Pawel K. Mazur, PhD. Pancreatic cancer research scientist at Stanford University.

Science is my lifelong passion, and I am dedicated to a career in human health-oriented research. Pancreatic cancer, in particular, has had a tremendous impact on my life. My maternal grandfather – my great role model, a WWII hero, awarded the highest honors, including the Righteous Among the Nations – had succumbed to this dismal disease. His courage and selflessness have helped shape my ambition. My research is a tribute to his memory.

My long-term goals are committed to advancing of biomedical science by leading an academic research group efforts to systematically assessing the molecular mechanisms underlying pancreatic cancer development and searching for the causes and cures for this devastating human disease. I also aim to mentor and inspire the same sense of purpose, the research and career development of next generation of dedicated scientists ranging from undergraduate students to postdoctoral fellows.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest and most aggressive forms of cancer. Over 46,400 Americans will be diagnosed this year, and over 40,000 will die from this deadly disease (cancer.gov). More than 75% of patients die within the first twelve months of diagnosis; the five-year survival rate is less than 5%. PDAC is one of the few cancers for which survival has not substantially improved over the past 25 years. Moreover, pancreatic cancer is projected to surpass breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers to become the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death by 2020. The NCI, in accordance to the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2013, established a scientific framework in which the top priorities are the development of Ras-specific therapeutics and therapies overcoming resistance to currently available agents. My research directly addresses these priorities by building a comprehensive platform to study novel signaling networks.

My research has already provided a significant public health benefit. However, I am confident that the key to successful cure of pancreatic cancer will lay in a strong understanding of the fundamental molecular signaling circuits of the cell.