Driving Clinical Translational Collaborations to Improve Patient Outcomes
The program identifies and funds innovative, multi-institutional translational research projects, advancing research from the laboratory to the clinic. These projects will significantly impact early diagnosis, increase surgical intervention, improve therapies, identify personalized medicine approaches and ultimately find a cure for pancreatic cancer.
Funding from the Lustgarten Foundation is absolutely critical to the advancement of this research. Scientists are able to take promising ideas and expand them out to the larger studies necessary to more definitively evaluate findings. Additionally, these funds help support the work of post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty, cultivating the next generation of scientists who will work to cure pancreatic cancer.
Meet the Researchers
Dr. Califano is the founding director and chair of the Columbia Department of Systems Biology. He also serves as Associate Director for Bioinformatics in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Califano serves on numerous editorial and scientific advisory boards, including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the Sanford-Burnham Institute, MD Anderson Genomic Medicine department and the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Wolpin is the director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is also an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and the Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Chair in Pancreatic Cancer at Dana-Farber. Additionally, Dr. Wolpin is the director of the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber.
Dr. Olive’s lab performs preclinical therapeutics trials using advanced genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic cancer to treat mice with pancreatic cancer in exactly the manner that human patients are treated. Tumor volumes are tracked and quantified, and mice are enrolled into randomized therapeutics trials. Ultimately, successful therapies will be translated into the clinical setting through collaborations with the Pancreas Center of Columbia University.