LustgartenLIVE!(September) - 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 From the Lab to You: Clinical Advances

Noon-1 pm EST
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 

Clinical trials are designed to find more effective treatments than those currently available and provide a unique opportunity to better understand human disease. Clinical trials are especially important for pancreatic cancer patients, given the limited treatment options currently available. However, currently fewer than 5% of pancreatic cancer patients are enrolled in clinical trials. The Lustgarten Foundation is working to improve clinical trial participation by moving promising therapies into trials as quickly as possible, with the goal of having trials available for patients at every stage of the disease.

During this webinar, two world-renowned pancreatic cancer researchers and clinicians, Dr. Tyler Jacks of MIT and Dr. Brian Wolpin of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, explain the Foundation’s critical role in moving research from the lab to the clinic, advancing clinical trials and better therapies. The Foundation established the Clinical Accelerator Initiative (CAI) to shorten the time from clinical trial concept to launch using a Lustgarten-developed process based on the best available science. These “smarter” clinical trials will examine cutting-edge biomarkers to observe key indicators of how the treatment is working and will generate large volumes of data scientists can use now and in the future.

In 2021, the Foundation is funding three new clinical studies through the CAI focusing on immunotherapy to treat pancreatic cancer. Two will test novel combinations of vaccines and drugs targeting the immune system to determine if they can overcome pancreatic tumors’ resistance to immune therapies. The third study will examine a new combination of drugs designed to activate the patient’s own tumor-killing T cells to shrink pancreatic tumors.


Dr. Tyler jacks LabTyler Jacks, PhD
Founding Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Director, Lustgarten Foundation Dedicated Pancreatic Cancer Research Lab at MIT

Dr. Jacks is a Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Founding Director of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He is a world leader and pioneer in the use of gene-targeting technology in mice to study cancer-associated genes and the genetic events contributing to the development of cancer. Over the course of his academic career, he has published over 200 peer- reviewed papers along with numerous review articles and book chapters. Dr. Jacks served both as Chair and Member of the National Cancer Advisory Board at the National Cancer Institute as well as a member on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), where he was elected President of the organization in 2009. Dr. Jacks was also elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the inaugural class of Fellows of the AACR Academy.

Dr. Brian WolpinBrian Wolpin, MD, MPH
Director, Hale Family Research Center
Director, Lustgarten Foundation Dedicated Pancreatic Cancer Research Lab at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Wolpin is a medical oncologist and translational scientist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. He obtained his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and completed a residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He completed fellowship training in medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and returned to Brigham and Women’s Hospital to serve as chief medical resident. Subsequently, he received a M.P.H. from Harvard School of Public Health. His research group is focused on understanding the factors that promote initiation and progression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, with the goals of identifying new screening tests and therapeutic approaches for pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Wolpin is Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center and Director of the Hale Family Research Center for, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as Chair of the NCI Pancreatic Cancer Detection Consortium Steering Committee, co-Principal Investigator for the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium, Vice-Chair of the NCI Pancreas Task Force, and co-Director of the Pancreas and Biliary Tumor Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. Additionally, Dr. Wolpin leads the dedicated Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Research Laboratory and serves as the Robert T. & Judith B. Hale Chair in Pancreatic Cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His research has been funded by the National Cancer Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Lustgarten Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and U.S. Department of Defense. Dr. Wolpin’s clinical practice involves the care of patients with gastrointestinal cancers, with a particular focus on pancreatic cancer. He holds multiple leadership positions related to clinical expertise, including membership on the Alliance/CALGB Gastrointestinal Cancer Committee, NCCN Guidelines Committee for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma, and NCI Pancreas Task Force.


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.

Ipsen Innovation for Patient Care

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

CAI donors for Clinical Trials research briefing website

Eleanor Schwartz Charitable Foundation

Joseph Arena and Dr. Thomas D’Eletto Charitable Fund

Irving Hansen Foundation

Mark your calendars for the entire LustgartenLIVE! series:

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:  [email protected] 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. 

Personalized Medicine: Transforming Treatment Wednesday, June 30, 2021 – Drs. David Tuveson, and Dennis Plenker of the Lustgarten Foundation Dedicated Pancreatic Cancer Research Lab at CSHL, and Dr. Wasif Saif, of  Northwell Health Cancer Institute, take you from the clinic to the lab to show you how personalized medicine may transform the future of pancreatic cancer treatment. Watch Now.

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