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Kosten Foundation Announces $175,000 in Funding for Pancreatic Cancer Research

Memphis, Tenn., January 27, 2021 – The Kosten Foundation announced today it will provide $175,000 in grants to fund three pancreatic cancer research teams. The Memphis-based pancreatic cancer nonprofit is partnering with Baptist Clinical Research Institute in Memphis, University of Texas Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center in Dallas, Texas, and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine in McAllen Texas.

Part of the funding for the UT-Southwestern grant will come from the Morris Kriger Memorial Fund. The Kriger Family established the fund with the Kosten Foundation after Morris Jacob Kriger died from pancreatic cancer in February 2020.

A Memphis native, Morris graduated from Central High School in 1956 before earning degrees from MIT and Harvard Law School. Morris was a founding partner of what later became Kriger, Harkavy, Shainberg & Kosten, Attorneys at Law. The Kriger family is excited to support pancreatic cancer research efforts in hopes of one day curing the terrible disease.

“These research teams are attacking pancreatic cancer in unique, cutting edge ways that are truly making a difference,” said Alan Kosten, Chairman of the Kosten Foundation, “This year has been a challenge for everyone, but we are immensely grateful for the support the Kosten Foundation has received and we are proud to partner with such outstanding organizations.”

Since its founding in 2003, the Kosten Foundation has donated more than $2.3 million for pancreatic cancer research, support, and advocacy. The organization’s largest fundraiser, the Kick It 5K, raised more than $115,000 during November 2020s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Summaries of the funded programs are below:

  • Baptist Clinical Research Institute
    • Studying the “whipple” procedure and its removal of lesions in the pancreas
      • A whipple procedure removes a portion of the pancreas, the gallbladder, and part of the lower intestine in order to remove cancerous cells.
  • UT-Southwestern Medical Center
    • Researchers will collect clinical data and tissue samples to study patients with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in order to increase diagnostic success of pancreatic cancer and develop personalized treatment plans for patients.
  • UT-Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
    • Researchers are studying the effectiveness of a gene therapy designed to inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer and make it more vulnerable to chemotherapy.

In addition to funding pancreatic cancer research, the Kosten Foundation hosts a monthly support group for anyone affected by pancreatic cancer. The group meets virtually via Zoom on the second Saturday of every month and is open to anyone who would like to attend. Those that would like to learn more about the Kosten Foundation’s mission can go to their website

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