In a race against time to cure childhood brain cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths among children, Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital is forming the Mount Sinai Children’s Brain and Spinal Tumor Center. The center is being propelled forward by a series of generous grant awards to three of its scientists, all leaders in the field of childhood brain cancer. It will be housed within Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital.
A $3.33 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Project Award, known as an R01, from the National Cancer Institute will fund the researchers’ investigation into the role of myeloid cells in a type of pediatric brain cancer known as high-grade glioma. These gliomas are described as “high grade” because they are fast growing and spread quickly throughout the brain, making them extremely difficult to treat. They are considered somewhat rare, comprising approximately 10 percent of childhood brain cancers. Dolores Hambardzumyan, PhD, Associate Professor, Oncological Sciences, and Oren J. Becher, MD, Chief of the Jack Martin Fund Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, the Steven Ravitch Chair in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, and Professor of Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will be the Principal Investigators. The grant will be effective through May 31, 2027. In addition, a $483,000 NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant (R21) award will fund Dr. Hambardzumyan’s work to better understand and overcome immunotherapy resistance in pediatric high-grade glioma. This award will be effective through November 17, 2023.