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.

Today, 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.” Which is exactly what this still poorly understood field needs.

ABTA’s main funding goal is to advance the overall understanding of tumors as well as to improve the quality of life of brain tumor survivors. The association also favors research into the following fields:

  • New drug development and the repurposing of existing drugs
  • Targeted therapies
  • Innovative imaging techniques
  • Personalized medicine
  • Vaccines and immunotherapy
  • Improving survivorship

ABTA offers grants through four main programs: Basic Research Fellowships, Discovery Grants, the Research Collaboration Program, and the Medical Student Summer Fellowship Program. Basic Research Fellowship grants are two-year, $100,000 awards and Discovery Grants are one-year, $50,000 awards. Research Collaboration Grants are two-year $200,000 awards to a team with at least two co-PIs from different institutions. All three of these grants require Letters of Intent as a precursor to any application. 

The association’s summer fellowship program offers a $3,000 stipend to med students spending their summer breaks conducting brain tumor research under the tutelage of a scientist-mentor.

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

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