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  • Annually, 10 million children and adults experience a traumatic brain injury or concussion.
  • Concussion statistics are significantly understated because most concussions are never reported. Many athletes may not recognize or report their symptoms or these symptoms go unobserved by others.
  • Concussion incidence among children is skyrocketing. Since 2001 the annual rate of concussion has more than doubled.
  • A concussion is a traumatic brain injury resulting from a direct or indirect impact to the head, face, neck, or elsewhere. They may present with a wide range of signs and symptoms, including physical signs (ie. loss of consciousness, amnesia), behavioral changes (ie. irritability), cognitive impairment (ie. slowed reaction time), sleep disturbances (ie. drowsiness), somatic symptoms (ie. headaches), cognitive symptoms (ie. feeling “in a fog”), and/or emotional symptoms (emotional liability).
  • People who have had one concussion are believed to be more susceptible to another, particularly if a second injury happens before symptoms from the first have cleared.
  • Treatment currently includes monitoring by a medical practitioner and rest (both physical and mental). There is currently no cure for concussions.


Rare Cancers:

  • 1 in 4 of all cancer diagnoses are classified as rare
  • All pediatric (childhood) cancers are rare
    Among cancers classified as rare are well-known forms of the disease, including:
  • pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, brain cancer, thyroid cancer, sarcoma, leukemia, lymphoma, and many others.
  • Rare cancer research is often drastically underfunded. In general, there are fewer treatment options for patients with rare cancers because funding for drug development lags behind more commercially-viable therapies. With less resources devoted to understanding and treating these diseases, patients face uncertain futures




Smashfest is supporting collaborative research to revolutionize the study and treatment of rare cancers.

Although each rare cancer is its own disease, many of the initial logistical and technological bottlenecks that stymie progress are similar. Smashfest’s partnership at the Broad Institute seeks to overcome these challenges by establishing a research platform that, when systematically applied, will crack open each rare cancer type and empower researchers around the globe who study these diseases.


Rare Cancer Cell Line Factory

  1. partnering with   patients, advocates, and foundations to improve access to tumor samples for research;
  2. using these tumor samples to map the genomic landscape of each cancer;
  3. building cancer models (called cell lines) that researchers can use as reliable models to study the cancers in the lab; and
  4. leveraging new, breakthrough technologies to produce a map of all the weaknesses—or dependencies—of each tumor that might be therapeutically targetable.


We are proud to be co-founders of this exciting project and we thank you for your support!