Dr Chris Jones’s Glioma Team at the ICR is the recipient of the first major donation made by the charity Abbie’s Army. The award of £110,000 is helping to pay for Katy Taylor, a talented young scientist, to complete her PhD, for which Katy is working to identify and test novel therapeutic targets in a paediatric brain tumour known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). It’s hoped that Katy’s research will go on to influence the design of future clinical trials for a disease that is currently inoperable and incurable.
Abbie’s Army was set up by the family and friends of Abbie Mifsud. Abbie was a remarkably brave little girl who at only 6 years of age lost her fight with DIPG. This was just five months from her initial diagnosis.
Amanda Walker, Abbie’s mum and Trustee of Abbie’s Army said, “We are very proud to be supporting the ICR with our first major award for DIPG research. It is so important for us to know that the funding we raise in Abbie’s memory is going to make a difference for children and families diagnosed with DIPG in the future”.
So Amanda was especially pleased when Katy recently picked up the Paediatric Basic Science award at the Annual Society of Neuro-Oncology Scientific Meeting in the US. The conference is the premier gathering of brain tumour experts from around the globe, and Katy’s work was in competition with nearly 1,000 projects – the most ever submitted to a neuro-oncology meeting. Katy added, “I am honoured to have my research recognised. Working in the area of childhood cancer is extremely emotive so any progress which can help families facing the tragedy of a glioma diagnosis is very important.”