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ABTA Awards 18 Research Grants to Support Early Career Investigators and High-Impact, Collaborative Brain Tumor Research

11:21 EDT 1 Aug 2017 | PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Aug. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) is pleased to announce the recipients of their 2017-2019 Research Collaboration Grants, 2017 Discovery Grants, 2017-2019 Basic Research Fellowships and 2017 Medical Student Summer Fellowships. Through the funding of high-impact research and early-career scientists, the ABTA is seeding the field with talented investigators who have the potential to change our understanding of the causes, effects, diagnosis, and treatment of brain tumors. This year's recipients were selected following a competitive, multi-step review process based on scientific merit, potential for impact, and alignment with the mission of the ABTA.

"We are excited to continue our legacy of funding critical brain tumor research," said Nicole Willmarth, PhD, chief science officer, American Brain Tumor Association. "Our new grant recipients are focusing on important and innovative research areas such as liquid biopsies, imaging biomarkers, and immunotherapies.  We're hopeful that these new projects will continue to propel our understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors and will have a large impact on the field for many years to come."

The American Brain Tumor Association Research Collaboration Grant is a new two-year grant supporting multiple investigator, multi-disciplinary research projects in the brain tumor field. Recipients of this grant demonstrate innovative approaches to their research that involve scientific collaboration as a critical component.  Congratulations to the 2017-2019 Research Collaboration Grant recipients:

Catherine Flores, PhDUniversity of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Co-Principal Investigator: Robert Wechsler-Reya, PhD (Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, CA)
"Evaluating the Use of Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Overcoming Immunosuppression within the Brain Tumor Microenvironment"

Benjamin Ellingson, PhDUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Co-Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Gerstner, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA)
"Validation of Diffusion MRI as a Predictive Imaging Biomarker for anti-VEGF Therapies in Recurrent Glioblastoma"

The American Brain Tumor Association Discovery Grant is a prestigious one-year grant supporting cutting-edge, innovative approaches that have the potential to change current diagnostic or treatment paradigms for either adult or pediatric brain tumors. Congratulations to the 2017 Discovery Grant recipients:

Michael Evans, PhDUniversity of California, San Francisco
"Developing 68Ga-citrate PET/MR to Distinguish Viable Tumors from Pseudoprogression"

Cigall Kadoch, PhDDana-Farber Cancer Institute
"Targeting Oncogenic Chromatin Remodeling in SMARCE1-Deficient Clear Cell Meningioma"

Ilwoo Park, PhDChonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea
"Noninvasive Assessment of Treatment Response for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Using Hyperpolarized Carbon-13 Metabolic Imaging"

Elena Pentsova, MDMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
"Developing a "Liquid Biopsy" Paradigm to Improve Outcome in Patients with Gliomas"

Vijay Ramaswamy, MD, PhDThe Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
"Overcoming Treatment Resistance in Very High Risk Medulloblastoma"

Markus Siegelin, MDColumbia University Medical Center
"Targeting Bcl-xL in IDH1 Mutated Gliomas"

The recipients of the American Brain Tumor Association Basic Research Fellowships are postdoctoral fellows conducting brain tumor research.  This two-year grant provides recipients the opportunity to be mentored by world-class scientists in renowned institutions, in an effort to provide the research, scientific, management and other guidance necessary to foster their career development.  Congratulations to the 2017-2019 Basic Research Fellowship recipients:

Chloe Najac, PhDUniversity of California, San Francisco
Mentor: Sabrina Ronen, PhD
"Metabolic Imaging Biomarkers of Response to Treatment with a Dual Isocitrate Dehydrogenase 1 Inhibitor in Glioma"

Carmela Passaro, PhDBrigham and Women's Hospital
Mentor: E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD
"Evaluation of the Effects of a New Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus Expressing a Single Chain Antibody Against PD1 in Mouse Models of Glioblastoma"

Chirag Patel, MD, PhDStanford University
Mentor: Sanjiv Gambhir, MD, PhD
"Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1alpha and Sirtuin Inhibition in Glioblastoma in Conjunction with Tumor Treating Fields"

Hanna Sabelström, PhDUniversity of California, San Francisco
Mentor: Anders Persson, PhD
"A Novel Pressure-Reducing Therapy to Abrogate Tumor Invasiveness and Immune Infiltration in Glioblastoma"

Peng Zhang, PhDNorthwestern University
Mentor: Maciej Lesniak, MD, MHCM, FAANS
"Intelligent Nanotherapeutics Enable Targeted Synergistic Therapy Against Glioblastoma"

In addition to the grants above, ABTA has also awarded five Medical Student Summer Fellowships to deserving medical students who wish to spend a summer conducting brain tumor research projects under the guidance of esteemed scientist-mentors. Through these grants, the ABTA seeks to encourage motivated physician-scientists to enter and remain in the brain rumor research field. Congratulations to the 2017 Medical Student Summer Fellowship recipients:

Melanie Babinski, DECMassachusetts General Hospital
Mentor: Priscilla Brastianos, MD
"PI3K pathway mutations in brain metastases"

Alex Flores, BAUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Mentor: Ryan Miller, MD, PhD
"Defining the dynamic response of glioblastoma kinomes to targeted kinase inhibitors"

Sameer Halani, MSEmory University
Mentor: Daniel Brat, MD, PhD
"Mechanisms of risk and disease progression in isocitrate dehydrogenase mutant astrocytomas"

Michelle Lin, BAUniversity of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Mentor: Josh Neman, PhD
"Microenvironmental contribution of the choroid plexus and cerebrospinal fluid in breast to brain metastases"

Josephine Volovetz, BACleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
Mentor: Justin Lathia, PhD
"Exploring the role of Serpin B3 as a cancer stem cell maintenance factor"

For more information about our research programs and funding opportunities, visit www.abta.org/grants.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN BRAIN TUMOR ASSOCIATIONFounded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first national patient advocacy organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing education and information for people of all tumor types and all ages.  For more information, visit www.abta.org or call 800-886-ABTA (2282).

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SOURCE American Brain Tumor Association

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