Awarding Grants to Research Projects Focused on Brain Tumor Treatment



The SBTF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, public charitable organization based in Atlanta, GA. We fund scientific research and investigator-initiated clinical trials focused on finding a cure for brain tumors. Since 2005, the SBTF has supported more than 53 projects and awarded more than $2.8M in research grants. Our research grant philosophy is to provides seed money and stimulates brain tumor research. At the SBTF we:

  • Seek out the best science relying on a Scientific Advisory Committee to review and score all applications.
  • Focus on translational research projects and investigator-initiated clinical trials focused on finding a cure for brain tumors.
  • Strive to select and fund the project which has the best chance of leading to a cure

We believe seed funding will foster the continued development of emerging concepts, treatments, and therapies. We hope the projects funded by the SBTF might be a springboard from which researchers will garner additional data resulting in publications & recognition which has the potential to secure support from larger funding agencies, such as the National Institute of Health.

Research Grants Awarded

We are pleased to provide a list of research grant projects which have been funded by the SBTF. Funding for these research projects has been made possible through the generosity of our constituents and the support of Race for Research participants.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding our research grants. We can be reached via email  at

2021 Grants: $53,000 YTD

Justin Zihan Wang, MD, BSc

University of Toronto

Establishing the utility of plasma-based liquid biopsies in meningiomas using cell-free methylated DNA immunoprecipitation with deep sequencing

Distributed via partnership with Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) and the Tumor Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS)

Yusuf Mehkri

University of Florida

The Immune Effects of a Novel Vaccine in Combination with Standard of Care

Distriubuted via an American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) Medical Student Summer Fellowship Award

2020 Grants: $153,000

Emily Lavell
Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville, FL
Role of Glioma Extracellular Vessicles on the Transformation of Neural Stem Cells
Distributed via an American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) Medical Student Summer Fellowship Award

Sophie Peeters, MD
University of California, Los Angeles
Neoantigens arising from alternative pre-mRNA splicing may be targeted by tumor-specific T lymphocytes in histone H3.3 G34R mutant pediatric GBM

Distributed via partnership with Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) and the Tumor Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS)

Gary Kohanbash, PhD.
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Theragnostic Antibody for Improving Immunotherapy and Immune Monitoring in Glioma
Distributed via an American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) Discovery Grant

Munjal Acharya, PhD
University of California, Irvine
ABTA Discovery Grant Targeting Glioma Complement Signaling
Distributed via an American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) Discovery Grant

2019 Grants: $50,000

Maryam Rahman, MD, MS, FAANS
University of Florida
Vaccine Strategy to overcome treatment induced immunosuppression in glioma
Distributed via an American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) Discovery Grant

2018 Grants: $145,000

Awarded July 2018

David J. Robbins, University of Miami
“Evaluating Efficacy of Minnelide in MYC Driven Medulloblastoma”

Roy E. Strowd, Wake Forest
“A Novel Vaccine-Based Model to Evaluate Cancer and Treatment Induced Immune Dysfunction and Determine the Optimal Times for Incorporating Immunotherapy in Gliomas”

2017 Grants: $145,000

Awarded June 2017

Anita Hjelmeland, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham
“Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibition to improve Glioblastoma Standard of Care”

Rebecca Ihrie, Ph.D., Jonathan Irish, Ph.D., Vanderbilt
“Dissecting the contribution of the niche and immune cells to patient outcome using single-cell protein measurements”

2016 Grants: $150,000

Awarded June 2016

Yiping He, MD, Ph.D., Duke University, Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, Durham, NC
Exploiting MTAP for more effective treatment of glioblastoma with temozolomide

Eric M. Thompson, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Optimizing the Convection Enhanced Delivery of Targeted Agents for Midline gliomas

Erwin G. Van Meir, Ph.D., Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Investigating the role of N-cadherin in the therapeutic resistance of Glioblastoma

2015 Grants: $125,000

Awarded May 2015

Hai Ye, MD, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Developing a clinically relevant animal model and investigating therapeutics for targeting PPM1D mutations in brainstem glioma.

Keqiang Ye, Ph.D., Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
PIKE-A/Cdk4 Complex is a Novel Drug Target for Treating Glioblastoma

2014 Grants: $200,000

Awarded May 2014

Hui-Kuo Shu, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Therapeutic Targeting of Id1 in Glioblastomas

Tracy-Ann Read, Ph.D., Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Characterizing the role of second hit genes in SNF5 deficient tumors

Matthias Gromeier, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Oncolytic Polio Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma

Chin Chiang. Ph.D., Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
Redox Function in Medulloblastoma

Kevin Cassady, MD, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
The oHSV-Mediated Immune Response: Engineering Long-Term Anti-GBM Immunity”

2012 Grants: $175,000

Awarded April 2013, Award Ceremony September 2013

Prakash Chinnaiyan, MD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
Determining Biologic Consequence of Cysteine Catabolism

Lawrence S. Lamb, Jr., Ph.D., Wallace Tumor Institute, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Temozolomide-resistant gene-modified yS T cells for High Grade Gliomas

Renee Read, Ph.D., Emory University School of Medicine – Phil Jory Research Award Recipient
Revealing a role for Stk17A in glioblastoma invasion and proliferation

2011 Grants: $245,397

Awarded April 2012

Satish K. Chitneni, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center
PET Imaging iDH1-R1324H in Glioma

Jialiang Wang, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
GBM Stem Cell Treatment

Erwin G. Van Meir, Ph.D., Emory University
BA1 Tumor Supressor in Medulloblastoma

Etty (Tika) Benveniste, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham
Defining the Role of Nf-kB in Promoting STAT3 Activation in Malignant Gliomas

2010 Grants: $225,000

Award Ceremony conducted April 15, 2011

Craig Castellino, MD, Ph.D., Emory University
“Inhibition of WIP1-mediated metastasis in medulloblastoma”

Laura Johnson, Ph.D., Duke University
“Reversing CD28:B7 ligand/receptor superfamily-mediated immune deficits in cytomegalovirus infected GBM patients”

Hai Yan, MD, Duke University
“The role of D-2-hydroxyglutarate in glioma pathology, diagnosis and therapy”

Tracy-Ann Read, Ph.D., Emory University
“Identification and Characterization of the Cell of Origin for Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumors (AT/RTS)”

2009 Grants: $275,000

Award Ceremony conducted March 2010

Dr. Van Meir, Ph.D., Emory University
“Therapeutic Modulation of the Methyl-CpG-Binding Domain Protein 2 (MBD2) in Glioma”

Dr. Chandramohan, MD. Ph.D., Duke University
“D2C7-NZ-1: A Novel Recombinant Trispecific Single-Chain Immunotoxin for the Treatment of Malignant Glioma”

Dr. Laura Johnson, MD. Ph.D., Duke University
“Research Project on EGFRvIII Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Modified T Cell Immunotherapy of Glioblastoma”

Dr. Jeffrey Olson, MD, Emory University
“Glioblastoma Stem Cell Resistance to Proteasome Inhibition: Assessment of Mechanisms”

2008 Grants: $300,000

Awarded, May 17, 2009

Dr. Nozell, MD, University of Alabama
“Role of NF-KB in promoting tumorigenicity”

Dr. Gromeier, MD, Duke University
“Oncolytic virotherapy for metastatic medulloblastoma”

Dr. Mitchell, MD, Duke University
“Enhancing immunity to malignant glioma during hematopoietic recovery from lymphodepletive temozolomide”

Dr. Reya, MD, Duke University
“Creating a new mouse model for large cell anaplastic medulloblastoma”

Dr. Costas G. Hadjipanayis, MD. Ph.D., Emory University
“EGFRVIII antibody conjugated magnetic nanoparticles for targeted imaging and therapy”

2007 Grants: $270,000

Awarded, January 30, 2008

Dr. Yiting Cao, MD, Duke University
For his work with Dr. Jeremy Rich and the Erythropoietin Regulation of Brain Tumor Stem Cells.

Dr. Charlie Hao, MD, Emory University
For his work of Combination Treatment of GBM with TRAIL and Hsp90 Inhibitors.

Dr. Erwin Van Meir, Ph.D., Emory University
For work on a novel anti-angiogenic function for the p14ARF tumor suppressor in Glioma.

2006 Grants: $210,432

Dr. Michael W. Graner, Ph.D., Duke University
Heat Shock Protein Vaccines as Immunotherapy against Malignant Glioma.

Dr. Erwin Van Meir, Ph.D., Emory University
Pre-clinical development of a Novel Small Molecule HIF-1 Inhibitor for the Therapy of Malignant Brain Tumors.

Dr. Matthias Gromeier, MD, Duke University
Evaluation of Oncolytic Poliovirus Recombinants in a Syngeneic Rodent Glioma Model

2005 Grants: $110,000

Dr. Hai Yan, Ph.D., Duke University
Characterization of OTX2 as a Novel Therapeutic Target and Prognostic Marker Medulloblastoma

Dr. Chunhai (Charlie) Hao, MD, Ph.D., Winship Cancer Institute – Emory University
Development of TRAIL-based Therapies for Glioblastomas

Anita Hjelmeland, Ph.D., Duke University
PTEN Loss in Gliomas Promotes Pro-Tumorigenic Responses to Transforming Growth Factor Beta

In the clinician's words...