Undergraduate Summer Student Research Award in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma

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 are offering one $5,000 summer internship awards for 2014. 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.

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.

Students will be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited postsecondary institution in the US and will not graduate before July 1, 2014. The research will take place in the US under the supervision of a faculty mentor but need not be in the institution where the candidate is enrolled. The student will be engaged in research full-time for a period of not less than 10 weeks to take place in 2014 between the end of the spring term and the start of the fall term at the candidate’s home institution.

The deadline for receipt of all application material is May 15, 2014 at midnight EST.

"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.” - Dr. Lionel Chow, Joshua's Wish Medical Advisory Board Chair

2014 Documents

Studentship Flyer

Studentship Guidelines

Cover Page


Below are our past recipients.

June 2015: Summer Undergraduate Student Awards in DIPG

Joshua's Wish presents (2) $5000 Undergraduate Research Awards to Nanki Hura and Jason Vileda,  Nanki will do her research project at Cincinnati Children's Hospital under the supervision of Dr Rachid Drissi.  Jason Vileda will do his research project at Duke University under the supervision of Dr. Oren Becher.


June 2014: Joshua's Wish presents Undergraduate Research Award to to Joonhyuk Lee, a student at Case Western Reserve University. He will do his research project this summer at Cincinnati Children's Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Dasgupta. Mr. Lee acknowledges that research funding is lacking in the study of DIPG. He is hoping through this grant he will be able to achieve his goals in researching DIPG and as a result add too the overall knowledge of these tumors in the hopes to find a potential cure to this disease.

To date, Joshua's Wish has been able to fund six research grants to undergraduate students to study DIPG. Joshua's Wish will continue to fund undergraduate research so we can "Make the Wish for a Cure a Reality"

May 2014:
Joshua's Wish is proud to present its first $5,000 Summer Undergraduate Research Award in DIPG to a Mercer University student! Congratulations to Rachel O'Keefe! Rachel will do her summer research at Cincinnati Children's under the supervision of Dr. Mariko DeWire, co-principal investigator for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital this summer.

This is the first year Joshua’s Wish has presented its research award to a Mercer student. Past award-winners have come from institutions such as Duke University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Please click here to view previous Summer Undergraduate Research Awards in DIPG.

Read the press release from Mercer University

2013: Congratuations to Scott Ryall, University of Ontario Institue of Technology and Raj Singh, Duke University. Their summer research is being done under the supervision of Dr. Cynthia Hawkins, Hospital for Sick Kids, Canada and Dr. Oren Becher, Duke University. Click on their names below to read their personal statements.


Scott Ryall

Raj Singh

2012: Congratulations to our 1st (2) $5,000 recipients of the first Joshua's Wish Undergraduate Summer Research Award in DIPG. All applicants were highly qualified! It was a very difficult decision.

Mr. Jordan Hall will do his research at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and Mr. Haigreeva Yadia will do his research at Duke University. Thank you, Dr. Chow and the medical advisory board for your hard work.

Read more about the Research Awards

Jordan Hall

Haigreeva Yadia