Jen Jen Yeh, MD Announced as Inaugural Recipient of LEAD Grant

Posted On Sep 16, 2022

Topic: Announcement, Homepage News, Press Releases
Jen Jen Yeh, MD Announced as Inaugural Recipient of LEAD Grant

WOODBURY, N.Y., Sept 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Lustgarten Foundation announced today that the Lustgarten Equity, Accessibility, and Diversity (LEAD) Project’s inaugural grant will be awarded to Jen Jen Yeh, MD, Professor & Vice Chair of Research, Surgery, Division of Oncology Professor, Pharmacology Member, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center for her PROmoting CLinicAl TrIal EngageMent for Pancreatic Cancer App Study (PROCLAIM Study). The goal of the LEAD Project is to broaden inclusivity in the recruitment and retention of patients from underrepresented minority groups in pancreatic cancer clinical trials.

“I am grateful to the Lustgarten Foundation for supporting this study and the important work we will do to break barriers in pancreatic cancer clinical trial participation of underrepresented groups,” said Yeh. “We hypothesize that understanding community and culturally specific barriers through the lens of key Black community stakeholders, who are compensated for their time and expertise, and targeting these barriers is key to increasing Black participation in clinical trial discussions and ultimately, enrollment.”  

Yeh’s PROCLAIM Study, in partnership with Dr. Ugwuji Maduekwe, MD, and her team at the Medical College of Wisconsin, will focus on breaking down barriers to recruiting diverse populations, such as distrust, poor communication, racial bias, and culturally discordant clinical trial materials, via a mobile health technology initiative. Mobile health technology will be used as an educational and communication tool fostering open discussion between Black people with pancreatic cancer and their cancer teams, ultimately increasing clinical trial participation. In support, The LEAD Project grant will provide $150,000 per year for three consecutive years.

“We believe community is power, and research is fundamental to transforming pancreatic cancer into a curable disease,” said Linda Tantawi, Lustgarten Foundation CEO, “Jen Jen’s PROCLAIM study embodies the LEAD Project’s mission to bridge the gap to equitable pancreatic cancer healthcare for all.” 

Support for the LEAD Project is made possible, in part, by a donation from Northwell Health Cancer Institute.

Applications for the 2023 LEAD Project grants are due December 1, 2022 and must be submitted through ProposalCentral. Click here or more information.

About UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Established in 1975, the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center is a cancer research and treatment center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is one of only 53 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers and the only public comprehensive cancer center serving the state and people of North Carolina. With research that spans the spectrum from the laboratory to the bedside to the community, UNC Lineberger’s more than 400 members based at more than 40 departments across campus work to understand the causes of cancer at the genetic and environmental levels, to conduct groundbreaking laboratory research, and to translate findings into pioneering and innovative clinical trials and, ultimately, more effective cancer treatments. For more information, visit

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