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Joshua’s Wish is dedicated to supporting medical research toward a cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). In order to encourage undergraduate students to pursue a career in medical research on this devastating disease, we offer one $5,000 summer internship award per year. The award is open to students from institutions across the United States and Canada. The research project may be basic, translational or clinical in nature but must have direct relevance to DIPG. Since this award's inception, we have awarded over $80,000 for undergraduate research into DIPG.

DIPG is a primary brain tumor of the brainstem and represents approximately 10-15% of pediatric brain tumors. DIPGs are aggressive lesions that are not amenable to surgical resection. Prognosis for these tumors has remained dismal with a median survival of one year; less than 20% of patients survive to two years after diagnosis. The current standard of care is focal irradiation. Indeed, radiation therapy has been the only treatment thus far that has led to clinical improvement and a delay in tumor progression in patients. Clearly, a better understanding of the biology of this disease and novel therapeutic options are required to improve the outcome for children with DIPG.

"With the Undergraduate Summer Student Research Award in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, Joshua’s Wish is aiming to raise awareness of this childhood cancer with future generations of cancer researchers. By offering this award to students contemplating a career in medical research, who are faced with many different opportunities, we hope to spark the interest of a few to make DIPG research a lifelong focus. Perhaps one day, a young researcher supported by Joshua’s Wish will make a key discovery, bringing patients and families one step closer to the cure.” 



Making the Wish for a Cure a Reality

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