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AACR-PLGA Fund at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Research Grant to Optimize Drug Dosing Strategies for Pediatric LGA/LGG Patients

Grant Amount $180,000 USD
Grant Term2 Years
Start of Grant Term07/01/2020
Application Deadline02/18/2020 1:00 PM
Decision Date03/2020
Additional Information

April 28, 2020 - Grant recipient must attend the Grants Reception and Dinner to formally accept the grant. Grant funds may be used to support the grantee's registration and attendance at this Annual Meeting.


The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's PLGA Fund and the AACR are proud to announce the inaugural Research Grant to Optimize Drug Dosing Strategies for Pediatric LGA/LGG Patients. This grant represents a joint effort to promote and support innovative and collaborative research focused on the most common forms of pediatric brain cancer - low grade glioma/astrocytoma. The research proposed for funding should be translational in nature (though basic science and clinical proposals will also be considered), and should be focused on improving the understanding and identification of effective dosing parameters for treating children with PLGA brain tumors, with indications for children battling other types of brain tumors. Proposals should also include at least one collaborator from an institution separate from the applicant's institution.

Applications are invited from researchers in the field as well as investigators with experience in other areas of cancer or biomedical research who have promising ideas and approaches that can be applied to PLGA.

Projects must be implemented by a collaborative research team, composed of one principal investigator and at least one collaborator from different institutions. This grant provides $180,000 over two years for expenses related to the research project, which may include salary and benefits of the grant recipient and any collaborators, postdoctoral or clinical research fellows, graduate students and/or research assistants; research/laboratory supplies; equipment; travel; publication charges for manuscripts that pertain directly to the funded project; and other research expenses.

All applicants with questions about eligibility should contact the AACR’s Scientific Review and Grants Administration Department (the AACR’s SRGA) at [email protected] before submitting an application.

Program Guidelines
Research Project Criteria

The most common pediatric brain tumors are low grade lesions harboring somatic alterations in genes within the MAPK signaling pathway. As a result, many clinical trials testing the therapeutic benefit of small molecule inhibitors of BRAF, MEK and mTOR have been initiated, some with positive outcomes. However, in virtually all of these clinical trials, the drug dosing for eligible children was derived from the pharmacodynamic and toxicity profiles in adults, usually established in widely metastatic disease, such as melanoma or other adult, non-CNS malignancies. Given the challenges associated with recapitulating the slow-growing nature of these tumors in animal models, development of a robust model to correlate human pharmacodynamics with efficacy and toxicity has been unsuccessful. A deeper understanding of MAPK-pathway inhibitor pharmacodynamics in pediatric CNS tumors could inform optimal dosing, improving clinical outcomes. Therefore, this award is intended to support the establishment of an improved understanding of the pharmacodynamics of MAPK-pathway inhibitors in pediatric low grade astrocytoma/glioma. The ultimate goal is to use this information to guide optimal dosing strategies in children with pediatric low grade astrocytoma/gliomas. Projects should be translational in nature, though basic science and clinical proposals will be considered as well.

Applications are invited from researchers currently in the field as well as from investigators with experience in other areas of cancer or biomedical research who have promising ideas or approaches that they will directly apply to PLGA. However, the applicability of the proposed project to PLGA must be fully described. A track record of research in this specific field is not a requirement for funding.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must have a doctoral degree (PhD, MD, MD/PhD, or equivalent) in a related field and not currently be a candidate for a further doctoral degree. The project will be directed by the Principal Investigator (PI), who is responsible for the application, disbursement of funds to the project, the conduct of the project, and progress reporting. In addition, each project should include at least one collaborator from a separate institution from the PI's institution.

Applications will be accepted from independent investigators who are affiliated with an academic, medical, or research institution anywhere in the world.

Employees or subcontractors of a U.S. government entity or for-profit private industry are not eligible. Employees or subcontractors of a U.S. government entity or for-profit private industry may serve as Collaborators, but no grant funds may be directed towards these individuals.

Investigators may submit only one application for the AACR-PLGA Fund at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Research Grant to Optimize Drug Dosing Strategies for Pediatric LGA/LGG Patients but may concurrently apply for other AACR grants. However, applicants are expected to accept the first grant they are awarded. Individuals may accept and hold only one AACR grant at a time. Current AACR grantees are permitted to apply if they are in compliance with all progress and financial report requirements before the start of the grant term.

Postdoctoral or clinical research fellows or the equivalent who are working under the auspices of a scientific mentor are not eligible to apply. Qualified fellows are invited to apply for an AACR Fellowship.

Citizenship Requirements

There are no citizenship or geographic requirements. However, by submitting an application for this grant, an applicant applying from an institution located in a country in which they are not a citizen or a permanent resident assures that the visa status will provide sufficient time to complete the project and grant term at the institution from which they applied.

AACR Membership Requirements

Applicants should be AACR members. Nonmembers interested in this grant opportunity must submit a satisfactory application for AACR membership, and be members in good standing, by the grant application deadline. Nonmembers can apply for membership using the Official Application for Membership Form submitted to the AACR with the required documents or apply online. Please review the Membership Categories for the category that best fits your qualifications. Members can renew their membership through myAACR to bring their membership current. You will need your logon (email address) and password to access the member portal. If you require assistance logging in, please contact [email protected]. Lapsed members must be members in good standing by the application deadline and should contact the Membership Department at [email protected] for assistance.

Application Instructions

The AACR requires applicants to submit an online application by 1:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, using the proposalCENTRAL website at

Program Guidelines and Application Instructions are available for download.