Sharpe Brain Cancer Research Awards

In 2016, the National Brain Tumor Society partnered with Bob and Deborah Sharpe and their family to collaborate with top brain tumor researchers in the world in order to more rapidly advance research to find and develop new therapies for individuals with glioblastoma (GBM). The creation of the Sharpe-NBTS Brain Cancer Awards program led to over $1 million in funded research projects. When Bob passed away in 2019 after his four-and-a-half-year battle with terminal brain cancer, his wife Deborah, his children, and their friends and family continued their mission in his memory.

Deborah’s sister, Jenifer, who was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in April 2019 passed away in March of 2020, at the age of 66 years old. Bobby had been her guide through this difficult journey and the positivity and joy that he displayed helped her in dealing with this horrible disease every day. She too was a supporter of NBTS and upon her death left her estate to the Sharpe Awards, in particular to Dr. Tim Cloughesy and Dr. Paul Mischel, to help fund their research.

Today, the Sharpe-NBTS Brain Cancer Research Awards program enables world-class brain tumor research labs to take on innovative glioblastoma-related projects pointed toward the development of new treatments.

“Bob Sharpe was a tremendous partner and visionary in our shared mission to conquer and cure brain tumors once and for all. We are honored to work with the Sharpe family, who has given so much of themselves to find a cure for glioblastoma.” – David Arons, CEO, National Brain Tumor Society

Remembering Bob Sharpe

Bob Sharpe and his family brought grit, determination, and a clear vision to the Arizona desert that led to today’s Rancho Sahuarita community, and they brought that same vision to fighting glioblastoma. Bob believed in investing in the work of world-class researchers in order to support promising projects and to help initiate new thinking, and he built strong relationships with and supported the work of the doctors who treated him.

Bob partnered with NBTS on events like the Rancho Sahuarita Cancer Walk, which raised more than $1 million for the cause. Bob also tirelessly helped other patients who were facing glioblastoma, sharing insights from his own treatment, and connecting other patients and families with the doctors he knew and respected.

He is dearly missed by the brain tumor community and all who had the pleasure to know him.

Selection Process and Awardees

The Sharpe-NBTS Brain Cancer Research Awardees’ proposals go through the National Brain Tumor Society’s rigorous peer-review process, which engages its Scientific Advisory Council. Applicants are scored based on their scientific merit, relevance to advancing novel therapeutic approaches for adult glioblastoma, and their likelihood to expedite clinical research and ultimately care.

CURRENT AWARDS

2021

Therapeutic Approaches that Target Apoptotic Blocks in Glioblastoma
Lead Researchers: Elizabeth Fernandez, Dr. Timothy Cloughesy, and David Nathanson, PhD
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles

PAST AWARDS

2019-2020

Targeting IL-6 to Improve CAR T Immunotherapy of GBM
Lead Researchers: Drs. Yi Fan and Steven Brem
Institution: University of Pennsylvania

Defining and Targeting Pro-tumoral Effects of CD97 in Glioblastoma
Lead Researchers: Drs. Susan Chang and Manish Aghi
Institution: University of California, San Francisco

Development of a Brain-penetrant EGFR Inhibitor for Malignant Glioma
Lead Researchers: Drs. Timothy Cloughesy and David Nathanson
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles

PDL1 and PD1 Interaction in Glioblastoma Growth
Lead researchers: Drs. John de Groot and Veerakumar Balasubramaniyan
Institution: MD Anderson Cancer Center

Establishing a Rationale for PVSRIPO Immunotherapy in Newly Diagnosed GBM
Lead Researchers: Drs. Matthias Gromeier and Annick Desjardins
Institution: Duke University

Optimizing OLIG2 Inhibition for GBM Treatment
Lead Researcher: Dr. Santosh Kesari
Institution: John Wayne Cancer Institute

Biomarkers for Precision Neuro-Oncology
Lead Researcher: Dr. Ingo Mellinghoff
Institution: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Adenovirus Expressing the Co-stimulatory Molecule CD40L as a Novel Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma
Lead Researchers: Drs. Richard Vile, Aaron Johnson, and Brian O’Neill
Institution: Mayo Clinic

Integrating CDK4/6 Inhibition and Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma Using Humanized Mouse Models
Lead Researchers: Drs. Jose McFaline-Figueroa, Patrick Wen, and Jean Zhao
Institution: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Developing Innovative and More Effective Combination Therapies for GBM Patients
Lead Researcher: Dr. Paul Mischel
Institution: Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

2018

Developing CDK4 Inhibitors for Glioma Therapy
Lead Researcher: Dr. Ingo Mellinghoff
Institution: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Testing a Pharmacological Inhibitor of Plasma Membrane Organization for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Patients
Lead Researcher: Dr. Paul Mischel
Institution: Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

A 3-Dimensional Approach to Selecting Precision Combination Therapy
Lead Researchers: Drs. Joseph Costello and Susan Chang
Institution: University of California, San Francisco

2017

Targeting the Glioma Immune Environment by Creating Tertiary Lymphoid Organs
Lead Researchers: Drs. Hideho Okada and Susan Chang
Institution: University of California, San Francisco

Elucidating the Dynamics of Immune-reactive Signatures in Glioblastoma
Lead Researchers: Drs. David Nathanson and Timothy Cloughesy
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles

PDL1 Expression and Regulation in Glioblastoma Stem Cells
Lead Researchers: Drs. Veerakumar Balasubramaniyan and John de Groot
Institution: MD Anderson Cancer Center

Combining PVSRIPO Immunotherapy with Lomustine for the Treatment of Recurrent GBM
Lead Researchers: Drs. Annick Desjardins and Matthias Gromeier
Institution: Duke University

Targeting the IL-6 to Strengthen Immunotherapy for GBM
Lead Researchers: Drs. Steven Brem and Yi Fan
Institution: University of Pennsylvania

Pritumumab Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma
Lead Researcher: Dr. Santosh Kesari
Institution: John Wayne Cancer Institute

In-situ Mapping of GBM Tumor Microenvironment
Lead Researcher: Dr. Ingo Mellinghoff
Institution: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Identifying and Targeting Metabolic Co-dependency Pathways in GBM: An Unbiased Systematic Approach
Lead Researcher: Dr. Paul Mischel
Institution: Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

Immunotherapy for Brain Tumors Through APOBEC3B-induced Neo-epitope Generation in Combination with Immune Checkpoint Blockade
Lead Researchers: Drs. Brian O’Neill and Richard Vile
Institution: Mayo Clinic

Developing Effective Therapeutics of Targeted and Immunotherapy in GBM
Lead Researchers: Drs. Jean Zhao and Patrick Wen
Institution: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

2016

SPORE Collaborative: Targeting EGFRvIII with Vaccines and CTLA-4 Immunotherapy in Newly Diagnosed GBM
Lead Researcher: Dr. John Sampson
Institution: Duke University

Response-based Imaging Endpoints for Recurrent Glioblastoma Clinical Trials
Lead Researchers: Drs. Ben Ellingson and Timothy Cloughesy
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles

Evaluating Imaging Data from a Leading Clinical Trial with Avastin
Lead Researchers: Drs. Patrick Wen and Ray Huang
Institution: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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