Contact: Susan M. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
James S. McDonnell Foundation
Tel: 314-721-1532

Brain Tumor Funders' Collaborative Announces $3 Million in Grants

Funding Will Support 4 Collaborative Teams Funds to Help Bridge the Translational Gap in Brain Cancer Research


JANUARY 16, 2019 – The Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative (BTFC) – six private funders of brain tumor research – today announced $3 million in grants to four multi-institutional teams of researchers and clinicians studying immunotherapy in primary brain tumors.


The four funded projects will examine vaccination strategies, the tumor’s micro-environment, anti-tumor T-cells, and personalized immunotherapy approaches. They were selected during a multi-stage review process from more than 79 responses to the BTFC call for proposals.


The following institutions will be receiving $750,000 BTFC grants over the next three years:


Project Sponsor: David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Project Title: Active vaccination and the timing of checkpoint blockade dictate effective immunotherapy for glioblastoma 
Project Manager:  Robert Prins


Project Sponsor: McGill University
Project Title: Harnessing the brain tumor immune-microenvironment to enhance therapeutic efficacy
Project Manager:  Daniela Quail


Project Sponsor: UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Project Title: Interrogating anti-tumor T-cells To develop adoptive cell transfer (ACT) Immunotherapy for pediatric high-grade gliomas 
Project Manager:  Gary Kohanbash


Sponsoring Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Project Title: Three dimensional immuno-genomics approach to personalized neoantigen-based immunotherapy
Project Manager:  Joseph Costello


The Brain Tumor Funders Collaborative was formed by private foundations and non-profit organizations to pool their resources and become more strategic by focusing their research dollars toward specific therapeutic goals. The BTFC organizations combine this research funding with patient education and advocacy.

Note: The following organizations participate in the BTFC and in this joint funding initiative:

  • American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA)
  • Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada
  • James S. McDonnell Foundation
  • Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
  • Sontag Foundation
  • Anonymous


Further information about the BTFC and its funding initiative can be found at

Brain tumor facts are available at