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Foundation Awards $4 Million in Additional Grants

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) / diffuse midline glioma (DMG) research projects totaling $4 million over the next three years. This commitment is the largest round of funding since the foundation’s inception in 2015.

To date, the ChadTough Defeat DIPG grant program has committed over $33 million to 80 researchers across 42 institutions.

The eight new projects to be funded include: four Game-Changer Grants ($600,000 over three years) and four 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.

Our Game-Changer grants support hypothesis-driven research projects that represent an innovative approach to a major challenge in the study of DIPG / DMG, New Investigator grants fund newly independent DIPG / DMG researchers working to establish research labs in the field – OR – established researchers (who have not previously conducted brain tumor research) to encourage them to start DIPG / DMG research. Both of these grant opportunities hold tremendous potential for groundbreaking discoveries in the field.

This support includes new, promising research into CAR T-cell therapy, a focus on understanding the origins of DIPG, and even innovative work on a nonsurgical brain implant for bioelectric therapy. All of the newly funded projects will expand and amplify efforts towards a cure!

“There are not a lot of federal funding resources to fuel the scientific discoveries that are needed for kids who get cancer. Private funding from foundations like ChadTough is essential to keep research on childhood cancer moving forward,” – Dr. John Prensner, 2023 New Investigator grant awardee.

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. 

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 more than 40 Family Partners, 20 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. 


Peter Dirks and Cynthia Hawkins, Hospital for Sick Children
(Co-funded by The DEKM Fund and Elle’s Angels Foundation)

Mariella Filbin, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
(Co-funded by the Violet Foundation for pediatric brain cancer, The DEKM Fund, Tough2gether, and RunDIPG)

Carl Koschmann, University of Michigan
(Co-funded by the SoSo Strong Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation)

Pavithra Viswanath, University of California, San Francisco
(Co-funded by the Violet Foundation for pediatric brain cancer)


Jean Bertoldo, Children’s Cancer Institute
(Co-funded by the Violet Foundation for pediatric brain cancer)

Kumar Pichumani, Houston Methodist Hospital Research Institute

Deblina Sarkar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(Co-funded by Lace ‘em Up for Libby, Magic for Maddie, Storm the Heavens Fund, and Violet Foundation for pediatric brain cancer)

Matthew Waitkus, Duke University

Click here to learn more about research grants awarded through the ChadTough Defeat DIPG grant program.