CINCINNATI—A $1.3 million gift to the University of Cincinnati from the family of Steven Goldman through the Greater Cincinnati Foundation will create the Steven Goldman Memorial Pancreatic Cancer Research Endowed Fund, which will be used to drive research discovery in the field of pancreatic cancer at the UC Cancer Institute.
In addition to bolstering the science that could lead to new findings about the development and progression of a cancer that has few treatments and poor outcomes for patients, this fund will help to enhance the potential for additional research grant funding, federal or otherwise, and will assist UC with the retention and recruitment of world-renowned faculty in the field of basic pancreatic cancer research.
Michael Goldman, Steven’s brother, says that with the 30th anniversary of his brother’s death approaching, this is the perfect time to take this important step in hopefully advancing knowledge about the development of pancreatic cancer.
"Upon my brother Steve’s passing, our family decided the best way to memorialize him was to create a fund to impact basic cancer research,” Goldman says, adding that the principal of the fund was left to grow until two years ago when at the urging of Amy Cheney from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, an active, lasting research endowment was sought. The UC Cancer Institute provided the answer.
"Unfortunately, the survival rate for pancreatic cancer hasn’t really changed in the last 30 years,” he continues. "This permanent endowment will be used to uncover clues about pancreatic cancer and ways to stop its development.
"My brother was a born and bred Cincinnatian who graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and practiced here. We wanted this gift to make an impact on our region, and we wanted to invest in our local research center to help in gaining National Cancer Institute designation. We need more support to make this happen and hope that our contribution inspires others to get on board with this goal.”
Steven’s widow, brigid kennedy, who spells her name lowercase, adds that she hopes this gift brings attention to a cancer that often gets overlooked.
"Steve was such a valuable human being, and to lose his life at the young age of 35 was a tragedy,” she says. "Pancreatic cancer doesn’t get much attention, and research funds for this type of cancer are lacking. We hope that this gift helps in finding the roots of this cancer and perhaps other cancers.
"For someone to receive a death sentence at the time of diagnosis is devastating, and we want to see research that will change this.”
Using this gift, the UC Cancer Institute will annually solicit grant applications from research faculty for the Steven Goldman Memorial Pancreatic Cancer Research Grant.
Applications will undergo rigorous peer-review by a panel of researchers appointed by William Barrett, MD, director of the UC Cancer Institute, Jun-Lin Guan, PhD, chair of the UC Department of Cancer Biology and member of the Cincinnati Cancer Center, and Syed Ahmad, MD, director of the institute’s Gastrointestinal Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The research award will be granted to the strongest application in an amount no less than $50,000 and may exceed this amount if deemed appropriate by leadership.
"We are incredibly grateful for gifts like this one from the Goldman family to further our missions of excellence in research, education and patient care,” says Barrett. "We cannot express enough gratitude.”
Guan adds that the need for research funding is great and that important gifts such as this allow researchers in cancer biology and other basic science departments to continue their work which may help in discovering the cause for pancreatic cancer and may eventually lead to clinical trials that could uncover new treatments for patients.
"Almost 40,000 people will die from pancreatic cancer this year,” Ahmad continues. "Research, such as that being conducted by basic researchers at UC, is absolutely crucial to reduce that number and to help those diagnosed potentially live a fuller, satisfying life.”
The Steven Goldman Memorial Cancer Research Fund was established at GCF in 1985. The foundation has invested and managed the assets since that time and greatly assisted the fund’s advisory committee to find a way to ensure that the fund will be used for basic cancer research and carries on the memory of Steven Goldman in perpetuity.
"We are so pleased to have been able to connect the Goldman family with University of Cincinnati to carry out the mission of this unique memorial fund established in memory of Steven Goldman,” says Kathryn Merchant, president and CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. "Thanks to Amy Cheney’s leadership at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, we were able to facilitate this important research connection that will make a difference in so many lives affected by pancreatic cancer.”
"Substantial gifts like this one have the power to transform research, education and patient care indefinitely,” said Chris Smith, vice president of development and alumni affairs at the UC Foundation. "I have no doubt that the Goldman family’s generous gift will enable our UC programs to achieve maximum impact.”