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The Lustgarten Foundation Announces Jen Jen Yeh, MD, University of North Carolina Lineberger Pancreatic Cancer Center, as the inaugural recipient of its LEAD Project Grant

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The Lustgarten Foundation announced Friday that the Lustgarten Equity, Accessibility, and Diversity (LEAD) Project’s inaugural grant will be awarded to Jen Jen Yeh, MD, Professor & Vice Chair of Research, Surgery, Division of Oncology Professor, Pharmacology Member, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center for her PROmoting CLinicAl TrIal EngageMent for Pancreatic Cancer App Study (PROCLAIM Study). The goal of the LEAD Project is to broaden inclusivity in the recruitment and retention of patients from underrepresented minority groups in pancreatic cancer clinical trials.

“I am grateful to the Lustgarten Foundation for supporting this study and the important work we will do to break barriers in pancreatic cancer clinical trial participation of underrepresented groups,” said Yeh. “We hypothesize that understanding community and culturally specific barriers through the lens of key Black community stakeholders, who are compensated for their time and expertise, and targeting these barriers is key to increasing Black participation in clinical trial discussions and ultimately, enrollment.”

Yeh’s PROCLAIM Study, in partnership with Dr. Ugwuji Maduekwe, MD, and her team at the Medical College of Wisconsin, will focus on breaking down barriers to recruiting diverse populations, such as distrust, poor communication, racial bias, and culturally discordant clinical trial materials, via a mobile health technology initiative. Mobile health technology will be used as an educational and communication tool fostering open discussion between Black people with pancreatic cancer and their cancer teams, ultimately increasing clinical trial participation. In support, The LEAD Project grant will provide $150,000 per year for three consecutive years.

“We believe community is power, and research is fundamental to transforming pancreatic cancer into a curable disease,” said Linda Tantawi, Lustgarten Foundation CEO, “Jen Jen’s PROCLAIM study embodies the LEAD Project’s mission to bridge the gap to equitable pancreatic cancer healthcare for all.”

Applications are due December 1, 2022 and must be submitted through ProposalCentral. For more information, visit  www.lustgarten.org/current-funding-opportunities.


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