What we’re funding
We are the leading funder of brain tumour research in the UK, committing over £50 million to date on pioneering projects that will help adults and children with brain tumours.
We fund research through a competitive, fair and transparent process of best practice called peer review to ensure we only select the very best research that will have a real impact on those affected by brain tumours.
Cannabinoid research in the clinic
Thanks to your support we managed to raise the funds for a first-of-its-kind-in-the-UK clinical trial into using cannabinoids to treat brain tumours. The phase II clinical trial will explore whether combining Sativex with temozolomide works better than using temozolomide alone and whether participants receiving Sativex live longer, better lives. The trial opened in February 2023 and can’t wait to see the results.
Our latest research grants
We’re pleased to share our most recent research awards. Our Scientific Advisory Board told us that these are the highest quality grants with the best chance of success. We look forward to seeing their progress in the coming months and years.
Dr. Ola Rominiyi
Investigating DNA repair on a cell-by-cell basis in glioblastoma
Dr. Ola Rominiyi at the University of Sheffield is researching DNA repair in glioblastoma on a cellular level to identify treatment vulnerabilities. His work aims to create new treatment strategies with DNA repair inhibitor drugs that are more effective and have fewer side effects.
Dr. Mara De Martino
Shining a light on the role of lipid metabolism as a barrier to successful brain tumour treatment
Dr Mara De Martino at Weill Cornell Medicine is investigating the connection between lipid metabolism and immune escape in glioblastoma. Her goal is to identify molecules that promote treatment resistance and develop novel treatments targeting lipid pathways to enhance immunotherapy effectiveness against brain malignancies.
Dr. Christopher Mount
Engineering cells of the immune system to target the complex mixtures of cells in adult and paediatric gliomas
Dr. Mount from Harvard Medical School is developing a new approach to treat gliomas by engineering immune cells to specifically identify and destroy multiple types of cells within the tumour.
Dr. Claire Vinel
A first-time characterisation of the communication between glioblastoma and the skeletal muscle
Dr Claire Vinel at Queen Mary University of London is investigating the relationship between glioblastoma and skeletal muscle, with the goal of identifying molecules that promote tumour growth or sarcopenia that could lead to the development of new drugs to improve patient outcomes.
Dr. Angel Alvarez-Prado
Hijacking an innate immune mechanism present in all malignant cells
Dr Angel Alvarez-Prado at the University of Lausanne is developing a novel therapeutic approach to treat glioblastoma by inhibiting ADAR1 in combination with TME-targeted immunotherapies, targeting cancer cells and their supporting microenvironment.
Dr. Jessica Taylor
Identifying a specific subtype of brain tumour without surgery
Dr Jessica Taylor at the University of Cambridge is developing a novel strategy called ADCIPs to identify and treat WNT-medulloblastoma, a highly curable brain tumour in children, without the need for surgery.
Dr Veronica Rendo
Making MDM2 resistance a thing of the past
Dr Rendo is striving to understand how laboratory models of glioblastoma (GBM) become resistant to MDM2 inhibitors and to use this understanding to propose combinations of drugs to overcome or prevent the occurrence of resistance.
Dr Tyler Miller
Understanding how immune cells block glioblastoma treatments
In this exciting project, Dr Miller and his team will focus on immunosuppressive cells found in glioblastomas, which are currently believed to be preventing breakthrough immunotherapies from attacking brain tumours.
Dr Spencer Watson
Targeting treatment damage to stop recurrence
Dr Watson’s work will explore whether glial scars, formed in response to injury such as radiotherapy or surgery, provide a microenvironment that tumour cells can use as a safe space to relapse from.
Dr Gelareh Zadeh
Liquid biomarkers to change meningioma care
This project is advancing research into how aggressive meningiomas can be diagnosed and how their treatment responses can be predicted. In collaboration with a major UK-led clinical trial and using advanced artificial intelligence, the team are striving towards tomorrow’s clinical care.
Dr Pim French
Blocking hypersensitive glioblastoma growth
In this project Dr Pim French and his team are learning new ways to stop the activation of a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). When EGFR is mutated in tumours it can be activated too easily, making glioblastomas grow quickly. By blocking this type of EGFR Dr French wants to slow, or even completely stop, tumour growth.
Dr Rameen Beroukhim
Investigating transcription factors in development
Dr Beroukhim’s team are doing an in-depth analysis of two transcription factors, one that they suspect drives low grade brain tumours and the other that may drive high grade brain tumours.
Ultimately they’ll be looking for ways to use drugs to return transcription to normal levels, and stop tumour growth.
Professor Louis Chesler
Targeting SRC in childhood glioma
One of our ongoing grants identified a protein called SRC that may be driving group 4 medulloblastomas in children. This type of tumour has been notoriously difficult to study and to treat. This new research will delve into the role of SRC in starting and motivating tumour growth, and the team will be using sophisticated lab models to test a new drug to target it.
Dr Philipp Euskirchen
Working towards a faster diagnosis
Molecular biomarker testing is becoming routine for people with brain tumours because it provides clinicians with a clearer path to the best available treatment. This project aims to decrease the time it takes to get the tests done, meaning that people have faster diagnoses and start on the best treatments sooner.
Professor Sebastian Brandner
Nanoparticle couriers for GBM treatments
When it comes to glioblastoma (GBM) treatments, there two key challenges: effective treatments and how to deliver them across the blood brain barrier. This grant has a fresh approach to both. Professor Brandner’s team are testing whether microRNAs can stop tumour growth when delivered by nanoparticles.
As part of our research strategy, A Cure Can’t Wait, we have established various funding opportunities to achieve our goals of doubling survival and halving the harm caused by a brain tumour. More information about the different types of grants we fund can be found below:
Child brain tumour research
Current and past research projects to enhance our understanding of tumours and how to treat them
Adult brain tumour research
Read about our current and past research projects, furthering our understanding of adult brain tumours and treatments
The Brain Tumour Data Accelerator
Read about How our new project with Imperial College London aims to accelerate a cure through linked data