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ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation Awards $3.8M for Eight New DIPG-Specific Research Projects

ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation, along with its Family Partners and Research Partners, is excited to announce it has funded eight new diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) research projects totaling nearly $4 million over the next three years.  

To date, the ChadTough Defeat DIPG grant program has committed over $27 million to 66 researchers across 33 institutions.

The eight new projects to be funded include:  three Game-Changer Grants ($600,000 over three years) and five New Investigator Grants ($400,000 over three years). All awards through the ChadTough Defeat DIPG grant program are multi-year grants, allowing researchers to spend more of their time in the lab and less time seeking additional funding for future years.

Change is happening, and it’s gaining momentum,” said co-founder Tammi Carr. “We know this change has become possible only because private foundations like ours are funding DIPG research at a significantly increasing rate. This funding attracts new researchers to the field of DIPG and in many cases has served as seed money that has led to bigger federal grants.”

Applications for the ChadTough Defeat DIPG grant program are reviewed by the foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council, composed of leading experts on childhood brain cancer, to ensure the foundation uses its resources to fund the most promising DIPG/DMG research projects. The council is led by Dr. Suzanne Baker (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital) and made up of Dr. David Ashley (Duke University School of Medicine), Dr. Oren Becher (Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital), Dr. Cynthia Hawkins (Hospital for Sick Children), Dr. Chris Jones (Institute for Cancer Research in the UK) Dr. Duane Mitchell (University of Florida College of Medicine), Dr. Michelle Monje (Stanford University), Dr. Javad Nazarian (George Washington University), Dr. Verena Staedtke (Johns Hopkins Medicine), Dr. Robert Wechsler-Reya (Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute). and Dr. Bill Weiss (University of California, San Francisco).

ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation has been able to provide such significant support for research because of dozens of families coming together to make a difference. Founded by the families of Chad Carr and Michael Mosier, the foundation works collaboratively with other families who have also faced a pediatric brain cancer diagnosis, including nearly 40 Family Partners, 13 Research Partners, and others who help in additional ways. Working together enables the group to make an even bigger impact in the world of DIPG research. We truly are Tougher Together in the fight to #DefeatDIPG.

“DIPG is an incredibly tough cancer, but we are tougher,” said co-founder Mark Mosier. “Together with our Family and Research Partners, we have a shared passion for curing DIPG, and other childhood brain tumors, by funding and inspiring more game-changing research.”


  • Robbie Majzner, Stanford University, Engineering enhanced GD2 CAR T cells to overcome DIPG immune resistance
    Co-funded by SoSo Strong Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the Violet Foundation for Pediatric Brain Cancer
  • Bilal Omer, Baylor College of Medicine, C7R-GD2 CAR T cells for DMG: Clinical Trial of Dual Route Strategy
    Co-funded by the Violet Foundation for Pediatric Brain Cancer
  • Pavithra Viswanath & Sabine Mueller, MD, MAS, The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco, In Vivo Imaging of Diffuse Midline Gliomas
    Co-funded by the Violet Foundation for Pediatric Brain Cancer


  • Lily Keane, University College Cork, Identifying and targeting developmental vulnerabilities of diffuse midline gliomas
  • John Ligon, MD, University of Florida, Defining the tumor intrinsic and regional landscape of therapeutic RNA-nanoparticle transduction and immune activation following intravenous administration in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma
  • Sandro Matosevic, Purdue University, Reprogramming the tumor microenvironment in DIPG with engineered iPSC-NK cells to improve immunotherapy
    Co-funded by the Violet Foundation for Pediatric Brain Cancer
  • John Prensner, University of Michigan, Targeting aberrant RNA translation in DIPG
    Co-funded by the Violet Foundation for Pediatric Brain Cancer
  • Sneha Ramakrishna, Stanford University, Immune determinants of GD2 CAR T cell activity in patients with DIPG
    Co-funded by Tough2gether Against DIPG/DMG and the Violet Foundation for Pediatric Brain Cancer