AACR Award Grants Totaling Nearly $2.3 Million

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April 13, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and AACR Award Grants Totaling Nearly $2.3 Million

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (April 13, 2010) – The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the American Association for Cancer Research awarded four Innovative Grants; three Career Development Awards; one Pathway to Leadership Grant; and one Fellowship Award to outstanding researchers for their innovative research proposals which have the potential to lead to medical breakthroughs in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The grant recipients will be honored at the AACR 101st Annual Meeting 2010, held April 17-21, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

“These grants fund innovative science and encourage investigators at all levels to pursue pancreatic cancer research. This is an area where breakthroughs are urgently needed because of the disease’s devastating toll,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), CEO of the American Association for Cancer Research. “We are very pleased to partner with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, an organization for which we have the greatest respect, in order to support the research and foster careers of the best scientists in this critical research area.”

“There is an urgent need for scientific and medical breakthroughs in pancreatic cancer research but a major shortage of federal funding. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is working to help fill this critical void through our research grants program. We are thrilled to increase our research investment this year,” stated Julie Fleshman J.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. “We congratulate the 2010 grant recipients and look forward to collaborating with them as we make strides against this deadly disease.”

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Innovative Grants are intended to promote the development and study of new ideas and approaches in basic, translational, clinical or epidemiological research that have direct application and relevance to pancreatic cancer. These two-year grants provide $200,000 over the grant term. The 2010 recipients are:

  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Innovative Grant
    Frank McCormick, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
    Specific K-RAS inhibitors for treating pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Innovative Grant supported by The Randy Pausch Family
    Diane M. Simeone, M.D.
    , University of Michigan
    Targeting Notch signaling in pancreatic cancer stem cells
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Innovative Grant funded in part by a generous gift from an anonymous family foundation Gloria H. Su, Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center
    Notch decoy targeting the Notch signaling pathway in pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Innovative Grant Amy H. Tang, Ph.D., Eastern Virginia Medical School
    SIAH is a novel and effective anti-K-RAS drug target in pancreatic cancer

The Career Development Awards are two-year grants of $200,000, designed to attract and support early career scientists as they conduct pancreatic cancer research and establish successful career paths in the field. In 2010 they include:

  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Career Development Award in memory of Skip Viragh
    Jonathan R. Brody Ph.D.
    , Thomas Jefferson University
    HuR is a predictive and prognostic marker in pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Career Development Award
    Alec C. Kimmelman, M.D., Ph.D.
    , Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    DNA repair and the DNA damage response in pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Career Development Award
    Michael N. VanSaun, Ph.D.
    , Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Influence of adipokines on pancreatic cancer progression

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Pathway to Leadership Grant is a five-year grant totaling $600,000 to ensure the future leadership of pancreatic cancer research by supporting an outstanding early-career investigator beginning a postdoctoral research position and continuing through the successful transition to independence. The 2010 recipient is:

  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Pathway to Leadership Grant supported by Tempur-Pedic Retailers
    Zeshaan A. Rasheed, M.D., Ph.D.
    , Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Are cancer stem cells relevant in pancreatic adenocarcinoma?

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Fellowship award is a one-year grant of $45,000 designed to attract and further a young investigator’s career in pancreatic cancer research. The 2010 recipient is:

  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Fellowship in memory of Samuel Stroum
    Vikram Bhattacharjee, Ph.D.
    , Fox Chase Cancer Center
    Candidate gene validation of sensitizers of pancreatic cancer to gemcitabine

In its mission to advance pancreatic cancer research, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has collaborated with the AACR to promote and support outstanding research focused on conquering this deadly disease. This year, nine grants were awarded, with a total funding level of nearly $2.3 million, the largest annual disbursement since the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network introduced the program in 2003. It reflects a nearly 90 percent increase in funding since last year. Since the inception of its grants program, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has awarded more than $7.2 million in pancreatic cancer research funding.

The grants program aims to develop a comprehensive pancreatic cancer research community, investing in the full range of knowledge necessary to produce breakthroughs and move them into lifesaving treatments.

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About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network:
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the only national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. The organization raises money for direct private funding of research—and advocates for more aggressive federal research funding of medical breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network fills the void of information and options by giving patients and caregivers reliable, personalized information they need to make informed decisions. It creates a sense of hope and community so no one has to face pancreatic cancer alone. The organization helps support individuals and communities all across the country to work together to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.

About the American Association for Cancer Research:
The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 31,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowship and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.

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MEDIA INQUIRIES ONLY CONTACT:
Jennifer Rosen
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Direct: 310-706-3362
Email:jrosen@pancan.org

ALL OTHER INQUIRIES, PLEASE CALL THE PANCREATIC CANCER ACTION NETWORK AT 877-272-6226 OR EMAIL INFO@PANCAN.ORG.

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