Therapeutics Focused Research Program

The Therapeutics-Focused Research Program will deepen the scientific and medical community’s understanding of the causes of pancreatic cancer and develop a robust pipeline of potential new treatment options. This $11.2 million grant program promotes collaboration across labs and is expected to identify new therapeutic approaches and drug targets.

The program launched in 2021, with ten grant recipients from institutions across the US and in UK. Research has been categorized into four focus areas: Desmoplastic Stroma, Dysregulated Metabolism, Early Metastasis, and Chronic Inflammation.

Desmoplastic Stroma 

Gregory Beatty, MD, PhD, Penn Medicine
Targeting elements of the desmoplastic stroma to sensitize pancreatic cancer to immunotherapy

Douglas Fearon, MD, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Overcoming T cell exclusion: Inhibiting the pathway that “coats” PDA cells with CXCL12

Claus Jorgensen, PhD, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, The University of Manchester
Targeting the desmoplastic stroma and induced tumor vulnerabilities in PDA

Mara Sherman, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Dissecting Stromal Evolutionary Routes in Primary versus Metastatic Microenvironments

Dysregulated Metabolism 

James Johnson, PhD, The University of British Columbia
Local and systemic metabolic dysfunction in pancreatic cancer – Bench to bedside

Alec Kimmelman, MD, PhD, NYU Langone Health
Metabolic Determinants of Pancreatic Cancer Metastasis

Matthew Vander Heiden, MD, PhD, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT
Understanding how altered metabolism promotes pancreatic cancer progression

Early Metastasis 

Andrew Lowy, MD, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
MICAL2: A Novel Driver of Pancreatic Cancer Metastasis

Chronic Inflammation

Mandar Muzumdar, MD, Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center
Targeting immune and microbial drivers of obesity-associated pancreatic cancer

David Pellman, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Mechanisms and therapeutics for genome catastrophes that drive genome evolution in PDAC

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