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Nation’s Top Young Pancreatic Cancer Researchers Honored by the Hopper-Belmont Foundation

Four of the nation’s most innovative early-career cancer researchers honored with the 2022 Hopper-Belmont Inspiration Award.

The need to recognize, motivate and support early-career researchers who are exploring innovative ways to detect and cure this aggressive cancer is critical.”
— HBF Vice Chairman Ally Hopper
GREENWICH, CT, UNITED STATES, November 10, 2022 / -- This month, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, the Hopper-Belmont Foundation (HBF) awarded four of the nation’s most innovative early-career cancer researchers with the 2022 Hopper-Belmont Inspiration Award. With 11 winners since its launch in 2020, the annual Inspiration Award attracts a competitive field of applicants from across North America and Europe, this year focused on pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death with an overall 5-year survival of only 11%.* Among the many challenges of this cancer is early propensity for metastatic spread, late diagnosis, and resistance to therapy.

Recognizing these dire statistics and the fact there are no curative therapies, the non-profit HBF chose pancreatic cancer once again as the focus of their annual Inspiration Award. “By 2030, pancreatic cancer is projected to rise to the second leading cause of cancer death, with few near term promising treatments available,” notes HBF Vice Chairman Ally Hopper. “The need to recognize, motivate and support early-career researchers who are exploring innovative ways to detect and cure this aggressive cancer is critical.” The HBF mission is to identify, encourage and fund young talent who have passion for tackling the toughest challenges in health and wellness with novel and promising approaches.

The 2022 awardees are:
● Anupriya Singhal, MD/PhD- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Medical Oncology Fellow
● Deborah Weighill, PhD- University of North Carolina Linberger Comprehensive Cancer Center; Postdoctoral Research Associate
● Daniel Nussbaum, MD - Duke University School of Medicine; Duke Cancer Institute; Assistant Professor of Surgery
● Adham Bear MD/PhD- University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; Instructor of Medicine

The winning concepts covered the wide spectrum of innovative approaches important to pancreatic cancer progress, including early detection, early stage diagnostics, and promising therapeutics treatments.

“ The award has now become known as a coveted launching pad for bright innovative researchers to gain early stage financial and reputation support for concepts that can change the paradigm of cancer research. Noting the difficulty of gaining early career funding, the award’s goal is to provide seed monies supporting proof of concepts that will hopefully gain interest from larger funding organizations, and accelerate direct patient benefit,” notes Randall Brand, MD-University of Pittsburgh Professor of Medicine.

“An important secondary goal is to encourage high potential award winners to continue making a career in health/wellness research their priority. As young PhD’s and MD’s prepare to launch their own labs, the ability to win awards like the HBF Inspiration Award creates a solid foundation for future success,” adds Nabeel Bardeesy, PhD-Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital Associate Professor of Medicine.

Drs. Brand and Bardeesy are joined by Lyris Schonholz, MD- Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Assistant Clinical Professor/ Partner Schaffer, Schonholz, and Drossman , Faye Kastrinos, MD Columbia University Irving Medical Center Associate Professor , a very involved patient advocacy board and dedicated past award winners in helping attract and award amazing talent each year.

“While we are thrilled to celebrate National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, our hope is to continually raise funds to address many important health issues and support exceptional research talent like the 2020, 2021 and 2022 early-career research award winners,” Ms. Hopper explained. HBF is already making plans to announce its 2023 Inspiration Award category in February.

About the Hopper-Belmont Foundation: Hopper-Belmont Foundation (HBF) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) focused on identifying, motivating, and supporting exceptional early-career research talent, who are pursuing innovative approaches in solving health and wellness challenges. Founded in 2019 by non-profit research and patient advocacy foundation leaders the HBF created the Inspiration Award as a core initiative of the Foundation. The award targets senior post-doctoral or clinical fellow (MD, PhD, MD/PHD) or primary investigators in the first three years of their initial faculty appointment, or clinical fellows in the first three years, or post-doctoral faculty in the first three years of tenure. HBF welcomes individuals and families to join their mission and help annually recognize amazing talent that can accelerate the road to cures. Tax deductible donations can be made directly at


Greg Walsh
Hopper-Belmont Foundation
+1 203-292-6280
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