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Career Enhancement and Developmental Research Programs

Career Enhancement Program

David James, PhD (Program Leader)
Maciek S. Lesniak, MD (Co-Program Leader)

The Career Enhancement Program is a critical component of the Northwestern Brain Tumor SPORE, in that it ensures that there will be a continuous influx of talented investigators devoted to brain cancer research.

Current Career Enhancement Program Awardees

Catalina Lee-Chang, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery

Generation of Anti-glioma B-cell-based Vaccine

Investigation of B-cells for their ability to stimulate T-cell immune response against tumor.

Guifa Xi, MD, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery

Nanofiber Treatment for Glioma

Investigation of nanofibers as carriers that extend the activity of therapeutics that are used to treat brain tumors.


Jason Miska, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery

Mitochondrial Metabolism and Glioblastoma

Investigation of the role of mitochondrial metabolism in promoting glioblastoma recurrence.


Developmental Research Program

Maciek S. Lesniak, MD (Program Leader)
David James, PhD (Co-Program Leader)

The Developmental Research Program (DRP) of the Northwestern Brain Tumor SPORE provides yearly funding to 3-4 projects that have promising translational potential. DRP projects that experience outstanding development may replace main projects that are not progressing, or the associated project investigators will be encouraged to secure independent funding in brain cancer research.

Current Developmental Research Program Awardees
Orin Becher

Oren Becher, MD
Associate Professor, Pediatrics

High Throughput Screen to Identify Precision Radiosensitizers for DIPG

Identification of therapeutics that increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy in treating a highly malignant pediatric brain tumor.

Adam Sonabend, MD
Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery

Paclitaxel Delivery Through Ultrasound-based Blood-brain Barrier Disruption: Setting the Stage for Phase 1-2 Clinical Trial

Investigation of the use of focused ultrasound for increasing therapeutic access to brain tumor.

Irina Balyasnikova, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery

Glioblastoma Immunotherapy

Investigation of humanized bi-specific T-cell engagers for glioblastoma immunotherapy.

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