ABTA Announces $1.3 Million in New Funding to Accelerate Adult and Pediatric Brain Tumor Research

With more than $35 million invested across 800 research projects, the ABTA is at the forefront of driving progress and seeding hope for life-changing treatments and care for brain tumor patients.

CHICAGO, Ill., November 8, 2023

The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) today announced the funding of $1.37 million towards 23 new research grants to advance brain tumor science and treatments, across all brain tumor types and ages. Dedicated to advancing the field of neuro-oncology and accelerating the discovery of life-saving treatments, the ABTA is proud to have invested more than $35 million, to approximately 700 researchers to support 800 projects, to date.

 “Throughout our 50-year history, the ABTA has provided vital seed money to fund collaborative and high-risk, high-reward research grants which have contributed to significant breakthroughs in treating brain tumors by many of the country’s leading researchers,” said Nicole Willmarth, Ph.D., ABTA chief mission officer. “We are excited to empower a new class of grant recipients whose bold visions have the potential to unlock new opportunities in the fight against brain tumors.”

This year’s slate of research projects investigates biomarkers, DNA damage and repair mechanisms, gene therapies, and more, across adult and pediatric primary brain tumors and metastatic brain cancers.

The ABTA congratulates the 2023 grant recipients listed below. To learn more about ABTA grant recipients and their research projects, visit www.abta.org/research/research-funding-impact/.

Research Collaboration Grants are two-year, $200,000 grants awarded for multi-investigator and multi-institutional brain tumor collaborative research projects. They are intended to promote team science, streamlining, and accelerating research progress.

  • Federico Gaiti, PhD—University Health Network, Canada

Gelareh Zadeh, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FAANS—University of Toronto, Canada

  • Oliver Jonas, PhD—Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts

Shawn Hervey-Jumper, MD—University of California, San Francisco, California

  • Derek Wainwright, PhD—Loyola University of Chicago, Illinois

Pilar Sanchez-Gomez, PhD—Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain

Basic Research Fellowships are two-year, $100,000 grants awarded to post-doctoral fellows who are mentored by established and nationally recognized experts in the neuro-oncology field.

  • Charuta Furey, MD—Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph Medical Center, Arizona
  • Juyeun Lee, PhD, DVM—Cleveland Clinic, Ohio 
  • Rakesh Trivedi, PhD—MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas

Discovery Grants are one-year, $50,000 grants supporting high-risk, high-reward innovative approaches that hold potential to change current diagnostic or treatment standards of care.

  • Theresa Barberi, PhD—Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Maryland
  • Defne Bayik, PhD—Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center/University of Miami Health Systems, Florida
  • Phedias Diamandis, MD, PhD—University Health Network, Canada
  • Siddharthra Mitra, PhD—University of Colorado Denver, Colorado
  • Allegra Petti, PhD—Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts
  • Soma Sengupta, MD, PhD—University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Daniel Silver, PhD—Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
  • Elizabeth Sweeney, PhD—The George Washington University, District of Columbia
  • Nehalkumar Thakor, PhD—The University of Lethbridge, Canada

Medical Student Summer Fellowships are three-month, $3,000 grants awarded to medical students to conduct brain tumor research projects under the guidance of neuro-oncology experts. Through these grants, the ABTA seeks to encourage physician-scientists to enter and remain in the brain tumor field.

  • Michael Chang, BS—Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Maryland
  • Himanshu Dashora, BS—Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
  • Jakub Jarmula, BA—Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
  • Jenna Koenig, BS—Indiana University, Indiana
  • Jayson Nelson, BS—The University of Utah, Utah
  • Minh Nguyen, BS—University of California, San Francisco, California
  • Gabrielle Price, MSc—Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York
  • Sangami Pugazenthi, BA—Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri

Awarding of these grants would not be possible without the incredible support of our donors and our partner organizations including the Joel A. Gingras Memorial Foundation, Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation, Brain Up, Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada, Tap Cancer Out, Gladiator Project and StacheStrong.

The ABTA is now accepting applications for its 2024 Research Collaboration Grants, Discovery Grants, Basic Research Fellowships, and Jack and Fay Netchin Medical Student Summer Fellowships. For more information on grant opportunities and deadlines, visit https://www.abta.org/grants/.