The 2015 Research Grants Program Offers Critical Funding … and Much More

Home About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Pancreas Matters email newsletter archive The 2015 Research Grants Program Offers Critical Funding … and Much More

Thanks to the generosity of the organization’s supporters, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will award more than $4.1 million in research grant funding in 2015. An additional $2.3 million will be invested in other research initiatives, bringing the organization’s total commitment to research to $6.4 million, a 25 percent increase over last year’s commitment.

The Research Grants Program provides funding opportunities to a wide array of scientists and clinicians. Grants are available to researchers who are just beginning their careers, training as postdoctoral or clinical research fellows in the laboratories of more senior scientists. Funding is also available to independent junior investigators who are establishing and strengthening their pancreatic cancer research labs. Independent investigators at any career stage are welcome to apply for translational or clinical research grants supporting projects that are poised to improve patient outcomes and bring us closer to doubling pancreatic cancer survival by 2020.

Draetta-color“This award will enable our group to push our translational objectives at a much more rapid pace than previously imagined. Moreover, this funding is the sole reason we will be able to initiate – quickly – clinical studies of our inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation in patients with pancreatic cancer [a potential means of stopping the growth of pancreatic tumors].”

Giulio Draetta, MD, PhD
Recipient of 2014 Research Acceleration Network Grant funded in memory of Skip Viragh

In 2015 the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will again offer the highly coveted Research Acceleration Network (RAN) Grant, which is administered in partnership with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). The RAN grant provides $1 million in funding to support team science and accelerate medical breakthroughs. Recipients fully appreciate how the grant enables them to step up the pace of their research.

Creating an innovative new partnership, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is joining forces with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and is funding a Fellowship Award for a postdoctoral or clinical fellow. The project will focus on inhibiting the activity of mutated KRAS proteins that are relevant to pancreatic cancer. It will be linked to the NCI’s RAS Program.

The NCI’s RAS Program represents an important step forward in the fight against pancreatic cancer. While RAS genetic mutations occur in approximately 30 percent of all human cancers, mutations in the KRAS gene within the RAS family account for more than 90 percent of pancreatic cancer cases. Yet, historically, KRAS has been considered an “undruggable” target – meaning that researchers did not know how to stop its activity and did not even think it possible to do so. The RAS Program focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of KRAS and finding ways to make it “druggable.” The recipient of the Fellowship Award, funded in memory of Samuel Stroum, will receive financial support and career development opportunities from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, as well as from Frederick National Laboratory, through onsite training, mentorship and access to technology capabilities.

Pylayeva-Gupta“I am extremely thankful for the generous support of my research plan at such a critical stage of my career. In addition to providing me with valuable support during my transition toward an independent academic career, the award will also integrate me into a vibrant community of world-class pancreatic cancer researchers, with whom I look forward to sharing ideas and collaborating for many years to come.”

Yuliya Pylayeva-Gupta, PhD
Recipient of 2013 Pathway to Leadership Grant

All grantees become engaged with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Community for Progress, which provides opportunities for technical guidance, networking and collaboration. Ongoing career support activities offer educational and professional development that helps keep the organization’s community of researchers committed and involved. Grant recipients have repeatedly expressed that their inclusion in the Community for Progress has been a tremendous benefit of receiving a Pancreatic Cancer Action Network research grant.

Applications submitted for Pancreatic Cancer Action Network research grants are carefully evaluated by outside panels of experts, based on criteria specific to each grant type. This rigorous peer-review process ensures the unbiased selection of the most meritorious projects to fund. Those interested in applying can find more information here.

Since 2003, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has awarded 110 grants, totaling nearly $23 million in funding. To ensure that the organization is able to continue funding groundbreaking research and other aspects of its comprehensive approach to fighting pancreatic cancer, donate now. To learn more about specific opportunities to support the research program, contact



Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Research Acceleration Network Grant

  • One- to three-year grant, totaling $1,000,000
  • Supports a project that includes a clinical component, involves independent investigators from at least two institutions and has strong potential to help double pancreatic cancer survival by the year 2020

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – NCI, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research KRAS Fellowship

  • One-year grant, totaling $45,000
  • Supports a postdoctoral or clinical research fellow in conducting a research project with goals aligned to the National Cancer Institute’s RAS Program

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – AACR Career Development Award

  • Two-year grant, totaling $200,000
  • Supports a junior faculty member in developing or strengthening their pancreatic cancer research

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – AACR Pathway to Leadership Grant

  • Five-year grant, totaling $600,000
  • Supports a highly promising postdoctoral or clinical research fellow in the mentored research phase and in the transition to research independence

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Translational Research Grant

  • Two-year grant, totaling $300,000
  • Supports an independent researcher in conducting a translational research project that has as its endpoint the development of a pancreatic cancer assessment or treatment modality