Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is delighted to announce an Early Career Fellowship, worth $345,000, has been awarded to Dr Yolanda Sanguino at the Cancer Epigenetic Biology and Therapeutics Group, Children’s Cancer Institute. This Early Career Fellowship provides three years of stability to pursue meaningful research and drive outcomes for people living with brain cancer.

Dr Sanguino’s winning project focuses on diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), the most aggressive brain tumour in children. The project, Epigenetic Therapy in DIPG, will generate critical new knowledge on how tumour mutations drive cancer growth, to identify new drug targets and novel therapies for the currently incurable DIPG.

Foundation CEO, Lance Kawaguchi highlighted the need for multi-year Early Career Fellowships,“The research community has made it clear how important it is to create stability for researchers, to enable them to make the breakthroughs we need. Providing multi-year secured funding at this stage of a researcher’s career means they can focus on the research and getting us closer to a cure. Our sole focus is getting treatments quickly – and Fellowships like this one are how we will achieve that.”

Overseeing the award of this Early Career Fellowship is our Scientific Advisory Committee, comprised of internationally recognised leaders in brain cancer who advise on research funding and policy decisions. Our Scientific Advisory Committee ensure we fund only the most promising, innovative research which will deliver the greatest impact to people living with brain cancer.

After receiving the Fellowship Dr Sanguino shared, “With the funding from Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, I will work towards discovering new therapeutic targets and harness epigenetic drugs to bring new hope for children suffering from this devastating disease. I am so deeply grateful to the Foundation for believing in me and supporting my research and I look forward to working with the Foundation to help children with DIPG.”

DIPG affects approximately 20 children across Australia each year, aged mostly between 4 and 11. Though rare, the burden of this disease, not only on the child, but on family and friends, is immeasurable given the young age that it strikes. There is currently no cure for this cancer, and the current treatments are palliative. Thus, fundamental research to understand DIPG biology and to suggest novel and targeted treatments, like Dr Yolanda Sanguino’s research, are vital.

After presenting the Fellowship to Dr Sanguino, Lance shared, “We are pleased to be able to collaborate with the Children’s Cancer Institute through the award of this Fellowship. I believe collaboration is key to achieve our mission to increase brain cancer survival and quality of life - and to ultimately find a cure for brain cancer.”

Professor Michelle Haber AM, Executive Director, Children’s Cancer Institute commented on the Fellowship, “DIPG is a devastating childhood cancer that currently has no effective treatments. We are delighted to partner with Cure Brain Cancer Foundation to deliver this research that we hope will one day find a cure.”

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is excited to be able to fund Dr Sanguino’s research and we look forward to seeing the outcomes this project will produce for children diagnosed with DIPG.

You can read more about this Early Career Fellowship and Dr Sanguino’s project, as well as any future progress here.