Defeat DIPG Network Combines Forces to Award $2.2 Million for DIPG Research

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The Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation and The ChadTough Foundation announced Thursday they are funding seven new DIPG-specific research projects totaling more than $2.2 million over the next three years.

#AveryStrong and #AuburnProud

 

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Avery Huffman | Courtesy Photo, Avery Strong Defeat DIPG Foundation

Nine foundations create the Defeat DIPG Network.  Together they raise awareness and funds to enhance research to find a cure for DIPG.  The Auburn-based Avery Huffman Defeat DIPG Foundation is a part of this network.   The Avery Huffman Defeat DIPG Foundation has had multiple fundraising efforts throughout the year, including their annual Go Gold Gala in September.
In response to Thursday’s announcement, Avery Huffman’s father, Brandan Huffman, shared his thoughts in response to Thursday’s announcement.   “This is what we can do together: $2.2 million in new DIPG research funding.  This is what we work hard for each and every year. This is teamwork in action.  Having all of these families, directly affected by the devastation of DIPG, fighting back, in honor of our children but fighting for future children and families.  This is our way of fighting back.”

“It is your generous support that makes these grants possible,” Huffman continued. “We are deeply grateful for your ongoing commitment to the mission of finding a cure for DIPG. Thank you!”

Funding for a Cure

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Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson used his day with the Stanley Cup to help Defeat DIPG.  | Courtesy Photo, Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG

Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation and The ChadTough Foundation are funding seven new Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)-specific research projects totaling more than $2.2 million over the next three years (2019-21). To date, the Defeat DIPG ChadTough partnership has committed $3.3 million to 13 DIPG research projects, ranging in focus from immunotherapy to fundamental biology of DIPG to epigenetics.

“To see that number – that we’ve come together to give $3.3 million to DIPG-specific research – is incredible,” said Tammi Carr, co-founder of The ChadTough Foundation. “Family foundations are the driving force behind finding a cure for this monster, so to be able to award this much over the past two years is an amazing feeling.”

The seven projects to be funded include: two research grants ($600,000 over three years), one fellowship ($150,000 over two years), and four new investigator grants ($250,000 over two years), which are new to this year’s Defeat DIPG ChadTough grantmaking cycle.

A Strategic Funding Plan

“A big part of our funding strategy is to increase the number of researchers dedicating their focus to DIPG,” said Defeat DIPG co-founder Mark Mosier. “New investigator grants are directed toward individuals in their first independent faculty position or those who have never researched brain tumors, which means we’re reaching a new group of scientists.”

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Mark and Jenny Mosier and Tammi and Jason Carr | Courtesy Photo, Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG

Another important part of their strategy was to make longer-term commitments to funding the researchers awarded grants. All of the Defeat DIPG ChadTough grants are multi-year grants, allowing researchers to spend more of their time in the lab and less seeking additional funding for future years.

“As families that have been through the devastation of this disease, we recognize the urgency for answers,” said Jason Carr, co-founder of The ChadTough Foundation. “We put our grant application in front of as many talented researchers as we could, and structured our grants to set them up for success.”

Deciding What Projects to Fund

All projects are reviewed by the Defeat DIPG Scientific Advisory Council made up of Darell Bigner (Duke University School of Medicine), Suzanne Baker (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital), Oren Becher (Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine), Cynthia Hawkins(Hospital for Sick Children), Duane Mitchell (University of Florida College of Medicine), Michelle Monje (Stanford University), and Javad Nazarian (Children’s National Medical Center).

The Defeat DIPG ChadTough partnership was announced in 2017 with the funding of six projects (three research grants, three fellowships), totaling over $1 million over two years (2018-19). The Carr and Mosier families originally connected in the months following their sons being diagnosed with DIPG in September 2014. They quickly uncovered their shared passion for honoring their sons through raising research dollars.

Defeat DIPG and ChadTough bring together nine families with children who have fought or are fighting DIPG that are actively raising research dollars:

 

The ChadTough Foundation is led by co-founders Jason and Tammi Carr(Chad), and includes partner families Brad and Nettie Boivin (Team Julian), and Tom and Amanda Ruddy (Team Tommy).

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(Top, L-R): Chad, Michael, Connor; (Middle, L-R): Tommy, Vivian, Avery; (Bottom, L-R): Julian, Anthony, Addison

Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation is led by co-founders Mark and Jenny Mosier, and includes their Defeat DIPG Network chapters: Addison Grace Defeat DIPG Foundation (PA), Anthony’s Avengers Defeat DIPG Foundation (IL), Avery Huffman Defeat DIPG Foundation (WA), Connor Man Defeat DIPG Foundation (TX), and Vivian Rose Weaver Defeat DIPG Foundation (WA).

“Each family has channeled their grief into raising money for research,” said Jenny Mosier, Executive Director of Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation. “While nothing will erase the loss we feel, standing together to make tangible progress in this fight is one thing that keeps us going.”

Learn more about The ChadTough Foundation at chadtough.org and Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation at defeatdipg.org.

Newly Awarded DIPG-specific Research Projects

Research Grants

  • Stefanie Galban, University of Michigan, “Targeting Cancer Stem cells in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
  • Nalin Gupta and Daniel Lim, University of California San Francisco, “Use of Long Non-coding RNA (IncRNA) as a Therapeutic Target in DIPG”

New Investigator Grants

  • Sameer Agnihotri, University of Pittsburgh, “Therapeutic Targeting of Metabolic Vulnerabilities in DIPG”
  • Pratiti Bandopadhayay, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, “Characterizing long non-coding RNAs as therapeutic targets in DIPG”
  • Sujatha Venkataraman, University of Colorado-Denver, “MIC2 inhibition mediated apoptosis in DIPG”
  • Nicholas Vitanza, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, “Optimal combinatorial targeting of HDAC inhibition and radiation in DIPG”

Fellowships

  • Nneka Mbah, University of Michigan, “Therapeutic Targeting of the Disrupted Metabolic State in DIPG to Induce Ferroptotic Cell Death”

The above announcement is a release from the Defeat DIPG Network.  The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents.

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