CBTP ‘Summer Sprint’ Adds Another Researcher, Thanks to the 2015 Cristian Rivera Foundation Service and Dedication Award Winner,
Carlos Colon

Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member Carlos Colon
Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member
Carlos Colon
Dr. Mark Souweidane reviews MRI scans of DIPG tumors with Fatima Nathalia Morales.
Dr. Mark Souweidane reviews MRI scans of DIPG tumors with Fatima Nathalia Morales.

The Children’s Brain Tumor Project (CBTP) has been given the opportunity to add another researcher to our ambitious “Summer Sprint.” Carlos Colon, a committee member of the Cristian Rivera Foundation, has pledged $5,000 to support this additional summer research position to supplement our already ambitious effort.

Thanks to our generous supporters, the CBTP lab had already hired six summer researchers to work on testing new drugs and drug combinations against DIPG, GC, and other rare brain tumors; using PET imaging to evaluate these drugs; studying the transformation of low-grade gliomas into malignancies; and procuring samples of thalamic gliomas from other labs around the country. (See more about these projects.) The seventh researcher, Fatima Nathalia Morales, will be working on the team supporting Dr. Souweidane’s DIPG clinical trial, validating the method for monitoring brain tumor and distribution volumes in patients enrolled in the trial.

Fatima, an undergraduate student at Columbia University majoring in biology with a minor in mathematics, is spending the summer in the CBTP lab as part of the Travelers Summer Research Fellowship Program.  The support from Carlos Colon and the Cristian Rivera Foundation makes it possible for us to provide her with the equipment and supplies she needs to do her work.

We are extremely grateful to Carlos Colon for the gift, and to John Rivera and the Cristian Rivera Foundation for the tireless efforts on our behalf.

Clinical Trial Update: Now treating patients at its seventh and final dose level, the trial of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) should conclude this summer. Fatima will be helping to evaluate data from more than four years of that trial.


The Cristian Rivera Foundation is Proud to Introduce One of Our New Committee Members: Carlos J Yepez




Carlos J. Yepez, is a current VP Branch Manager with PNC Bank in West Windsor NJ and President of PNC Bank Latino Employee Resource Group in the Central NJ Market.

With Over 15 years of banking experience, Carlos has managed to make a positive impact on his clients overall financial well-being. He is a strong leader in the community and is always engaged in community events delivering brand awareness for PNC Bank and himself.

He is a father of two wonderful children Angelica and Noah and Husband to an Amazing Wife Brenda. Carlos is a Native New Yorker and currently resides in New Jersey. Being born in “El Barrio” he loved listening to all kinds of Latin Music especially Salsa. Carlos is the Lead Singer for Nelson Toress’ Grupo Decision a Bronx based Salsa Band and loves teaching his kids all about their culture through Latin Music.


“Being asked to join the Cristian Rivera Foundation is a true honor. I never had the privilege of personally meeting Cristian Rivera but through his foundation I feel as if I already knew him. Through his pictures you can see the innocence and kind heart this young man had. Being a father myself I can’t fathom the thought of losing a child. I have had the pleasure of meeting John “Gungie” Rivera, Cristian’s father who has given me the opportunity to support the foundation as a committee member. The passion and drive that this foundation delivers is contagious. The goal of finding a cure for DIPG, Creating Awareness, and Delivering Support to those affected are impactful.”

“I am excited to become a part of the Cristian Rivera Foundation Family.”