The Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Chair in Pancreatic Cancer Research

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Edna Cukierman, PhD

Edna Cukierman

Marvin & Concetta Greenberg Chair in Pancreatic Cancer Research

Edna “Eti” Cukierman, PhD, Co-Leader of the Cancer Signaling and Microenvironment Research Program and Co-Director of The Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Cancer Institute at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has been appointed to the newly created Marvin & Concetta Greenberg Chair in Pancreatic Cancer Research.

“Dr. Cukierman’s newest honor will enable further scientific discovery and the ability to push the limits of clinical delivery through investment in her as a faculty member of the highest caliber,” said Jonathan Chernoff, MD, PhD, Cancer Center Director.

“More broadly, this kind of support strengthens the quality of our institution’s programs and services beyond the level that other funding sources alone could accomplish. This appointment rewards her professional contributions, recognizes the value of her research endeavors, and safeguards the funding needed to continue innovative, groundbreaking work.”

In academia, an endowed chair represents the highest honor an institution can bestow upon a faculty member. It provides the opportunity for the chair holder to deepen the impact of their work while honoring in perpetuity the chair’s namesake.

Cukierman’s research focuses on pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest and most difficult cancers to treat. Specifically, she studies the fibrous scar-like tissue cells that modulate the function of the tumor microenvironment, which encompasses most of the pancreatic tumor mass and influence how tumors develop, grow, and respond to treatments.

The endowed chair is funded with generous support from the estate of Concetta “Chet” Greenberg, an ardent champion of both cancer research and woman in STEM during her life. Her support of Fox Chase has been transformational, with multiple gifts, including a multi-million-dollar gift representing the largest private donation by an individual in Fox Chase history. At age 96, she helped establish the Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Cancer Research Institute with this funding in September 2017.

“Dr. Cukierman approaches her research with the same fervor and urgency that Mrs. Greenberg conveyed in her support of us,” said Robert Uzzo, MD, MBA, FACS, President and CEO of Fox Chase. “Her insights into advancing our understanding of pancreatic cancer and her collaborations with colleagues set the bar for how to conduct world-class cancer research and how to do so with a sense of compassion. With everything she does, it is our patients that she holds close in her mind and heart.”

Cukierman came to Fox Chase in the fall of 2002, after completing her postdoctoral fellowship at the Craniofacial Developmental Biology and Regeneration Branch of the NIH/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. She has been funded by the National Cancer Institute continuously since 2004.

Her research is largely translational in nature, guided by insights made in the clinic. This approach has earned her unique recognition as a fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association among her many honors.

Earlier this fall, she became the first Fox Chase faculty member to be awarded the inaugural American Cancer Society’s Wilmott Family Professorship in Pancreatic Cancer. ACS professorships recognize individuals who have made pivotal contributions that have changed cancer research and oncology care, as well as those who have a proven track record of mentorship and leadership in the cancer research community. Such professorships are regarded as the most prestigious ACS research awards.

“With great anticipation, we look forward to learning more from Dr. Cukierman as she pursues exciting new avenues in pancreatic cancer research and how this work will inform what we do in the clinic,” Uzzo said.