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California family honors father with second AGA Foundation Research Scholar Award

Bethesda, MD (Sept. 21, 2009) The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition (FDHN) announced that the family of the late businessman and photographer, Bernard Lee Schwartz, has honored his memory by establishing a new three-year Research Scholar Award for pancreatic cancer research. The $225,000 gift from the Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation will provide a young investigator with funding and protected time for three years to focus on basic science related to pancreatic cancer. Mr. Schwartz suffered from the disease and died in 1978 at the age of 64.

"The research support provided by the Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation is helping to answer important questions in the study of pancreatic cancer," said Sidney Cohen, MD, AGAF, chair of the AGA Foundation. "The research funded by the Bernard L. Schwartz Research Scholar Award in Pancreatic Cancer will continue to contribute to the advancement of our knowledge of the early detection and treatment of this devastating disease. The AGA Foundation is most grateful for the Schwartz family's continued confidence in the research scholars of the AGA Foundation."

This is the second Research Scholar Award in pancreatic cancer funded by the Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation. The first recipient, Kenneth H. Yu, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, has focused his research on identifying screening protein markers associated with pancreatic tumors, which will yield a test to detect the disease at an early stage.

"We think that bringing young, capable and innovative investigators to work on finding a cure for pancreatic cancer is a worthy endeavor and one which will yield results," said the Schwartz family. "AGA recognizes the critical need for new research talent which is focused on this area and we are delighted to be their partner in creating this research award. We believe that progress toward a cure for pancreatic cancer will come from the concentrated efforts of smart investigators who have the resources they need and enough dedicated time to do their work."

Mr. Schwartz lost his father during the depression and at the age of 18 dropped out of college in order to find work. After a difficult start, he embarked on a successful career as an entrepreneur and industrialist. A lifelong interest in photography led him at the age of 60 to a second career as an internationally renowned portrait photographer. His work has been exhibited in Europe and the United States and was most recently on display at the National Portrait Gallery, London.


Contact: Aimee Frank
American Gastroenterological Association

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