Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Edna “Eti” Cukierman Named to Newly Created Marvin & Concetta Greenberg Chair in Pancreatic Cancer Research

Dr. Cukierman
Edna “Eti” Cukierman, PhD, has been appointed to the newly created Marvin & Concetta Greenberg Chair in Pancreatic Cancer Research.

PHILADELPHIA (December 11, 2023) — 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.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

For more information, call 888-369-2427