Funding annual research grants for glioblastoma brain tumors is one of the key goals of The Nick Gonzales Foundation. The Foundation had another blessed year in 2010 and was able to increase our total funded research amount to $103,500 including:
$100,000 Research Donation to Dr. Mariano Viapiano – September 2010. Awarded to Dr. Viapiano and Ohio State University College of Medicine, Department of Neurological Surgery.
The role of the microenvironment in the malignant brain tumors known as gliomas.
The goal of Dr. Viapiano’s research is to understand the functions of the neural microenvironment in the normal brain and in neuropathologies. We study the tissue scaffold known as extracellular matrix that surrounds neurons and glial cells, and the multiple functions of this matrix in brain tumors, neural injury, and development of the central nervous system.
These deadly tumors utilize unique mechanisms to modify the neural matrix and infiltrate in the brain and spinal cord. Developing effective strategies against glioma invasion is a major research priority to improve therapeutic efficacy against this disease. Our projects range from studying the cellular mechanisms of tumor cell invasion to developing strategies to improve the delivery of therapeutic reagents in brain tumors.
We also study the changes in the cellular microenvironment caused by injuries to the central nervous system. This research advances our knowledge of the mechanisms of neuro-regeneration, migration of neural stem cells, and plasticity of synaptic connections. Our projects range from studying the molecular signals that regulate motility of neural cells and axons, to developing new strategies that may improve recovery from neural injury.