OVERVIEW: The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network helps those affected by pancreatic cancer and funds research to double survival rates by 2020.
IP TAKE: This outfit operates an open application platform, making it one of the more approachable cancer research funders out there. As the amount of research dollars available for pancreatic cancer research is comparatively sparse, applicants should expect a good deal of competition when applying for a grant here.
PROFILE: When Pamela Acosta Marquardt’s mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1996, Marquardt sought out information about the disease. Unfortunately, she only found one helpful resource, an online discussion board hosted by a pathologist at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center. This lack of available information and support led Marquardt and cofounders Paula Kim and Terry Lierman to establish the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCan) in 1999.
The overall mission of PanCan is to develop and build a network of people “working together to advance research, support patients, and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer.” Its current mission is to double the pancreatic survival rate by 2020. Current survival rates are 20 percent at one year and seven percent at five years.
Since those fledgling days, PanCan has grown quite a bit, collecting around $36 million in revenue last year. The organization operates its own outreach and advocacy programs, but also gives a good number of research grants annually.
PanCan’s research funding has grown pretty significantly over the past few years. From 2012 to 2013, the organization offered around $3.5 million in research grants. That number has since increased to nearly $13 million. These grants fund cancer research in several ways. Some grants directly support research project on translational medicine and early detection. Others specifically support emerging scholars working on topics related to pancreatic cancer. They also support fellowships and travel grants for the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research in Maryland. Awards range from $300,000 to $1,000,000 for periods of two to five years. You can learn more about past grantees here.
- Julie Fleshman, President and CEO
- Victoria Manax Rutson, Chief Medical Officer
- Rhonda Aizenberg, Senior Research and Strategy Director
- Amber Wynn, Associate Director, Research Grants Department