Gift to Boost Neuro-Oncology Research Across UC College of Medicine 

Joseph Cheng, MD; Pam Mischell, Tom Mischell, Brett Kissela, MD

CINCINNATI – March 1, 2019 – With the support of the family of a University of Cincinnati and UC Health trustee, a new fund at the UC College of Medicine will advance research into the study of brain and spinal cord tumors, many of which rank among the most life-threatening forms of cancer.

The Pam and Tom Mischell Neuro-Oncology Research Fund will advance pilot studies and investigator-initiated research conducted at the college and housed within the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, a collaboration of UC Health and the UC College of Medicine, the region’s leading treatment, research and teaching center for complex neurologic and psychiatric conditions.

“With this fund, we are interested in supporting not just the great science and care going on at the neuroscience institute, but the emerging areas that need additional resources to truly blossom,” said the Mischells. “By elevating collaborative neuro-oncology research, we hope to support those advancing science and saving lives from these deadly diseases.”

“The Mischells have long been leaders of our community and visionaries in advancing our institutions,” said UC President Neville Pinto. “We are deeply grateful for their partnership in driving novel scientific research. As we seek to advance what’s next at UC, these partnerships linking passionate advocates with dedicated faculty will help us move forward.”

“We are very serious about not only providing great clinical care for patients with brain tumors, but also about innovating new understanding of how brain tumors grow and how metastases go to the brain, and innovating new treatments,” said Brett Kissela, MD, Albert Barnes Voorheis Professor and Chair of UC’s Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, and senior associate dean for clinical research at the UC College of Medicine. “The Mischell research funding allows us to immediately capitalize on great ideas and discoveries, and can support pilot work that will be used to obtain federal research funding.”

The fund will invest $500,000 into scientific work that overlaps all areas of bench to bedside research—from laboratory-based studies to understand brain tumor growth to clinical trials on targeted brain and cancer treatments. Expanded research in this area will add to the research development taking place at the Cincinnati Cancer Center and its ultimate pursuit of designation as a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“There are so many exciting research opportunities in the field of neuro-oncology—for example, currently, we have a team studying nutrition in brain tumors,” said Joseph Cheng, MD, professor and Frank H. Mayfield Chair of Neurological Surgery at UC. “The Mischells’ generous gift will not only allow us to expand this work and encourage collaboration among our scientists, but will assist with recruitment of more faculty experts to this important area.” 

“Cincinnati is a national, if not worldwide, leader in neuroscience research,” said Andrew Filak, Jr., MD, UC Interim Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine. “We’re incredibly grateful for this opportunity to continue our leadership in an important scientific area, thanks to Tom and Pam.”

Within the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, neuro-oncology studies touch a broad swath of specialties, including neurosurgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, head and neck surgery (ENT), neuropathology, neuroradiology, neuroendocrinology, neuro-ophthalmology, plastic and reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation medicine.  


About the University of Cincinnati Foundation
Established in 1975, the University of Cincinnati Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and the private sector fundraising entity for the University of Cincinnati and UC Health. The Foundation supports UC’s aspirations through philanthropic collaboration with the colleges, the Academic Health Center, UC Health and other units to maximize private support. The Foundation’s advancement efforts promote the development of productive, enduring relationships with alumni, friends, colleagues, students, foundations, corporations and the Greater Cincinnati community. For more information, please visit

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