The NFPTR team is composed of a talented group of researchers and clinicians who bring with them enthusiasm and a unique approach to studying pancreatic tumors and their precursors. Here is the team:
Dr. Alison P. Klein is Director of the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry. She is an Assistant Professor of Oncology and Epidemiology with a joint appointment at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Heath. Her research focus is to identify the genes and enviromental factors that cause pancreatic cancer and translate these findings into improved patient care and risk assessment.
Diane Echavarria is the Coordinator of the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry. Ms. Echavarria graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a double major in Systems Neuroscience and Spanish Literature. She serves as a resource for patients, as they enroll into the registry, and for researchers who work to identify causes, early detection techniques and new therapies for pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Ralph Hruban is Director of GI/Liver Pathology and Director of The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins. He is a Professor of Pathology and Oncology. His research focuses on the precursor lesions that give rise to invasive pancreatic cancer. Just as colon polyps can give rise to colon cancer, Dr. Hruban has shown that small precursor lesions in the pancreas can give rise to pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Michael Goggins is a Professor of Pathology and Medicine. His main research focus includes improving the early detection of pancreatic cancer. To this end, he is working to identify new molecular markers for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Jim Eshleman is an Associate Professor of Pathology. He develops new technologies that can be used to detect early pancreatic cancer. For example, Dr. Eshleman developed the LigAmp technology, which is now being evaluated as an early detection test for pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Marcia Canto is an Associate Professor of Medicine. Dr. Canto's efforts focus on screening individuals using endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) that have been shown to have a high risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue is an Associate Professor of Pathology. Dr. Iacobuzio-Donahue's research interests include understanding why pancreatic cancer metastasizes (spreads) to other organs. To help her further our understanding of metastatic pancreatic cancer, she initiated the Gastrointestinal Cancer Rapid Medical Donation Program.
Jennifer Axilbund is a genetic counselor who works closely with the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry. She not only counsels individuals with a strong family history of pancreatic cancer but is also doing research on how best to counsel these patients.
Dr. Scott Kern is a Professor of Pathology and Oncology. He is interested in fundamental gene discovery and in translating these gene discoveries to better patient care. For example, his current interests include treating pancreatic cancers that arose in patients with BRCA2 gene mutations with a chemotherapeutic agent (mitomycin C) that specifically targets changes caused by BRCA2 gene mutations.
Dr. Joseph Herman is a Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, Urology, and Surgery and the Director of the Pancreas Multi-Disciplinary Cancer Clinic (PMDC). His primary interests include translational and clinical research, and improving patients' quality of life. He is studying how 4-D and PET-CT scans can be used to better assess treatment response, decrease toxicity, and allow radiation dose escalation.
Dr. Daniel Laheru is an Associate Professor of Oncology. He is very active in the clinical treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer, and he also conducts research on new immunological methods (vaccines) to treat pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Anirban Maitra is an Associate Professor of Pathology. His research focuses on the application of cutting-edge technologies to the study of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Maitra helped design and develop the first gene chip to sequence the mitochondrial genome, and more recently he has been studying the role of the "hedgehog" pathway in pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Richard Schulick is an Associate Professor of Surgery, Oncology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, the chief of the Cameron Surgical Oncology Division, and the surgical director for the Pancreas Cancer Program. He is one of our most experienced pancreas and liver surgeons and is aggressively studying this disease and exploring new ways of treating it.
Dr. Constance Griffin is an Associate Professor of Pathology. Dr. Griffin studies pancreatic cancer at the chromosome level using techniques such as karyotyping.
Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee is a Professor of Oncology. She has developed a vaccine for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. This vaccine is made from the cancer cells themselves.
Dr. John Cameron is a Professor of Surgery and an expert in the field of pancreatic cancer surgery. Dr. Cameron has probably performed more Whipple surgeries (removal of the head of the pancreas) than any other surgeon in the world.
Dr. Steven Leach is a Professor of Pathology. Dr. Leach uses zebra fish models to study the developmental biology of the pancreas and to dertermine which genes are important for the development of pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Martin Makary is an Associate Professor of Surgery and of Health Policy and Management. Dr. Makary specializes in pancreatic cancer, minimally-invasive (laparoscopic) surgery and surgery in the elderly.
Dr. Timothy Pawlik is an Assistant Professor of Surgery. Dr. Pawlik focuses on liver, gallbladder, bile duct, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tumors and cancers and his research includes experimental therapeutics of hepatic malignancies and clinical trials in gastrointestinal malignancies.
Dr. Christopher Wolfgang is an Assistant Professor of Surgery. Dr. Wolfgang's primary clinical interests are cancers and benign disease of the liver, pancreas, bile duct and gallbladder. His major scientific interest is in the biological behavior of pancreatic cancers.
Dr. Barish Edil is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Oncology. Dr. Edil's primary interests are cancers and tumors of the pancreas, bile duct, gallbladder and gastrointestinal tract, including immunotherapy and cancer vaccine development.