Member Profile: Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research


In 1997, the Hirshberg Foundation was established to fund groundbreaking scientific research, provide patient education and support, and sustain the hope that this cancer will be eradicated once and for all. To date, four of its five goals and mission pillars have been accomplished, with a cure being the final piece of the puzzle. Today, the Foundation offers a wide array of programs focused on accelerating pancreatic cancer research, comprehensive support services for patients, and raising awareness in the community.



Agi Hirshberg set out on an extraordinary journey to lead the fight against pancreatic cancer in honor of her late husband, Ronnie. Determined to find answers, she made a promise that still holds true: she would be relentless in the fight against this disease, and she would never give up. Today, the Foundation is at the forefront of pancreatic cancer research and is a beacon of hope for patients and families facing this disease.


The Hirshberg Foundation’s research efforts began at UCLA with the establishment of The Ronald S. Hirshberg Chair in Translational Pancreatic Cancer Research and the opening of the Ronald S. Hirshberg Translational Pancreatic Cancer Research Laboratory. The Foundation’s world-renowned Seed Grant Program began providing early research funding. Soon after, the Foundation funded the UCLA Pancreas Tissue Bank and the Sahin-Toth Laboratory at UCLA.

Ongoing Projects

Seed Grant Program

Every year, the Seed Grant program provides research funding for innovative projects led by basic and clinical investigators. Over 120 research projects at institutions in the US and overseas have been funded. Projects focus on treatment/therapy, patient care, early diagnosis, detection, cancer biology, basic science, prevention/metabolism, and research core facilities.

UCLA Partnership

This longstanding partnership plays a crucial role in advancing research and improving patient outcomes. The Foundation has established laboratories, core research facilities, and the Pancreas Tissue Bank on campus. As a member of the Canopy Cancer Collective, our UCLA team is making great strides in nutrition, palliative care, genetic testing, clinical trial participation, and patient education. The clinical trial portfolio of the Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases is also among the strongest in the country.

Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases

The Center for Pancreatic Diseases continues to set the standard for state-of-the-art care. Patients are able to meet with surgeons, medical oncologists, gastroenterologists, palliative care specialists, dieticians, genetic counselors, clinical trials coordinators, and therapists from the Simms-Mann psychosocial care team – all in one location and often in one visit. The facility has made tremendous progress, assembling an ever-growing arsenal of tools to understand and mitigate the effects of the illness and advance its quest for greater patient comfort.

Symposium for Patients & Families

The 18th Annual Symposium on Pancreatic Cancer returns in April with many new topics and guest speakers. This invaluable event is provided free of charge and brings together patients, caregivers, medical professionals, and scientific researchers. The highlight of the day is the Survivor and Caregiver Panel with invited speakers sharing firsthand experiences, unique perspectives, and inspiration with survivors and caregivers.

To learn more about the Hirshberg Foundation, visit their Member Page