Led by Lustgarten: Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion

Posted On Jan 31, 2022

Topic: Your Source for Breaking News & Inspirational Stories
Led by Lustgarten: Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion

Solving the unique complexities of pancreatic cancer requires complex thinking and diversity of thought, education, training, background and experience.  

We are committed to prioritizing and promoting diversity and inclusion across
the organization, including staff, volunteer leadership and research portfolio. 


A rich field of experience and perspectives working on the complex problems associated with pancreatic cancer increases the opportunities and potential to transform pancreatic cancer into a curable disease. 

Who we work with:

  • Expanding diversity within our funded scientists
    • The Ruth Bader Ginsberg and John Lewis Career Development Grant Programs launched in 2020 to increase opportunities for career advancement and growth of women and under-represented minorities in pancreatic cancer research. The grants support independent research programs led by early-career scientists (assistant professor or equivalent) working at an academic, medical or research institution anywhere in the world. 
  • Expanding diversity among our scientific advisors
    • The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and Translational Advisory Group (TAG) were updated in January 2021 to be more inclusive of underrepresented minorities and women, as well as adding diversity in education and expertise. 

What we work on:
In 2021, Lustgarten funded Dr. Howard Crawford’s project, “Racial Disparities in Pancreatic Cancer” to investigate biologic basis for disparities in pancreatic cancer in African Americans. 

  • Lustgarten funds a variety of clinical research studies and clinical trials to address the complexities of pancreatic cancer. Clinical trials that are successful in phase I and phase II only to fail in phases III or IV are no longer tenable. We are focused on addressing the underrepresentation of people of color in the development and testing process for new pancreatic cancer treatments. Diversity in clinical trials is important to ensure all cancer patients benefit from these research efforts. 
  • The LEAD (Lustgarten Equity Accessibility Diversity) Project: Launching in 2022, LEAD supports efforts to understand barriers to clinical trial enrollment and retention, and to increase the representation of minority groups in pancreatic cancer clinical trials. 
  • All applications for clinical research (including use of human samples) are now required to include statements about the demographic make-up of the cohort, catchment and institutional efforts to ensure equitable enrollment. 

How we work: 

  • Ensure representative and balanced external review committees. 
  • Include reading a statement on implicit bias at the beginning of each grant review meeting.  
  • Develop tools to collect information on institutional efforts toward diversity and inclusion and demographic information on faculty from all applicant institutions. 

The Organization 

  • We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace because we believe the diverse perspectives and experiences of our employees enhance the value of the Foundation and produce a more vibrant, constructive and engaging work environment. 
  • We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive Board of Directors whose combined perspectives and experience enhance dialogue and improve the governance of the Foundation. 
  • We believe Foundation marketing and patient education materials must reflect the diversity of the pancreatic cancer community and, consequently, foster and promote a more diverse and inclusive constituent base. 
  • We believe educational programs must reflect our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by ensuring a broad and inclusive approach to inviting speakers and including programs focusing on equity and diversity in the research community. 

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