LustgartenLIVE! - Lustgarten Foundation: Pancreatic Cancer Research


Welcome to LustgartenLIVE!, a new quarterly series of webinars designed to bring you face-to-face with the best researchers investigating pancreatic cancer.  Moderated by Andrew Rakeman, PhD, Vice President of Research, each webinar in the series will focus on a different aspect of the research funded through your donations.

Hope is on the horizon!

for Personalized Medicine: Transforming Treatment

Noon-1 pm EST
Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Personalized medicine is an important and evolving research area for pancreatic cancer. By identifying patients’ own genetic and tumor make-up, as well as their specific mutations, physicians can create custom treatment strategies unique to each patient’s needs. Lustgarten-funded research is exploring various approaches and technologies for the most effective way to personalize medicine, including replicating 3D tumor cells in the lab to create organoids.

In this live-streaming discussion, we’ll take you from the clinic to the lab to show you how personalized medicine may transform the future of pancreatic cancer treatment. Discussion will include organoid research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and the current PASS-01 clinical trial.


David Tuveson, MD, PhD
Chief Scientist, Lustgarten Foundation
Director, Lustgarten Foundation Dedicated Pancreatic Cancer Research Lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL)

Dr. Tuveson is an internationally renowned physician-scientist and President of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), he also serves the Director of the CSHL Cancer Center and the Roy J. Zuckerberg Professor of Cancer. With impressive academic credentials and a long history of conducting groundbreaking research in the field of pancreatic cancer,  Dr. Tuveson merges laboratory and clinical research to quickly bring new options to patients. His recent and most promising work has been on organoids, three-dimensional cell culture systems which reproduce a patient’s tumor in a dish enabling repeated testing, with the aim of identifying new potential treatments. Dr. Tuveson was the first scientist to use organoids for pancreatic cancer and has been a pioneer in developing organoids to determine which chemotherapy drug may be most effective in treating individual patients.

Dennis Plenker, PhD
Technical Manager, Lustgarten Foundation Dedicated Pancreatic Cancer Research Lab at CSHL

Dr. Plenker studied molecular biomedicine at the University of Bonn and did his PhD in genetics at the Department of Translational Genomics led by Professor Roman Thomas at the University of Cologne in 2015. During his PhD he worked on the characterization of new oncogenes and treatment options for lung cancer. For his first postdoc he started investigating new treatment strategies for RET-rearranged tumors as well as the characterization of new structural variants of the MET receptor. Dr. Plenker joined the Tuveson laboratory at CSHL in late- 2017 to work on pancreatic cancer using the human organoid platform. In his work, Dr. Plenker investigates new treatment strategies and the translation of human organoid research to the clinics to further improve precision medicine approaches in pancreatic cancer.


Andrew Rakeman, PhD, Vice President of Research, Lustgarten Foundation

Dr. Rakeman oversees the development and implementation of the Lustgarten Foundation’s more than $25 million annual research portfolio. In this role, Dr. Rakeman works closely with Foundation scientific and organizational leadership to advance the scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment and cure of pancreatic cancer. He is responsible for identifying and recommending the areas of greatest need within pancreatic cancer research, implementing a robust RFP and grant review process, and fostering collaboration between and among the Foundation’s funded researchers. Since joining the Foundation in early-2020, Dr. Rakeman quickly made an impact by helping to establish the Clinical Accelerator Initiative. Prior to joining Lustgarten, Dr. Rakeman worked for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), where he managed research programs and international partnerships. He holds a B.A. in Biology from Boston University and a Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Genetics from Cornell University.

This LustgartenLIVE! webinar is made possible by the support of Ipsen and Northwell Health

Ipsen Innovation for Patient Care
northwell pin

Thank you to the following donors for supporting the Foundation’s personalized medicine projects.

The Gail V. Coleman and Kenneth M. Bruntel Organoids for Personalized Therapy Project

Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation

Mark your calendars for the entire LustgartenLIVE! series:

From the Lab to You: Clinical Advances

Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021

Elizabeth Jaffee, MD, Chief Medical Advisor and Director of the Lustgarten Foundation Clinical Accelerator Initiative
Brian Wolpin, MD, MPH, Director of the Lustgarten Foundation Dedicated Pancreatic Cancer Research Laboratory at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The Best of 2021: Research Highlights

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021

Elizabeth Jaffee, MD, Chief Medical Advisor and Director of the Lustgarten Foundation Clinical Accelerator Initiative
David Tuveson, MD, PhD, Chief Scientist and Director of the Lustgarten Foundation Dedicated Pancreatic Cancer Research Laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

For Sponsorship and Program Information: or 516-737-1521

Past LustgartenLive! Webinars

Early Detection: The Path Forward Wednesday, April 21, 2021 – Drs. Bert Vogelstein and Elliot Fishman of the Lustgarten Foundation Dedicated Pancreatic Cancer Research Laboratory at Johns Hopkins discuss how a blood test and artificial intelligence may impact earlier detection of pancreatic cancer. Watch now. 

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