The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) announces changes to its board of directors, effective July 1, 2023. We welcome four new members, Jay T. Backstrom, MD, MPH, Rich Hume, Eric Park and Mace Rothenberg, MD and gratefully acknowledge the leadership of Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, board member since 2013, Vice Chair from 2016 to 2020 and Chair from 2020 to 2022, as she steps down from PanCAN’s board of directors.

PanCAN President and CEO Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, said, “We are thrilled to bring the vision of our newest members to our talented group of board leaders. With their support and leadership, we will continue to make progress toward the ambitious goals we’ve set that include driving the 5-year survival for pancreatic cancer from 10% to 20% and raising $80 million annually by 2030 to provide the opportunity to invest more in changing patient outcomes.”

All understanding the impact of pancreatic cancer on patients as their families, PanCAN’s newest board members are deeply committed to PanCAN’s bold initiatives and goals.

Jay T. Backstrom, MD, MPH

Jay T. Backstrom, MD, MPH, is currently President and CEO of Scholar Rock, a position he assumed in October 2022. Dr. Backstrom is an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in clinical research and development. Prior to Scholar Rock, he served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Acceleron Pharma, from December 2019 through its acquisition by Merck in 2021. Previously, Dr. Backstrom served as the Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs for Celgene Corporation and spent more than a decade at the company during a time of significant pipeline expansion and revenue growth. Dr. Backstrom’s grandmother died of pancreatic cancer when he was a first-year medical student and, in 2009, he was impacted again when his wife, Dr. Desiree Bennett Backstrom, was diagnosed with metastatic disease and passed away 6 months later.

“PanCAN support, particularly the patient educational materials were very helpful when my wife was first diagnosed,” said Dr. Backstrom. “I feel honored and privileged to service on PanCAN’s board of directors and to be part of the mission to improve lives of everyone impacted by pancreatic cancer in honor of both my wife and grandmother.”

Rich Hume

Rich Hume is Chief Executive Officer of TD SYNNEX and a member of their Board. Hume served as CEO of Tech Data from 2018 to 2021. In his role, he is responsible for the strategic direction of the company and oversees all aspects of its extensive global operations. Prior to joining Tech Data, Hume was with IBM for more than 30 years, serving most recently as General Manager and COO, Global Technology Services. Hume lost his wife, Leslie Hume, to pancreatic cancer in 2018 and was her caregiver for the year prior to her passing and he found PanCAN to be an invaluable resource as he was learning about the disease.

“As a CEO of a public company, I am hoping to help with the overall progress of PanCAN’s mission and objectives by applying many of the experiences I have had in over 40 years of business,” said Hume. “I am excited about PanCAN’s investment in research and collaboration with other institutions working to improve the survival rates of pancreatic cancer.”

Eric Park

Eric Park is a Managing Director on Accordion’s NetSuite Team within the CFO Technology Practice. He has more than a decade of financial accounting, system implementation, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) transformation experience, and he specializes in cloud-based technology architecture, business process optimization, and ERP system evaluations. He has spent much of his career working closely with large software companies and building strategic relationships with private equity sponsors. Park lost his mom to pancreatic cancer in 2021.

“After my mom passed away, my wife and I wanted to find a way to honor her legacy and life. I found PanCAN and it quickly became evident that this was a special organization and I’m excited for the opportunity to bring my experience in finance, accounting and technology to support its future growth,” said Park. “I’m especially drawn to PanCAN’s Early Detection Initiative. My mom was diagnosed at stage IV, so I am extremely passionate about finding ways to detect the disease early so people can have a fighting chance to beat it.”

Mace Rothenberg, MD

Mace Rothenberg, MD, is a physician-executive with more than 30 years of experience in government, academia, and industry. Dr. Rothenberg served as Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer from 2019 to 2021, during which time the company initiated, completed, and obtained emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty®.  Prior to that role, Dr. Rothenberg led Clinical Development for Oncology at Pfizer from 2008 to 2018. Dr. Rothenberg is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

“After I discovered PanCAN, I began to tell every patient with pancreatic cancer I saw in my practice about it and what a great resource it was for reliable, accurate information,” said Dr. Rothenberg. “Joining the board of PanCAN is both a great honor and great responsibility. Thirty years of experience working in government, academia, and industry has given me insight into the unique contributions of each when it comes to cancer research, drug development, and how we can improve outcomes.”

During her tenure, Koplow-McAdams brought a wealth of business expertise in growth strategy, marketing and business development from three decades spent at growth-stage technology companies, serving in operations and board roles. She joined PanCAN’s board in honor of her father, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2012, less than two years after his diagnosis.

“Hillarie has been a phenomenal leader for PanCAN throughout her tenure on the board, especially while serving as Chair during the unprecedented time of COVID-19,” said Fleshman. “I am grateful for her partnership and the positive, lasting impact she has had on our organization.”

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