Press Releases

American Cancer Society Receives $2.25 million Gift from the Wilmott Family to Establish a Pancreatic Cancer Research Professorship Endowment
Dec 16, 2022

The American Cancer Society (ACS) today announced a $2.25 million gift from Timothy Wilmott and Dr. Nancy Barna to establish the Wilmott Family Professorship in pancreatic cancer research endowment. This legacy gift will allow for the funding of one professor every five years, with each grantee receiving a total of $400,000 over five years. 

"Symptoms of pancreatic cancer often do not appear until the disease has advanced, and there is currently no screening mechanism. The five-year relative survival rate is only 11%," said Dr. Karen Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society. “We must develop innovative strategies for prevention and early detection to increase survivorship in pancreatic cancer. We are deeply grateful to the Wilmott family for their generous support and commitment to advancing pancreatic cancer research on behalf of cancer patients and their families.” 


ACS professorships are considered the most prestigious research awards from the organization. Each researcher selected for funding will go through an extensive scientific peer-review process with a proven track record of choosing the most promising and innovative science. These professors are expected to continue to provide leadership in their research area, and the five-year term can be renewed once.  


“Advancements in research provide the best hope to expand understanding of how to prevent, detect, and treat pancreatic cancer,” said Timothy Wilmott. “Nancy and I are proud to partner with the ACS to ensure that the brightest minds and best ideas in pancreatic cancer research are funded and that we are all one step closer to a cure.” 


ACS professorships recognize individuals who have made seminal contributions which have changed cancer research and/or oncology care and who have a proven track record of mentorship and leadership in the cancer research community. Ten of the 130 ACS research professors chosen since 1962 have been recipients of the Nobel Prize.  

Support from the Wilmott gift will fund professors who will lead the way in helping to find more effective ways to prevent, detect, and treat pancreatic cancer, which is currently the 10th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US in men and women combined, and the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths. American Cancer Society estimates that 62,210 new pancreatic cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2022, and 49,830 people will die from the disease. Pancreatic cancer is often difficult to diagnose because no validated, specific tests can easily and reliably find early-stage disease in people who do not show symptoms. Additionally, people with pancreatic cancer often do not have symptoms until the disease is advanced and treatment is more invasive. The 5-year relative survival rate of pancreatic cancer is 11%, and even for people diagnosed at an early- stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is only 42%. 

Interested professors should click here to submit their curriculum vitae and learn more. 


About The American Cancer Society 

The American Cancer Society is a leading cancer-fighting organization with a vision to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. For more than 100 years, we have been improving the lives of people with cancer and their families as the only organization combating cancer through advocacy, research, and patient support.  We are committed to ensuring everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. To learn more, visit or call our 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 



For further information:, American Cancer Society