The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center

What's New 2018

Goldman Center Funds Seven Exciting Grants

The Sol Goldman Center will fund seven innovative grants in 2019. These grants, selected based on the novelty and potential impact of the science, are listed below. A GREAT example of the power and profound effect of private giving in the war against pancreatic cancer!

Jody Hooper, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pathology
Evaluating Efficacy of Rapid Autopsy Specimens in Pancreatic Cancer

Alison Klein, M.H.S., Ph.D.
Professor of Oncology and Pathology
Assessing the impact of heritable promoter methylation of Familial Pancreatic Cancer Genes on pancreatic cancer risk

Hai-Quan Mao, Ph.D.
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering
Nanoparticle platform for lymph node targeted neoantigen-based vaccine therapy for pancreatic cancer

Nicholas Roberts, Vet.M.B., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Pathology and Oncology
The role of ATM variants of unknown significance in familial pancreatic cancer

Elizabeth Thompson, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Pathology and Oncology
Site-specific differences in the tumor immune microenvironment and T cell repertoire in metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Laura Wood, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor in Pathology and Oncology
Identification of the Molecular Drivers of Vascular Invasion in Pancreatic Cancer

Pei-Hsun Wu, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Quantitative characterization of the immune microenvironment of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) in three-dimensions

- December 2018

Local Recurrence of Pancreatic Cancer

In a collaborative study, researchers from the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins and the University of Verona in Italy analyzed the genetic alterations in pancreatic cancers that recurred locally after surgery. The study, published this week in Modern Pathology, showed that half of the cases represented true recurrences - the original pancreatic cancer occurred again in the remaining pancreas. Intriguingly, in two cases, the cancer in the remnant pancreas shared no genetic alterations with the original primary tumor, suggesting that the recurrence was actually a second independent pancreatic cancer. These data shed new light on pancreatic cancer progression after surgery and show that all recurrences after surgery are not the same, suggesting another time point at which clinical care might be better tailored to individual patients.

- November 2018

Top Experts in Pancreatic Cancer

In recognition of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, ExpertScape announced this morning its list of the top experts worldwide in Pancreatic Cancer. Read the press release here.
Johns Hopkins tops the list of the World's Top Institution for Pancreatic Cancer, and two physician-scientists here at Johns Hopkins are listed in the World's Top Experts for Pancreatic Cancer (Dr. Ralph Hruban is #1 and Dr. Christopher Wolfgang as #4). Congratulations to all!

- November 2018

Giving Tuesday

In this season of Thanksgiving, we would like to thank all of the donors whose generosity is so critical for the research carried out in the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center. Philanthropy at all levels has enabled all of the key discoveries at our center, and it continues to fund novel ideas to improve the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. In addition, philanthropic donations fund new investigators so we can develop the next generation of pancreatic cancer researchers. If you would like to donate to the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center for Giving Tuesday or anytime throughout the year please visit our Supporting Research page. Thank you for helping us to fight pancreatic cancer!

- November 2018

Research Study in Wood Laboratory

Researchers in the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center in the laboratory of Dr. Laura Wood recently reported the first single-cell DNA sequencing study in human pancreatic neoplasms. The study, published online today in the Journal of Pathology, focused on intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), and important precursor of pancreatic cancer. The study identified a subset of IPMNs with multiple mutations in the initiating driver gene KRAS in unique tumor clones, suggestive of polyclonal evolution. In addition, they found multiple mutations in later occurring driver genes such as RNF43 and ARID1A localized to unique subclones in individual IPMNs, suggesting convergent evolution of later driver gene mutations. These studies provide new insights into the earliest stages of pancreatic tumorigenesis and suggest that it is a much more complex process than previously appreciated.

- November 2018

Significant Basic Science and Clinical Advances!

Two nice papers on pancreatic cancer were published today. One in Nature by Alvin Makohon-Moore and colleagues and the other in Cancer Discovery by Aguirre and colleagues. The study in Nature highlights basic science advances, and the study in Cancer Discovery clinical advances. In the Nature paper the authors, which include the team from Hopkins, combined genetic sequencing with the mathematics used by evolutionary biologists to show that small precancerous lesions in the pancreas can spread within the ducts (tubes) of the pancreas creating multifocal precancerous lesions, some of which can then progress to invasive cancer. This study is important because it establishes a firmer scientific basis for early detection and prevention of pancreatic cancer.
In the paper in Cancer Discovery, the authors also used genetic sequencing. They analyzed a series of 71 pancreatic cancers and found that two of the cancers had unique genetic mutations (BRAF gene deletions) that made the cancers uniquely susceptible to specific drugs (MAPK pathway inhibitors). This paper adds to the growing body of evidence that suggests that in a small minority of patients sequencing their pancreatic cancer may provide patient-specific therapeutic targets (individualized medicine).

- September 2018

Hope for High-Risk Individuals

In an advance on-line publication in the journal Gastroenterology Dr. Marcia Canto and colleagues in the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center report on a research study in which they screened and followed 354 people who were at high-risk of developing pancreatic cancer because they carried a gene or because they had a strong familiy history of pancreatic cancer. 14 of the people screened developed pancreatic cancer in the 16 years of the study. 9 of the ten who had their cancer detected by screening had surgically resectable pancreatic cancer, and 85% of these patients with pancreatic cancer were alive at three years. These findings provide hope for the early detection of pancreatic cancer in high-risk individuals. Dr. Canto and her team have helped form an international consortium to establish best practices for high-risk individuals across the world.

- June 2018

Think Tank

The 2018 Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Think Tank was a wonderful success! The think tank, which focused on artificial intelligence, brought together the top scientists, mathematicians and experts in pancreatic cancer from around the world. Great people sharing new ideas and new approaches. The way science should be! Wonderfully exciting!

Think Tank 2018

Think Tank 2018

Think Tank 2018

Think Tank 2018

- April 2018

Art Creates Cures

Art Creates Cures

Inspired by his own battle with pancreatic cancer, art entrepreneur Budi Tek was moved to establish the Art Creates Cures Foundation (ACC) to give those diagnosed with this deadly disease every possible chance. Joining together with partners Sotheby's, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, the goal of ACC is to raise funds to support the development of an innovative "early detection test" as well as a cure for pancreatic cancer. ACC's goal is to support research that advances the understanding of the biology of the disease, translates this new knowledge into better patient care, and in so doing, improves the lives of patients living with pancreatic cancer.

To kick off fundraising for this worthy cause, Art Creates Cures will present the premier annual Art Creates Cures Charity Gala and Auction on Wednesday, 28 March, 2018 to launch the foundation. The inaugural event of the newly established non-profit foundation will take place at the elegant Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong. Bringing together leaders in the art and science communities, the foundation aims to accelerate and transform cancer research by uniting the creativity and ingenuity of artists and that of biomedical scientists. The gala will allow guests to support pancreatic cancer research through their financial contributions as well as give them the opportunity to bid on unique experiences. Contemporary artworks donated by collectors and such world-renowned artists as Zhang Huan, Hu Junjun, Xu Bing, Zhao Bandi, Yang Fudong, among others, will be sold as part of the Sotheby's 2018 Spring Sale with the proceeds also supporting Johns Hopkins' fight against pancreatic cancer.

Art Creates Cures Charity Gala and Auction
For more information about ACC, please contact Justine Alexandria at or visit

- March 2018