AeroPress Grants Cancer Research Award to Dr. Nicholas Vitanza

Dr. Vitanza and his lab founders stand with face masks posing for a photo. To the left, a Carry Myers holds an AeroPress. Dr. Vitanza is in the middle holding the grant paper, and to the right is Matt Biery holding stickers that say Cookies for Cancer.

In partnership with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, AeroPress funds this $100,000 award for pediatric cancer.


Feature photo courtesy of AeroPress

Iconic coffee brewer maker AeroPress has recently partnered with the nonprofit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to give the Translational Research Award to pediatric neuro-oncologist Dr. Nicholas Vitanza. The $100,000 grant goes toward Dr. Vitanza’s efforts to research midline gliomas—an aggressive type of brain tumor that is commonly found in children diagnosed with cancer. With this grant, he hopes to develop an immunotherapy system that focuses on treating children who only have 11 months to survive upon receiving this diagnosis.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a nonprofit that raises funds to provide research grants that seek to battle pediatric cancer with less toxic treatments than chemotherapy. The concept began with local fundraisers and cookie sales, and has since expanded, funding nearly 100 research grants that total $17 million. Pediatric cancer is the top cause of deaths in the United States of children under age 18, and there is significantly less funding given to battle this than adult cancer. AeroPress has chosen to fully fund the Translational Research Award for Dr. Vitanza.

Gretchen is the founder of Cookies for CAncer, standing and smiling with a group of child volunteers. She is a middle age white woman with long brown hair.
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer began fundraising for cancer research through cookie sales, and has since partnered with volunteers across the country to provide research grants for pediatric cancer. Photo courtesy of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

“We are grateful to have support from AeroPress and are thrilled to have been able to create this award specifically for them,” says Cookies for Kids’ Cancer founder Gretchen Witt. “… On average it takes more than two years for a researcher to receive funding after submitting a grant request to the National Cancer Institute for review. That timeline for a project submitted to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is around 60 days. And, when you’re a child battling cancer, days count.”

When explaining the connection between AeroPress and funding children’s cancer research, the motivation was a mutual desire to innovate for a better world: “When I first learned about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer from the founders, I knew instantly that I wanted to support ‘Cookies’ with all my heart,” says Alan Adler, inventor of the AeroPress. “The more I learned about their program, the more enthusiastic I became. Their focus is on supporting research that has the best chance of helping children in the shortest time possible. That’s exactly where I think the focus should be.”

AeroPress founder Alan Adler in a man in his later ages sitting at a desk posing. He presses the aeropress, and several pieces of it lie on the table in front of him.
AeroPress founder Alan Adler supports the mission of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to innovate quickly and for the greater good. Photo courtesy of AeroPress.

Dr. Vitanza is based at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, and is eager to begin his research on a cancer that creates such a short timeline for children diagnosed with this disease. “It is an honor to be awarded this award that will play a pivotal role in supporting our work,” says Vitanza. “… DMG is responsible for an unimaginable 25,000 potential years of life lost every year just in the United States, and we owe it to these children and their families to investigate new technologies as quickly and safely as possible and to also understand how best to deliver them.”

We look forward to learning about the developments made possible by the grant in the coming months, and for further work between AeroPress and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. You can find more information about Dr. Vitanza, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, and AeroPress’ partnership here.

About Katrina Yentch 221 Articles
Katrina Yentch (she/her) is a freelance writer and Barista Magazine's Online Editor. When she's not writing, you can find her napping, cooking, and drinking whatever's on drip.