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New grant empowers young researchers to find a cure for pancreatic cancer

Bethesda, MD (July 30, 2013) The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Foundation has announced a gift from the Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation of $1,125,000 to the foundation's endowment. The AGA Institute will provide matching support, resulting in a $2,250,000 grant dedicated to advancing basic research in pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. This award is in honor of the late businessman and photographer, Bernard Lee Schwartz, who suffered from the disease and died in 1978 at the age of 64.

"Until there is a cure for pancreatic cancer, significant funding must be dedicated to basic research into this devastating disease," said Martin Brotman, MD, AGAF, chair, AGA Research Foundation. "The research funded by the AGA-Bernard Lee Schwartz Designated Research Scholar Award in Pancreatic Cancer will advance our knowledge of the early detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer. The AGA Research Foundation is sincerely thankful to the Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation for their continued confidence in AGA's research scholars."

The AGA-Bernard Lee Schwartz Designated Research Scholar Award in Pancreatic Cancer will be provided to young researchers interested in developing independent and productive careers in pancreatic cancer. Award recipients will receive $90,000 per year for three years to conduct basic research related to pancreatic cancer. The first recipient will receive his/her first award payment in July 2014 and subsequent awardees will start funding upon conclusion of the current recipient's award term.

Researchers interested in applying for the AGA-Bernard Lee Schwartz Designated Research Scholar Award in Pancreatic Cancer should visit The application deadline is Oct. 18, 2013.

This is the Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation's third contribution to the AGA Research Foundation endowment in honor of their late family member. In 2010, their grant supported Kenneth P. Olive, PhD, from Columbia University, in his research towards identifying better treatment modalities for pancreatic cancer. The first recipient, Kenneth H. Yu, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, 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.

"In order to find a cure for pancreatic cancer, we must continue to provide young, innovative investigators with the resources they need, and enough dedicated time, to focus on basic research," said the Schwartz family. "There will be more than 38,400 deaths from pancreatic cancer in the U.S. in 2013. We hope this award helps to attract the next generation of talented researchers to work towards a cure for this deadly disease."


Contact: Rachel Steigerwald
American Gastroenterological Association

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