OHSU receives $25 million for clinical and translational pancreatic cancer research

OHSU researchers leading the fight against pancreatic cancer. From left: Brett Sheppard, M.D., Joe Gray, Ph.D., Rosalie Sears, Ph.D., and Lisa Coussens, Ph.D.

This morning, OHSU announced a $25 million pledge from Norman and Linda Brenden and the Colson Family Foundation that will fund a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research initiative to fight pancreatic cancer. The pledge is one of the top monetary gifts in the history of OHSU and one of the largest in the nation to fund studies on pancreatic health.

Funds will be used to support a highly collaborative team of clinical researchers and basic scientists with the goal of helping more people survive and thrive after pancreatic disease. Initial aims of the new initiative include creating tools for earlier detection of pancreatic cancer, developing and testing promising new targeted drugs, and using OHSU’s state-of-the-art imaging and genomic technology to better understand pancreatic tumors at the molecular and cellular level.

The program will be led by a team of four principal investigators: Brett C. Sheppard, M.D., William E. Colson Chair for Pancreatic Disease Research, vice chair of surgery and OHSU’s primary pancreatic surgeon; Joe W. Gray, Ph.D., Gordon Moore Chair of Biomedical Engineering, associate director of for translational research in the Knight Cancer Institute and the director of the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine; Rosalie C. Sears, Ph.D., professor in OHSU’s Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics and the Cancer Biology Program Leader at the Knight Cancer Institute; and Lisa M. Coussens, Ph.D., Hildegard Lamfrom Chair in Basic Science, chair of OHSU’s Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and associate director for basic research for the Knight Cancer Institute.

To learn more, view the OHSU news release.