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$500,000 Awarded to Advance Brain Cancer Research at 10 Leading Cancer Research Institutes Through Patient-Nonprofit Partnership

Published on August 24, 2019 in Press Release

Sharpe-NBTS Brain Cancer Awards provide $50,000 infusions of funding for innovative brain cancer R&D efforts

National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) announced the Sharpe-NBTS Brain Cancer Research Awards program will invest $500,000 in cutting-edge brain cancer studies at 10 leading scientific laboratories across the United States. Each lab will receive $25,000 for a period of two years.

“These awards are intended to fund innovative research by outstanding scientists focusing on scientifically targeting novel molecular vulnerabilities in glioblastoma as well as studying to more effectively treat GBM patients while significantly and measurably improving survival,” said David Arons, National Brain Tumor Society’s Chief Executive Officer. “National Brain Tumor Society recognizes and applauds the Sharpe family for their forward-thinking and exceptional commitment to the brain tumor community in establishing this research fund in the midst of their own, personal journey with brain cancer.”

These awards are funded through the generosity of 54-month glioblastoma survivor Bob Sharpe, and his Today is a Good Day Foundation. Sharpe partnered with NBTS to help raise funds for glioblastoma (GBM) research projects that have the potential to provide better treatments for individuals with brain cancer and can quickly move to clinical trial phases. Sharpe’s on-going fundraising efforts are supported by his wife Deborah and his family and friends through events such as the National Brain Tumor Society’s Phoenix Brain Tumor Walk and the Rancho Sahuarita Cancer Walk, raising more than $1,000,000 since 2016, all of which has already been distributed to promising research efforts around the country.

“I’m optimistic that through these awards to world-class research efforts, we can make an impact that will contribute to a future when patients have the treatments needed to overcome this disease,” said Bob Sharpe. “I’ve partnered with the National Brain Tumor Society to try to help the brain cancer community through the resources and connections that I am fortunate to have, and living every day with the attitude that Today is a Good Day.”

The 2019-2020 Sharpe-NBTS awardees are:

  • Yi Fan, Steven Brem, and Yanqing Gong, University of Pennsylvania
  • Susan Chang and Manish Aghi, University of California, San Francisco
  • Timothy Cloughesy and David Nathanson, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Veerakumar Balasubramaniyan and John de Groot, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Matthias Gromeier and Annick Desjardins, Duke University
  • Santosh Kesari, John Wayne Cancer Institute
  • Ingo K. Mellinghoff, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Paul Mischel, Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research
  • Richard Vile, Brian O’Neill, and Aaron Johnson, Mayo Clinic
  • Jose Ricardo McFaline Figueroa, Jean Zhao, and Patrick Wen, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Glioblastoma (or GBM) is the most common and most aggressive malignant brain tumor — or brain cancer. It is also one of the most complex, deadly, and treatment-resistant tumors of any cancer.

GBM accounts for nearly half of all brain cancers, impacting approximately 13,000 men, women, and children each year. The five-year survival rate for GBM patients is only 5.6 percent, and mean survival is estimated at just 12-18 months. These survival rates and mortality statistics for GBM have been virtually unchanged for decades.

About National Brain Tumor Society

National Brain Tumor Society invests in, mobilizes, and unites the brain tumor community to discover a cure, deliver effective treatments, and advocate for patients and care partners. We are the largest patient advocacy non-profit solely dedicated to the brain tumor community and a leading thought leader in the neuro-oncology field. Headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, our organization raises funds to invest in accelerating brain tumor treatments, prepare the community to navigate their unique brain tumor experience, and convene stakeholders while changing public policy to improve the lives and survival of brain tumor patients. Visit us at

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