2013 Grants Awarded

The Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation was proud to award the following grants in 2013:


Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (Baltimore, MD)
For Continued Support of “Genetic Sequencing of Patients with Familial Pancreatic Cancer.” Dr. Ralph Hruban’s pancreatic cancer team has sequenced the genomes (all 3 billion letters of DNA) of 700+ patients with familial pancreatic cancer. Under Doctor Nick Roberts, Johns Hopkins will now proceed to analyze the data, and seek to discover the genes that cause familial pancreatic cancer based on an individual’s DNA sequence. 

Laura Wood, MD, PhD
 “Characterization of the Moment of Invasion in Pancreatic Neoplasms”
Awarded to support the research of Laura Wood, whose goal is to characterize the moment of transition between non-invasive cysts and infiltrating cancer. Invasive pancreatic cancer, which is an aggressive and particularly deadly strain of cancer, arises from non-invasive precursor lesions that, if found early enough, are curable. The goal is to remove these lesions before they progress to an invasive cancer. 

The University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Support of a post-doctoral surgical oncology fellow, Dr. Jukes Namm. Working under the The Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation Fellowship, Dr. Namm is dedicating two years of study to early detection pancreatic cancer research under the supervision of Drs. Kevin Roggin and Mitchel Posner.

Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)
Via the Lustgarten Foundation
Pledged to support the research of Dr. Cesar Castro, “Imaging Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Via Novel Cathespin E Imaging Agents.” Currently, there are no imaging tests that can effectively discriminate normal tissue from suspicious masses, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). While surgical removal of localized PDAC remains the standard, differentiating between what is cancer and what is surrounding inflammation remains challenging. Successful PDAC imaging requires targets that are more numerous in pancreatic cancer compared to non-cancerous pancreas or inflammatory cells.  Dr. Castro’s prior work shows that Cathepsin E (CTSE) is a marker found along the spectrum of pancreatic caner (early to late stage) but is not found in surrounding normal tissue. His team will use an anti-viral drug with strong binding preferences for CTSE as a scaffold upon which to attach imaging beacons that can be detected by a PET scan.

Cancer Wellness Center (Northbrook, IL)
For continued support of their pancreatic cancer discussion group.

Wellness House (Hinsdale, IL)
For continued support of their pancreatic cancer discussion group.