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More than 70 of the world’s leading DIPG/DMG researchers came together for a two-day collaborative workshop May 12-13 to share their latest findings in the world of childhood brain cancer. The inaugural event, co-hosted by the ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation and the Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center at Michigan Medicine, was held in Ann Arbor, MI.

The workshop not only shed light on the current state of childhood brain cancer research but also emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration while confronting the complexities of such a difficult and devastating disease. 

“We think it is critically important to get the leading DIPG/DMG researchers in the same room talking about ways they can work together to find a cure for DIPG/DMG more quickly,” said ChadTough Defeat DIPG co-founder, Mark Mosier. “The workshop helped create new collaborations between researchers who have not previously worked together, and we are optimistic that these new relationships will help lead to a cure.”

Drs. Sriram Venneti and Carl Koschmann, both of Michigan Medicine, kicked off the event with an update on the state of DIPG/DMG and shared exciting research coming out of the Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center, of which they are co-directors.

The weekend included compelling sessions led by top minds such as renowned biochemist Dr. Matt Dun, decorated by more than 30 national and international awards for his work in the field, neuropathologist-scientist Dr. Cynthia Hawkins, and neuro-oncologist Dr. Mariella Filbin. Other highlights included a keynote discussion led by Dr. Chris Jones, whose research centers on finding the genes that drive the development of childhood brain tumors.

Breakout sessions allowed investigators a unique opportunity for deeper discussion and shared ideas on how to push the field of childhood brain cancer research forward.

“These sessions led to the development of a ‘Roadmap’ for the next 5-10 years, which is being drafted for publication, as well as planned working groups and a future retreat for DIPG clinical trial development,” said Dr. Koschman.

The research workshop also provided an exclusive opportunity for DIPG/DMG families that partner with the ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation. These families were able to gain access to updates on recent advancements and had the chance to network with doctors, fostering meaningful connections.

The ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation believes the collective efforts of these dedicated researchers will accelerate our shared mission to discover new and better treatment options, and ultimately a cure. 

Together, we stand united in the pursuit of a future where childhood brain cancer becomes a curable and manageable condition. We are already looking forward to the 2nd annual ChadTough Defeat DIPG Research Workshop which will take place on May 11, 2024!