Challenging brain tumors

Left to right: Nader Sanai, MD, Jessie Sanai, Dionne Najafi, and Francis Najafi.

Francis and Dionne Najafi generously endowed and established the Neurosurgical Oncology Chair at Barrow Neurological Institute. Nader Sanai, MD, director of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, has been named the chair.

At the Ivy Brain Tumor Center, patients receive individualized care in a fraction of the time and cost associated with traditional research and development. Unlike conventional clinical trials that focus on a specific drug, the accelerated Phase 0/2 clinical trials discover therapy combinations for individual patients, even with the most aggressive brain tumors. With this endowment, Dr. Sanai will have protected time to conduct this innovative and lifesaving research.

The Ivy Brain Tumor Center was established through a $25 million pledge from the Arizona-based Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation. The pledge, the largest gift in the organizations history, will be matched by Barrow Neurological Foundation, creating the largest research grant to brain tumor research in the country.