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Hopper-Belmont Foundation Grants Awarded To Top Pediatric Brain Cancer Research Pioneers


Greenwich, CT – (November 9, 2021) – Brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States among children aged zero to 19. Among the worst pediatric brain tumors are pediatric high-grade gliomas and medulloblastomas. Some children diagnosed with these malignant brain tumors have survival rates of a year or less. These tumors are among the most treatment resistant cancers and sadly there are no uniquely developed and FDA approved drugs. Therefore, breakthroughs are urgently needed.

Recognizing the need to encourage new innovative research discoveries that could become transformational treatments, the Hopper-Belmont Foundation (HBF) chose pediatric brain cancer as the focus of their 2021 Inspiration Award. The annual award, focused on young research investigators, attracted an extremely competitive pool of applicants from across the USA and Canada, with three of the most promising pediatric cancer researchers chosen.

“Young researchers struggle to get funding support for new pediatric brain cancer discoveries, with less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) budget allocated to childhood cancers – and that’s not even specific to brain cancers,” HBF vice chairperson Ally Hopper, said. “More children in the USA lose their lives to cancer than any other disease, with a new cancer diagnosis happening every three minutes.”

The 2021 Hopper-Belmont Inspiration Award winners are:


The winning concepts covered a wide spectrum of innovative approaches particularly important to medulloblastoma progress, including areas such as: comprehensive stem cell model development to test novel therapies; radiation oncology clinical trials; and immune system stimulation via magnetic field micromanipulation. To learn more about these very promising studies, go to

“The award goal is to provide seed monies supporting proof of concepts that will hopefully gain interest from larger funding organizations, and accelerate direct patient benefit,” David Arons, CEO National Brain Tumor Society, said. “An important secondary goal is to encourage high potential award winners to continue making a career in health/wellness research their priority.”

Jim Palma, Executive Director Target Cancer Foundation and Co-chair Rare Cancer Coalition (National Organization Rare Disorders, NORD), added.  “As young PhD’s and MD’s prepare to launch their own labs – particularly those focused on rare cancers, which all pediatric cancers are classified as – the ability to win awards like the HBF Inspiration Award, creates a solid foundation for future success.”

HBF plans to announce its next annual Inspiration Award category next February.

About the Hopper-Belmont Foundation: Hopper-Belmont Foundation (HBF) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) focused on identifying, motivating, and supporting exceptional early-career research talent, who are pursuing innovative approaches in solving health and wellness challenges. Founded in 2019 by non-profit research and patient advocacy foundation leaders the HBF created the Inspiration Award as a core initiative of the Foundation. The award targets senior post-doctoral or clinical fellow (MD, PhD, MD/PHD) or primary investigators in the first three years of their initial faculty appointment, or clinical fellows in the first three years, or post-doctoral faculty in the first three years of tenure. HBF welcomes individuals and families to join their mission and help annually recognize amazing talent that can accelerate the road to cures. Tax deductible donations can be made directly at


More Hopper-Belmont Foundation News here

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