchers and clinicians performing cutting-edge research in the field of neuro-oncology. In his pursuit of advancing brain tumor treatments, Dr. Gilbert also aspires to make clinical and translational research more accessible, so that physicians around the world can make a collective impact on neuro-oncology.  

Before becoming Senior Investigator for the Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB) at the NCI, Dr. Gilbert had a successful 14-year tenure at the Department of Neuro-Oncology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. He has also held academic positions at Johns Hopkins, University of Pittsburgh, and Emory University.  

Throughout his career, Dr. Gilbert has gained international recognition for his roles in different clinical trial initiatives. In 2005, he was appointed Director of the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative (BTTC), which seeks to expand clinical trial access to patients across the country. In 2006, Dr. Gilbert launched the Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network (CERN), where he served as (former) Director and Principal Investigator studying this rare form of CNS cancer.  

Since 2011, Dr. Gilbert has been actively involved with the ABTA, presenting several webinars, speaking at Patient & Family Meetings, and participating in several mock tumor boards at the ABTA National Conference. In 2020, he served as a National Conference co-chair, where he crafted a dynamic, patient-centric program at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Gilbert has also collaborated with the ABTA on the NCI-CONNECT partnership, a comprehensive oncology network that evaluates rare CNS tumors to help improve approaches to treatment and care.  

Currently, Dr. Gilbert is working with ABTA Research staff to develop a program for NCI fellows to apply and be selected through the peer competitive review process, allowing them to become part of the ABTA Alumni Research Network (AARN).  

Joel A. Gingras Jr.  (1961-1988)

Past Recipients



Rick Sontag & The Sontag Foundation


Priscilla Brastianos, MD


Fern Bomchill & The Bradley Benton Davis Foundation 


Joelle Syverson & Humor to Fight the Tumor Foundation


Carol Kruchko, Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States, Founder and President


E. Antonio (Nino) Chiocca, MD, PhD


Paul Fabbri Memorial Fund Committee, Family & Friends


Lynne Adams & the Butler Family Foundation


Louis & Phyllis Jacobs


Dr. Steven Brem


          Gina & Randy Porter           (Justin’s Walk)


Joel A. Gingras Memorial Foundation

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