Seventh grant competition for translational research in brain tumors (details)

The organizers of  Brains Together For a Cure are happy to announce the seventh grant competition for translational research in brain tumors. The goal of this organization is to raise awareness of the impact of brain tumors in the lives of patients and families and to raise funds to fight this terrible disease.

Please note the following regarding the grant:

  1. $50,000 one-year award
  2. Deadline for grant submission is Friday 3/27/2015
  3. Scope of projects: translational/clinical research focused on CNS tumors
  4. Ideally this would fund a pilot project, but the grant can be used to supplement ongoing research. Emphasis is on translational research that would contribute one day to advances in patient care.
  5. Date of award notification Friday 5/15/2015
  6. Date of grant activation Friday 10/16/2015
  7. No indirect costs allowed


  • 300 word limit abstract
  • 300 word limit lay abstract
  • 6 pages (this does not include the two abstracts, budget and bibliography)
  • Specific Aims
  • Background/Rationale
  • Preliminary Data
  • Research Plan/Methods
  • (Figures and Tables are to be included in this page limit)

Inquiries and selected proposals should be sent to the following email:


The Board of Brains Together For a Cure


Please find below a description by one of this year’s grant recipients, Dr. Ravi Kumar of his work on brain tumors.  He was granted a financial award by the BTFC board of directors in May 2015.   We are grateful for his hard work and research.

Title: Reversing the Tides of Glioma Induced Immunosuppression

The cure for cancerous brain tumors may reside inside us in our immune system.  The immune system has the remarkable ability to destroy cancer, cell-by-cell with few if any side-effects.  Yet, cancer has found ways to suppress the immune system and avoid immune system attack.  One type of cell important for this cancer-mediated immune suppression is called a myeloid derived suppressor cell (MDSC).  MDSCs are trained within the tumor itself and then circulate through the body turning off immune cells that might attack the tumor.  Our lab focuses on ways of reversing this through various drugs including curcumin (a chemical derived from the spice, turmeric) and sulforaphane (a bioactive chemical found in broccoli sprouts), as well as cell signaling molecules such as STAT3 and PD-L1. Our ultimate goal is to unlock the body’s ability to heal itself through the immune system.

Dr. Aaron Johnson is the recipient of the second award from the grant competition this year.

Title:  Combined therapy for Glioblastoma Multiforme.

In this study, we are looking at two approaches to treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). One treatment includes the use of drugs that stop the tumor from becoming vascular, starving the tumors blood supply in the process. The other major treatment approach is to boost the immune system to kill GBM cells. Under previous funding provided by BTFC, we determined these two therapies can be used together.  We also determined that the combined use of these therapies enhanced the immune system to kill GBM beyond boosting alone.  The experiments put forward will determine how the immune system is boosted and if this combined approach can be applied to mainstream cancer therapies.  The results we have found thus far support the combined use of therapies to ultimately provide a better treatment strategy for GBM patients.