2009 Brain Cancer Research Awards

Home 2009 Brain Cancer Research Awards

Funding annual research grants for glioblastoma brain tumors is one of the key goals of The Nick Gonzales Foundation. The Foundation has funded a number of brain tumor research projects totaling $78,500 including:

  1. $1,200 Research Donation to the Grey Ribbon Crusade – May 2009. Combined with donation from the Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc. for a research grant of $40,000. Awarded to Baylor College of Medicine – Benjamin Deneen, Ph.D.

    The role of glial fate determinants in the generation of astrocytomas.

    In both adults and children, astrocytomas are the most common and deadly form of brain cancer. Astrocytomas are derived from glial cells, which make up the support matrix of the brain. Many of the mechanisms that control the generation of glial cells have been identified and are found in astrocytomas. Therefore, the goal of this study is to determine whether the processes that control the generation of glial cells are important for the generation of astrocytomas. In previous studies we identified a gene called Nuclear Factor I-A (NFIA) that controls the generation of glial cells and is also found in astrocytomas. In preliminary studies, elimination of NFIA from human and mouse astrocytoma cell lines blocked tumor formation. In this study we want to utilize stem cell models of astrocytoma to determine the exact genetic conditions that are necessary for NFIA to promote tumor formation. The ultimate goal of these studies is to determine whether manipulation of the processes responsible for the generation of glial cells can be utilized in the treatment of astrocytomas and take the first step in the development of a clinically relevant, biologically based therapy.

  2. $25,000 Research Grant to the National Brain Tumor Society – May 2009. Awarded to Duke University, Durham, NC – Hai Yan, Ph. D – Researcher 

    The role of HDMX in GBM oncogenesis and chemoresistance.

    This project studies how a cellular negative regulator of the highly important p53 tumor suppressor is involved in GBM development and drug resistance. The investigator discovered a cancer gene called HDMX that negatively regulates p53 signaling (involved in growth and resistance) and will study its role in tumor development and drug resistance.

  3. $2000 Research Donation to the Grey Ribbon Crusade – June 2009. Combined with donation from the Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc. – In process of raising additional dollars in order to fund the $100,000 grant. Proposed grant will be awarded to the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Jose Pascua

     Targeting Metabolism in Brain Tumors