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Seed Funding from The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Leads to Multi-Million-Dollar National Institute of Health Merit Award for The Bandopadhayay Lab

03/31/21

A world without childhood brain tumors is possible when we stand together to effect real, meaningful change. Today, The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) joins the research community to celebrate the accomplishments of Dr. Pratiti (Mimi) Bandopadhayay, MD, Ph.D. Her passion and dedication for finding healthier treatments for children with brain tumors earned The Bandopadhahay(Bando) Lab a $2 Million R37 Merit Award from the National Institute of Health (NIH). 

Like the saying "mighty oaks from little acorns grow," promising medical discoveries can grow from seed money that funds novel research that proves a project is viable and will ultimately succeed. This 'proof of concept' is required to get larger awards like that from the NCI.

For Dr. Bandopadhayay, this journey began with a PBTF Early Career Development (ECD) grant, a three-year, $300,000 award to support her post-doctoral work at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and jump-start the Bando Lab in 2015. "The PBTF multi-year ECD grants support rising stars like Dr. Bandopadhayay. They lure brilliant minds into pediatric brain cancer research, seed future pediatric brain tumor discovery, and allow young researchers to explore novel concepts," said Courtney Davies, PBTF President and CEO.

Dr. Bandopadhayay's lab has expanded and is now home to 12 motivated and hard-working scientists whose passion and contributions garnered the competitive and prestigious NIH Merit Award. Thus, the PBTF $300,000 investment returned over five times the value with the new infusion of $2 Million from the R37 Merit Award. "The NIH rewards researchers whose competence and productivity are distinctly superior. I applaud Dr. Bandopadhayay and the scientists at The Bando Lab for earning this impressive award," stated Amy Weinstein, PBTF National Director of Research Investments and Advocacy.

ECD grants demonstrate the vital role our donors play in transforming how we treat and ultimately cure childhood brain tumors. Because of their generosity, the PBTF can strategically invest in people and projects that fuel promising pediatric brain tumor research. "This wouldn't be possible without the generous support of our donors, regardless of the size of their gift. Even a seemingly small contribution can grow, having a significant impact on our ability to fund future ECD grants like those awarded to Dr. Bandopadhayay," explained Tammy Bates, PBTF National Director of Development Operations.

PBTF ECD grants create a path that leads to large-scale government grants for the brightest minds in the scientific and clinical fields of pediatric brain tumor research. With our donors' continued support, we will give children hope for a better today, a promising tomorrow, and a brighter future.

Bandopadhayay Lab
Founded in 2017, Bandopadhayay (Bando) Lab focuses on finding healthier treatments for children with brain tumors. To accomplish this, lab scientists use cutting-edge genomics to characterize driver alterations that contribute to pediatric brain tumor formation and develop therapeutic strategies to improve survival rates with fewer long-term side effects. Spearheaded by Dr. Pratiti (Mimi) Bandopadhayay, MD, Ph.D., Bando Lab is based at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and is affiliated with Boston Children's Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT, and Harvard Medical School. www.bandolab.org and on twitter @Bando_Lab

Dr. Pratiti (Mimi) Bandopadhayay, MD, Ph.D.
In addition to spearheading the Bandopadhayay Lab's efforts to find healthier treatments for children with brain tumors, Dr. Bandopadhayay is a Pediatric Neuro-Oncologist and scientist within the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, ranked the #1 pediatric cancer center in New England and #2 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report 2020/2021. (http://www.danafarberbostonchildrens.org/why-choose-us/default.aspx) Dr. Bandopadhayay is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School and an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT.

About the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
Every day, 13 children and teens are diagnosed with a brain tumor, the deadliest form of childhood cancer. Every day after, they are in a fight for their life. It is a fight the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is here to help families win. A leader in the brain tumor and childhood cancer communities, PBTF’s mission of Care. Cure. Thrive. reflects its commitment to curing all pediatric brain tumors and transforming how children and their families are cared for. Since 1991, PBTF has provided strategic leadership and funding to accelerate the number of targeted therapies for children battling brain tumors today, while equipping families with the educational resources, financial relief and emotional support they need to navigate their child’s journey. A world without childhood brain tumors is possible when we stand together to effect real, meaningful change. Learn more at www.curethekids.org.