American Brain Tumor Association: Grants for Research and Treatment

OVERVIEW: The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) focuses its grantmaking on patient-centered approaches to understanding and treating brain tumors.

IP TAKE: Rather than support engineering improvements made to old technology, the ABTA seeks innovation in brain tumor research and patient survivorship, and does so mainly by supporting early career investigators.

PROFILE: Established in 1973, the Chicago-based American Brain Tumor Association arose out of the "dark ages" of brain research and treatment to become the first national nonprofit dedicated to understanding brain tumors. The ABT Association seeks to “advance the understanding and treatment of brain tumors with the goals of improving, extending and, ultimately, saving the lives of those impacted by a brain tumor diagnosis,” which it does through “interactions and engagements with brain tumor patients and their families, collaborations with allied groups and organizations, and the funding of brain tumor research.” The ABTA focuses its grant making on young and early career scientists “who have the potential to change our understanding of the causes, effects, diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors.”

ABTA’s Research Grants come in four varieties. Basic Research Fellowships are two-year, $100,000 awards for “postdoctoral fellows conducting laboratory or field-based research projects focused on brain tumors.” Discovery Grants offer one-year, $50,000 awards for “high-risk/high-impact research with the potential to change current diagnostic or treatment models.” The Research Collaboration Program offers two-year, $200,000 grants for “multi-investigator and multi-institutional brain tumor collaborative research projects.” Finally, the Medical Student Summer Fellowship Program offers a modest $3,000 to help medical students get “experience and inspire them to pursue a career in neuro-oncology research.” ABTA’s current research priorities include new drug development and the repurposing of existing drugs, targeted therapies, innovative imaging techniques, personalized medicine, vaccines and immunotherapy, and improving survivorship.

Grantseekers can explore the association’s previously funded research to get an idea of the types of projects and programs it supports.

Most of ABTA’s grants have an open application process. Applicants who submit a Letter of Inquiry by November may be invited to submit a full proposal by mid to late March. The Summer Fellowship Program accepts applications from December to January of each year.

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