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From the CEO’s Desk: Outgoing Board Chair Michael Nathanson Leaves His Legacy On The Brain Tumor Community

Greetings and best wishes for a happy holiday season from the National Brain Tumor Society,

I am writing today to share some news regarding our remarkably talented and committed Board of Directors.

Over the past eight years, the last five as Chairman of the Board, NBTS has benefitted from the extraordinary leadership of Michael Nathanson. It is with sadness, tempered with an immense amount of gratitude, that we thank Michael for his service, as his Board term concluded last week.

Michael Nathanson speaks at the 2017 NBTS Scientific Summit

Michael, who is living with a brain tumor himself, leaves the Board with a great legacy of accomplishment, leadership, and love for the brain tumor community and for our organization. During Michael’s tenure, NBTS launched new flagship research programs in both pediatric and adult brain tumors. In 2013, we announced the initiation of the  Defeat GBM Research Collaborative to foster team science and data sharing and accelerate the pace of glioblastoma research. Indeed, Defeat GBM researchers have produced some of the most important discoveries that are now informing the development of new treatments. Then in 2016, the Defeat Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Collaborative was launched to make progress in some of the deadliest forms of childhood brain cancer.

Michael speaks with a volunteer advocate at an NBTS meeting

Under Michael’s leadership, NBTS also experienced financial growth, which allows us to invest in more programs aiming to accelerate the pursuit of cures. We engaged unprecedented numbers of donors and volunteers, and new board and staff leadership teams were established to move our organization forward. In true Michael Nathanson style, he leaves the organization stronger than ever. In fact, one of his final acts was to establish the Nathanson Family Catalyst Fund for brain tumor research, which is dedicated to providing financial resources for research and treatment development at NBTS, in perpetuity.

Michael may be ending his term as our Chairman and as a Board member, but he will always be near the heart of our organization.

With Michael’s departure, Sarah Durham, who has been serving as the Vice Chair of the Board, will take over as our new Board Chair. We’ll make a more formal announcement and provide a full introduction to Sarah just after the new year.

We are so grateful for Michael, Sarah, and our entire Board’s exemplary service, and thank them for all they continue to do for NBTS and the brain tumor community. Please join me in thanking them during this holiday season.

With much appreciation,

David F. Arons, JD

Chief Executive Officer

National Brain Tumor Society


Post Script – Michael visited our staff earlier this week to thank them for their efforts and to encourage them to drive NBTS to newer heights. While he was here, he recorded this message to you:

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