Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation: Grants for Brain Research and Treatment

OVERVIEW: Key among CBTF’s goals is the treatment and support of pediatric brain tumor cases. It likes to link up advanced brain research with a “sharing and caring” sort of vibe.

IP TAKE:  CBTF doesn’t give away bundles of money (just $6.5 million since the Foundation started making grants in 1990), but if you’re doing cutting edge brain tumor research at a big school, it’s a worthy place to apply.

PROFILE: The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation was founded in 1988, bringing together “dedicated parents, physicians and friends” to forward the cause of treating and supporting pediatric brain tumor cases. In the eighties, there just wasn’t a lot of research being done into the brain (remember, the fact that cholesterol was linked to heart disease was still hot news!), and insight into developing brains was even harder to come by. So naturally folks with a stake in pediatric brain tumors felt a little neglected, and wanted to create a foundation that would create incentive for that kind of research to take place.

Though a big part of their mission and their general “vibe” is about supporting patients and improving their quality of life, when it comes to grantmaking CBTF is all about the heavy lifting research. In 2011, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center received $150,000 over the course of two years for its work targeting ependymoma with signaling inhibitors using a synthetic lethality screen. And in 2011, Tamara Caspary, Ph.D., of Emory University, received the same amount to support her research into defining the role of ALR13B in medulloblastoma oncogenesis. As with CBTF’s other initiatives, these researchers are working on very advanced, specific, yet fairly mainstream breakthroughs. In the past few years, it seems as though CBTF has been moving towards funding scientists that are further along in their careers, as well. Because CBTF doesn’t have a ton of money to dole out each year, it wants its grants to truly count for something, and funding fringy beginner science isn’t their MO.

So if you’re a mid-career scientist working at a major research institution, chasing down a breakthrough via conventional ways and means, and aimed at improving treatment for pediatric brain tumor patients, give CBTF a shot. Their grant cycle begins in the spring of every year. It's worth checking their grants page ever so often for updates.

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