Kosten Foundation Awards $170,000 in Grants to Propel Pancreatic Cancer Research

Mar 17, 2024 at 08:50 pm by pjeter

Left to right: Tom Craig (Kosten Foundation), Kathryn Gilbert Craig (Director of Community Engagement, Kosten Foundation), Scott Fountain (SVP & Chief Development Officer, Baptist Memorial Health Care), Ann Bishop (System Administrator of Oncology, Baptist Memorial Health Care), Alan Kosten (Chairman, Kosten Foundation), Jeffrey Goldberg (President, Kosten Foundation), Dr. Stephen Behrman (Baptist Medical Group-Metro Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery), Maggie DeBon (Executive Director of Developmental Research, Baptist Clinical Research Institute), Liset Taybo, (Director of Research, Baptist Cancer Center)


The Kosten Foundation announced today it will fund $170,000 in grants in 2024 to advance pancreatic cancer research. The Memphis-based pancreatic cancer nonprofit is partnering with Baptist Memorial Hospital, University of Texas Southwestern, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the newest addition, NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

“These dedicated research teams are tackling pancreatic cancer with innovative approaches that are making a real impact," shared Alan Kosten, Chairman of the Kosten Foundation. "We take pride in supporting their efforts and extend our gratitude to the Kosten Foundation’s supporters, whose commitment allows us to make a difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer.”

Since 2003, the Kosten Foundation has donated more than $2.5 million to pancreatic cancer research. The organization’s largest fundraiser, the Kick It 5K, raised more than $160,000 during November 2023’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Summaries of the Kosten Foundation-funded programs are below:


  • Baptist Clinical Research Institute
  • Studying genetic mutations associated with ampullary, bile duct, and duodenal cancers that may allow immunotherapy treatment of these diseases
  • Studying neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy treatment on these cancers prior to surgery


  • UT-Southwestern Medical Center
  • Researchers will collect clinical data and tissue samples to study patients with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer to increase diagnostic success of pancreatic cancer and develop personalized treatment plans for patients


  • UT-Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
  • Researchers are studying the effectiveness of a gene therapy designed to inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer and make it more vulnerable to chemotherapy


  • NYU Grossman School of Medicine
  • Developing a pipeline to profile drug sensitivity in CTC cultures to identify association between predicted response and clinical course of patients
  • Performing single cell RNA sequencing on CTC cultures to identify aggressive biological clones in pancreatic cancer


In addition to its research efforts, the Kosten Foundation hosts the only free, in-person and virtual pancreatic cancer support group in the Mid-South. The free support group meets on the second Saturday of every month and is open to all who would like to attend. Anyone interested in learning more about the Kosten Foundation, or wanting to attend the support group, can find more information on the Kosten Foundation’s website at https://www.kostenfoundation.com.


Sections: Grand Rounds