MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., Nov. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A $1.4 million gift from The Daniel and Janet Mordecai Foundation will provide crucial funding for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's 2012 Research Grants Program, enabling the organization to support the investigations of a new class of early career scientists. Daniel Mordecai died in 2002 from pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
"This generous investment by The Daniel and Janet Mordecai Foundation will fund five research grants in 2012, including one Pathway to Leadership award and four Career Development awards," said Julie Fleshman, President and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. "With the foundation's support, we will continue to build a comprehensive pancreatic cancer research community and fund research that will ultimately lead to early detection methods, better treatment options, and hopefully improved survival rates for patients with pancreatic cancer."
The grants program, administered using the American Association for Cancer Research's rigorous peer-review system, is designed to attract investigators with innovative ideas and brilliant early-career scientists to study pancreatic cancer, grow the number of researchers working in the field, nurture collaborations across disciplines and institutions, and expedite scientific progress for patient benefit. In addition to receiving financial support to fund their research, junior investigators participate in a mentorship program that connects them with leading scientists in the field. Ongoing career support activities offer opportunities for education and professional development as well.
"I am proud to honor the memory of my husband, Daniel, by partnering with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to advance research into this devastating disease," said Janet Mordecai, President of the Daniel and Janet Mordecai Foundation. "The organization's proven track record of building leaders in the research community who leverage their funding for larger federal grants ensures that our investment will make a difference in years to come. Not only did our family experience the great loss of Daniel to pancreatic cancer, but also his mother. We must better understand this disease, including its genetic components, to ensure that future generations have a fighting chance against it."
This year, more than 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and nearly 38,000 will die from it. In fact, 74 percent of patients die within the first year of their diagnoses because the disease is typically caught at a late stage. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest relative survival rate of all the cancers tracked by both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, with a five-year relative survival rate in the single digits at just six percent. There are no early detection tools and few effective treatment options.
To learn more about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network visit www.pancan.org.
About The Daniel and Janet Mordecai Foundation
The Daniel and Janet Mordecai Foundation was founded by Janet Mordecai after Dan's untimely death from pancreatic cancer. It was their joint wish that the Foundation be established to enhance quality of life for all. At this time the Foundation supports programs in the areas of Health (with an emphasis on pancreatic cancer, medullary thyroid cancer and "end of life care"), Culture and the Performing Arts, Community Outreach, and Education.
About the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. The organization is leading the way to increase the survival rate for people diagnosed with this devastating disease through a bold initiative—The Vision of Progress: Double the Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rate by 2020. Together, we can know, fight and end pancreatic cancer by intensifying our efforts to heighten awareness, raise funds for comprehensive private research, and advocate for dedicated federal research to advance early diagnostics, better treatments and increase chances of survival.
Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
SOURCE Pancreatic Cancer Action Network