The Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation: Grants for Brain Research and Treatment

OVERVIEW: The Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation wants to double the life expectancy of people with brain cancer, but its ultimate goal is to cure brain cancer. Since its inception, the foundation has focused its funding on brain tumor research that demonstrate promise in leading to improved diagnostics and therapies.

IP TAKE: The Ivy Foundation’s grants overwhelmingly go to researchers and scientists working at large and established groups—typically major hospitals and universities. Small research outfits are unlikely to turn the Ivy Foundation’s head.

PROFILE: The Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation was established in 2005 after Ben Ivy lost his painful four-month battle with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Since then the Scottsdale, Arizona-based foundation has been on a mission to “fund research on gliomas to develop better diagnostics and treatments that lead to long-term survival and a high quality of life for patients with brain tumors.” Catherine Ivy’s personal goal is “to prevent others from having to go through what we endured and to decrease the suffering of patients with brain tumors.”

Ivy Foundation grants may fund GBM research exclusively, but the reach isn’t as narrow as one may think. Ivy supports a number of innovative projects in the study of GBM including those related to stem cell therapies, clinical and translational sciences, and molecular targeted therapy—just to name a few.

To get a more concrete idea of the types of projects the Ivy Foundation tends to fund, grantseekers can take a look at its list of research funded to date. Grants can range from the low end of around $100,000 to over $1 million.

The Ivy Foundation doesn’t accept unsolicited applications and instead relies on the expertise of its scientific advisers to identify potential applicants. With a super-concrete objective and no fear of outside-the-box science, the Ivy Foundation is definitely one to watch for scientists with brain cancer — especially glioma — in their crosshairs.

It wouldn’t hurt for like-minded scientists to reach out here. Grantseekers should keep in mind that Ivy views its grantmaking as investments and it expects some type of rate of return, which the foundation measures “by milestones and results.”

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