Catherine Ivy is an Arizona native and a woman on a mission. She became involved in the brain tumor community when her husband, Ben Ivy, lost his battle with glioblastoma brain cancer in 2005.
Dedicated to Finding a Cure
The mission of the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation is to fund research on gliomas in order to develop diagnostics and treatments that lead to long-term survival and a high quality of life for patients with brain tumors.
The Ivy Foundation is the nation’s largest privately funded foundation with a mission of contributing to a cure for brain cancer. Since 2005, the foundation has contributed over $120 million to brain cancer research.
Catherine moved the foundation to Arizona from California in 2011 and is actively engaged in the administration, investment management and charitable grant-making. She monitors and participates in the design of the overall grant-making strategies and policies emphasizing the needs of brain tumor research.
“We feel privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to this cause and have met so many wonderful members of the brain tumor community,” stated Catherine Ivy. “We recognize that the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation is just one part of a large network of researchers, organizations, institutions, companies, patients, and caregivers all working to fight this disease, and we hope that the research our foundation funds will lead us to the day when no one has to go through what Ben did.”
Funding Patient Focused Research
Funding patient-focused research for brain cancer is the priority of the foundation. The goal is to support the development of better treatments that offer long-term survival for patients with brain cancer or gliomas. Projects are evaluated on scientific merit, but also extend to “riskier” science that may be viewed by others as too difficult to develop.
The Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute, created in 2018, is a nonprofit translational research program that offers state-of-the-art clinical trials for patients with aggressive brain tumors. The center is home to the largest Phase 0 Clinical Trials Program. Ivy Phase 0 clinical trials allow patients to receive individualized treatment in a fraction of the time and costs associated with traditional drug research and development. The Ivy Brain Tumor Center will expand into a new 75,000 square foot building in 2023 in downtown Phoenix. This will be the largest translational research center dedicated solely to brain tumors in the world.
The Ivy Foundation also distributes grants nationally and internationally. The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation Emerging Leader Award provides grant support to early-to-mid-career investigators conducting high-impact, high-reward translational research for glioblastoma and its Emerging Adult Glioma Award provides grant support to investigators conducting high-impact, high-reward translational research for the disease.
Advancing Patient Care
During the pandemic, the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation donated $1 million to the COVID-19 vaccination site at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, as well as over $5 million to the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Catherine has served as a member of the Mayo Clinic Arizona Leadership Council, a board member of the Board of Directors of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Barrow Neurological Institute, the Advisory Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and the Advisory Board of PathNorth. She also had been on the Advisory Board of the National Brain Tumor Society and served on the External Scientific Committee for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) with the National Institutes of Health.