The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center

Supporting Johns Hopkins Research

Why Support Our Research?

While all efforts to advance our understanding of pancreas cancer are proceeding at a record pace, we have more leads than we have resources to pursue them. Financial support is needed to continue these efforts.

Some people give donations directly, some leave money to Johns Hopkins as a bequest, and some ask that donations be sent in lieu of flowers. Each donation helps us explore new avenues of research, and each is a poignant reminder of the human cost of this disease.

Importantly, this private giving has provided us with the opportunity to make real advances in our understanding of pancreas cancer and it has provided critical support to our young investigators. Those of you wishing to support pancreas cancer research at Johns Hopkins may do so by sending your tax-deductible contribution payable to Johns Hopkins University to:

Ralph H. Hruban, M.D.
Johns Hopkins Hospital
600 N. Wolfe Street, Carnegie 417
Baltimore, MD 21287

A number of you have asked us to spell out exactly where these donations go. We do not use the donations to support fundraising or other administrative efforts. Instead, 80% of each donation goes directly to support pancreatic cancer science--particularly our young investigators--and our eductaional efforts (such as this web page). These young investigators have wonderful creative ideas and they are at a point in their careers at which private giving can help convince them to join the battle against pancreatic cancer.

The remaining 20% of your donation supports the Johns Hopkins Medicine Clinical and Academic Fund. In turn, Johns Hopkins Medicine provides infrastructure support to the pancreatic cancer research labs.

If you have questions about how you can help support pancreas cancer research, please call: 410-955-9791.

Honor Gifts

Giving a donation in honor of someone whose life and accomplishments you wish to celebrate is a meaningful way to honor them. Your gift reflects your desire to make a lasting impact on the lives of others, just as your honoree has done for you. This is also an excellent way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, wedding or retirement with a gift in their honor.

In Lieu of Flowers

We receive a number of donations in lieu of flowers. This is a wonderful way to both honor a loved one and to help fight this terrible disease. These donations are made at very difficult times, and we therefore want to simplify the process. If you have lost a loved one and would like donations sent to Hopkins to help battle this disease in lieu of flowers, please:

  1. Make donations payable to: "Johns Hopkins University."
  2. Indicate on the memo line of the check the name of the individual in whose memory the donation is being made.
    donation check

  3. Mail the donation to:
    Ralph H. Hruban, M.D.
    Johns Hopkins Hospital
    600 N. Wolfe Street, Carnegie 417
    Baltimore, MD 21287

Please include the name and address of where you would like acknowledgments to be sent (or call our office at 410-955-9791).
When we receive memorial donations, a thank you is sent to the donor and we also send a list of the names and addresses of those who have contributed to the relative of the deceased.
We realize that the death of a loved one is extremely difficult. We hope these simplified instructions will help those of you who wish to honor your loved one with donations to Johns Hopkins for pancreas cancer research.

Creating a Named Endowment for Pancreatic Cancer Research

Research requires money, and although most of the support for medical research comes from the federal government via the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it is private philanthropy that can provide the margin of excellence to a research enterprise. Private funds are flexible and can be deployed quickly to take advantage of new ideas and new people. Private funds also can form a constant base for faculty support upon which grant support can be superimposed. Private funds are particularly needed to support research on pancreatic cancer. This is because pancreatic cancer research is woefully underfunded by the NIH. There have been several examples of private giving having a significant impact on a cancer.

Endowments are wonderful ways to honor a loved one. Once established, the principal of the endowment is invested by the University. A portion of the income generated each year is reinvested to insure the long-term growth of the Fund. The remainder of the income generated is given to the scientists to support their research.

Research endowments start at $100,000 which can be pledged and paid over a three to five year period. A plaque is placed in the research labs honoring the donor.

Endowed Chair for Pancreatic Cancer Research

"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom"
Albert Einstein

The last five years have brought remarkable advances to our understanding of the genetics of pancreatic cancer. Indeed, at the genetic level, cancer of the pancreas is currently among the better characterized neoplasms. This growing understanding of the genetics of pancreatic cancer will form the basis of new screening and diagnostic tests for the early detection of pancreatic cancer; they are used to identify patients at risk for familial forms of pancreatic cancer; and they can be used to characterize even the most subtle pathologic changes, thereby advancing our understanding of early pancreatic neoplasia. In addition, and most importantly, an understanding of the genetic changes associated with the development of pancreatic cancer will form the foundation for developing novel, rational, gene-based therapies for pancreatic cancer.

The establishment of an endowed chair for pancreatic cancer research would allow us to pursue high-risk research work. We believe this work will advance our understanding of pancreatic cancer, not by small steps, but instead by leaps and bounds. All to often, scientists focus their efforts on "evolutionary" work because it is safer, and more of a sure bet. Endowed chairs allow scientists such to pursue revolutionary work. In addition named chairs are a wonderful way of permanently honoring the donor.

The cost for a named endowed chair is $2.8 million.

Endowed Fellowship Training Program: New Technologies in Pancreatic Cancer Research

"The principal mark of genius is not perfection, but originality, the opening of new frontiers."
Arthur Koestler

Physicians and scientists must make critical decisions when they come to the end of their standard training. They must decide whether or not to pursue an academic career in research. Those who choose a career in research must then choose a sub-specialty area on which to focus their research efforts. These critical career choices are often made for rather trivial reasons. Countless physicians and scientists with enormous potential have chosen not pursue an academic research career because of a lack of a secure fellowship program.

At the same time, young minds are the most creative minds. Human creativity peaks at a rather young age; as our fund of knowledge increases our creativity paradoxically decreases. Indeed, some of the major new ideas in cancer research in the last several years have come from young scientists in their training. For example, Victor Velculescu here at Johns Hopkins created the idea for the revolutionary technology of serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE). Victor did this while he was a post-doctoral student in the Johns Hopkins cancer research laboratories.

We propose to create an endowed fellowship training program in pancreatic cancer research at Hopkins. This program will provide secured funding to young scientists and physicians wishing to pursue a career in pancreatic cancer research. The research fellowship program will not be a standard fellowship program. Instead it will take advantage of and most importantly encourage the creativity of the trainees. The fellow will be given protected time to focus on identifying and creating new technologies which can be applied to pancreatic cancer research.

This approach will bring more minds to the battle against pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, the focus on creative spark will mean that our understanding will advance not in safe yet small steps, but rather in daring leaps.


1 Fellow (1 year X $50,000/year)$50,000
1 Fellow (2 years X $50,000/year)$100,000 (most Fellowships last 2 years)
Endowed Fellowship$1,700,000

Planned Giving

A number of people have asked how they can make a bequest and about other forms of planned giving. Planned giving can be a wonderful way to support pancreatic cancer research. Depending on the arrangements you choose you can also:

  1. Reduce your income taxes
  2. Get more favorable capital gains tax treatment
  3. Increase your spendable income
  4. Retain payments for life
  5. Achieve no-cost, worry-free asset management

To learn more about planned giving opportunities visit or contact the development office at 443-287-7947 or

Special Fundraisers

There have been special events organized by family members of those afflicted with pancreas cancer to raise money for pancreatic research at Hopkins. Early visitors to the discussion board organized a major fundraising event, "Evening with the Stars", which raised over $100,000 to assist in starting a new laboratory at Hopkins. Now, a number of families, including the Rolfe, Zgonina and Monastra families, have organized fundraisers to benefit the pancreatic cancer reseacrh program here at Johns Hopkins. [more details]

What Your Donation Buys

One human gene contained within a cloning vector $10

Membranes for screening new genes $15

Reagents needed to isolate DNA from a patients' blood sample $20

A pair of PCR primers used to amplify one gene $30

Bacterial clone containing tumor-related gene $30

Vials for freezing tumor samples $35

Enzyme to precisely cut DNA $40

Scalpel blades for dissection of tumor samples $55

Enzyme to join DNA fragments $60

Updates to lab manual $70

Flasks for growing tumor cells $75

Radiolabel used to label DNA for sequencing and probing $100

Tumor cell line $100

Gel mix used to resolve DNA on gels $100

A vial of enzyme to modify or amplify DNA $100

Serum to grow cancer cells $130

DNA purification kit $150

Reagents to introduce genes into cancer cells $180

Purification kit for tumor-suppressor proteins $230

X-ray film to detect DNA sequence of a gene $270

Plates for drug-screening reactions $380

Enzyme to amplify DNA from tumors $400

DNA fragments to study a new gene $500

Lab refrigerator used in ongoing experiments $700

Digital camera for web page construction/updates $800

Set of pipettes to measure chemical solutions $900

Lab computer to access gene database $1,800

Ultraviolet light and camera to visualize DNA $2,000

Incubator for tumor cell culture $2,700

Set of DNA sequencing apparatus $3,800

Lab freezer $5,000

Centrifuge for drug screens and purifications $7,000

PCR machine to amplify DNA $9,000

Drier for DNA gels and purifications $12,000

Cancer Research Technician $30,000/yr

Drug library to screen for new therapeutics (19,000 drugs) $38,000

Research fellow and supplies $50,000/yr

Named research endowment $100,000 and up

Named endowed research fellowship $1.7 million

Named endowed professorship for pancreas cancer research $2.8 million

The monies raised through this Web page are distributed under the direction of Dr. Ralph Hruban, are used primarily by our young faculty and primarily support our research on the early detection of pancreatic cancer, the familial aggregation of pancreatic cancer, gene expression in pancreatic cancer, and for the development of mouse models of pancreatic cancer. Donations also support pilot projects, the purchase of cutting edge technology and research by our resident and fellow trainees.

Why Hopkins?

  • Pancreatic cancer runs in some families. Just as we inherit our eye and hair color from our parents, so too do some people inherit an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer. The team at Johns Hopkins has discovered many of the genes (DNA changes) that cause pancreatic cancer to run in some families.
  • Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed at a late, advanced stage, after the cancer has spread to other organs and is no longer curable. The team at Johns Hopkins has identified and characterized curable precancerous lesions in the pancreas, offering a target for early detection.
  • Pancreatic cancer is, in essence, a disease caused by DNA changes (mutations) in cells in the pancreas. The team at Johns Hopkins was the first to sequence (read) all of the genes in a large series of pancreatic cancers. In so doing, the team at Hopkins defined the genetic drivers of pancreatic cancer and discovered new therapeutic targets.
  • Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed at a late, advanced stage, after the cancer has spread to other organs and is no longer curable. The team at Johns Hopkins has made significant strides towards the development of an early detection test. The test, which detects abnormal DNA shed by pancreatic cancer into the blood, is currently being tested clinically.
  • Pancreatic cancer surgery is extremely difficult and, in past decades, used to be associated with very high mortality rate. The surgical team at Johns Hopkins does more pancreatic cancer surgery than any other center, and thanks to advances made by this team the mortality rate from surgery has dropped to less than 2%.
  • Pancreatic cancer is a complicated disease, and treating it requires team work. The team at Johns Hopkins established the largest and most successful multi-disciplinary clinic for patients with pancreatic cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer is a complicated disease, and beating it through research will require team work. The team at Johns Hopkins has been awarded the Team Science Award by the American Association for Cancer Research (twice!).
  • Simply put, Johns Hopkins is the leading pancreatic cancer research center in the world. The discoveries made by the team have had significant impact. The time is right to translate these discovers to improved patient care!