Gary Kohanbash, PhD
GARY KOHANBASH, PhD, a neuro-oncology researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has been awarded a scholar grant of $298,000 from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research.
These grants provide resources to institutions to conduct more research and enroll more children in ongoing clinical trials. Dr. Kohanbash and his team will look to improve immunotherapy for children with ependymomas, the third most common kind of brain tumor in children.
“As a scientist and a father, I am driven to help save kids from brain cancers, so I am very excited about the potential of immunotherapy. Unimaginable advances within the past 10 years are enabling us to create new, safer, and more effective treatments,” said Dr. Kohanbash, who is also Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “With this funding from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, I am hopeful we can bridge the gap between lab research and clinical care for kids with ependymomas.”
Dr. Kohanbash’s team has identified three peptides that might activate immune cells to specifically fight one of the more lethal types of ependymoma. He will be testing these peptides in the lab and is also looking at how immunotherapy could help fight all six types of ependymoma that affect children.
The grant is supported by the St. Baldrick’s Henry Cermak Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research.
For more information, please visit www.chp.edu. ■