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In recognition of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, the November issue of Pancreas Matters is dedicated to highlights and updates about our research community.
Advancing Early Detection
Watch a video of Kimberly Kelly, PhD, in which she describes the impact of her research grant on her investigations.
Leveraging Our Research Investment
Our grant recipients often secure subsequent funding to support their pancreatic cancer research. Learn more.
Grant Validates Career Focus
Meet past research grant recipient Max Schmidt, MD, PhD, and learn about his recent accomplishments.
Research Benefits Patients
Work conducted in the research laboratories directly influences clinical trials. See how.
Discussing Science with Experts
Early-career research grant recipients present their work to leading experts in the field.
Meet a Grantee
Find out how James Eshleman, MD, PhD, is uncovering genes linked to hereditary pancreatic cancer.
Corporate Champions Fund Research
Tempur-Pedic® International CEO Mark Sarvary discusses his meeting with two grant recipients.
Special Pancreatic Cancer Conference
We are delighted to announce the first ever AACR Pancreatic Cancer Special Conference.
Grant Application Deadline Extended
The deadline to apply for a Pathway to Leadership research grant has been extended to November 29, 2011. Apply now.
Donate to Fund Progress
Every dollar you give makes a difference in furthering the fight against pancreatic cancer.
Find out how.

A Message from the President and CEO

In our first Pancreas Matters: Special Research Edition, our guest columnist is David Tuveson, MD, PhD, Professor of Pancreatic Cancer Medicine at the University of Cambridge and Senior Group Leader at the Cambridge Research Institute / Cancer Research UK. Dr. Tuveson currently serves as Chair of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Scientific Advisory Board and received one of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's first career development grants in 2003. Through funding from the grant, Dr. Tuveson pioneered the development of a mouse model of pancreatic cancer that closely mimics human disease. Since then, this mouse model has contributed to countless discoveries and advancements in the field. Dr. Tuveson has quickly become a world-renowned leader in the field of pancreatic cancer research and cites our organization's funding and support as critical to his early successes in the laboratory.

Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA
President and CEO
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Dear Pancreatic Cancer Action Network supporters:

I received my Career Development Award from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in 2003, when I served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. I was just embarking on my career as a physician/scientist specializing in pancreatic cancer.

My grant provided funding during a pivotal time as my colleagues and I developed the first mouse model that closely mimics the progression of human pancreatic cancer. This discovery helped launch my career in pancreatic cancer and provided me the opportunity to secure the additional funding necessary to continue my studies. I am very grateful for the critical timing of my Pancreatic Cancer Action Network grant and proud of my involvement in this successful project. Now, I am privileged to serve as Chair of the organization's Scientific Advisory Board.

I was quite excited to hear that the November issue of Pancreas Matters would be devoted to research. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's goal is to build a comprehensive pancreatic cancer research community. We are building that community slowly but surely, and now is the perfect time to showcase some of the progress being made in the field. As we recognize Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, please take a look at the attached stories to see the incredible momentum in pancreatic cancer research right now.

As you will see in the attached stories, the laboratory science taking place right now is increasing our understanding of all angles of pancreatic cancer: uncovering novel ways to diagnose the disease earlier, revealing clues to family links, finding new targets that expose the cancer cells' vulnerabilities, and many more insights. In order to make the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's bold goal of doubling the pancreatic cancer survival rate by 2020 a reality, we need to continue to expand our research efforts.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will distribute more than $3.1 million in research grants this year, the largest annual funding amount to date for the program. Our Career Development Award grants will fund promising early-career researchers to encourage them to make pancreatic cancer their area of focus and build our growing community of scientists. Our Innovative Grants will go to junior or senior investigators to study novel ideas in pancreatic cancer. As we expand this scientific community and recruit brilliant new scientists into the field, we must also continue our fight to increase federal research funding for the disease. So, please remember to encourage your legislators to support the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act.

The path to knowing, fighting, and ending pancreatic cancer begins in the research laboratories. The energy and momentum in the field right now is unprecedented – let's all do our part to build upon it.

To learn more about how you can become a hero in the fight against pancreatic cancer, go to knowitfightitendit.org.

With respect, gratitude, and hope,

David A. Tuveson, MD, PhD
Professor, University of Cambridge
Senior Group Leader, CRUK Cambridge Research Institute


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Pancreas Matters/ July 2011/ Advocacy Day Success