Our research is bridging the gap between pediatric neurosurgeons, pediatric oncologists, physicists, mathematicians, radiologists, pathologists, biochemists and many others within Dayton Children’s and the Neuroscience Institute. We combine artificial intelligence, clinical, biologic, and genetic data, and an unprecedented level of advanced image analysis in efforts to understand and develop treatments for tumors.
The Gala of Hope Foundation donated $198,870 to establish the Living Biobank at Dayton Children’s Hospital in 2016, with the goal to perpetuate their mission to "change the face of cancer in the Dayton region." From that initial seed money, our research program has grown to collaborate with partners around the world, now collecting and distributing biospecimens and pre-clinical models, along with longitudinal clinical, genomic, and proteomic data. These resources are available for any investigator to request.
As our program expanded, we received generous support from the John French Estate, the Hartzell Norris Charitable Trust, the Neils and Ruth Lundgard Foundation, the Ohio Space Grant Consortium, the Boonshoft School of Medicine Medical Student Research Grant program, the Wright State University Honors Program Research Scholarship, and the Mayfield Education and Research Foundation (MERF) Spark Grant.
In 2019 we received a generous donation of $18,000 that was raised in the First Annual Ezra Hartke Race for Hope from the Barry & Denise Johnson Foundation, as well as a grant of $69,600 from the DIPG/DMG Collaborative. At the end of 2021, the Barry & Denise Johnson foundation completed their five-year pledge to donate $50,000 that was raised through the annual Ezra Hartke Race for Hope.
The Speedway Foundation made a very large donation to purchase the Invenio NIO Laser Imaging System that uses stimulated Raman Histology, a powerful imaging tool that is used in the operating room to image fresh, unprocessed tissues, enabling rapid diagnosis with preservation of tumors for research.
Local support from partners in Dayton has led to significant international partnerships. Dayton Children’s is one of 26 members of the Children’s Brain Tumor Network based at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. We are a contributor to the International Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas, and the Childhood Cancer Model Atlas maintained by the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Australia. We share specimens with tumor researchers at Washington University, University of Calgary, Hackensack Meridian Health-Center for Discovery & Innovation and Seattle Children’s Hospital. In addition to the expansion of our global partnerships, the Biobank has resulted in imaging data partnerships with Stanford and Indiana University researchers in order to link specimens to imaging with machine learning.
Despite the pandemic, we have continued to expand and create new partnerships, and now receive tumor specimens from outside of Dayton Children’s. In 2020 we began collaborations with Dr. Neil Patel and his Neurosurgery team at Kettering Health to generate a preclinical model pipeline for adult brain tumors. We also began specimen collections through Gift From a Child, a national organization that helps families donate their children’s tumors after losing their battle.
The work continues through the love, generosity, and support of our partners, including many families who have been affected by brain tumors. Together we are making progress that will serve generations to come.