The primary purpose of PancreasFest is to bring physicians and investigators together to conduct well-designed multicenter studies needed to advance our understanding of the origin and progression of pancreatic diseases and to provide optimal treatments to our patients as soon as possible. PancreasFest emerged from the annual meeting of the Midwest Multicenter Pancreatic Study Group and the annual investigators meeting of the North American Pancreatic Study Group. This meeting is lead by academic physicians who are committed to work together for patients who desperately need both answers and cures.
PancreasFest objectives are in line with the National Commission of Digestive Diseases, a trans-NIH body established in 2005 to review research-related activities in digestive diseases and identify new and emerging opportunities for future research. In 2009, the Commission released a long-range research plan for digestive diseases, Opportunities and Challenges in Digestive Diseases Research: Recommendations of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases. The chapter on Diseases of the Pancreas confirms that all areas of research need are directly or jointly linked to patient-oriented research. Of special importance to the goals of PancreasFest are the following major themes identified as strategic priorities for future research
- Theme 2: Translate Fundamental New Knowledge for the Direct Benefit of Individuals
- Theme 3: Develop Research Resources and Infrastructure.
- Theme 4: Maintain a Pipeline of Research Investigators for the Future.
The organizers and primary participants of PancreasFest affirm the findings of the NCDD related to pancreatic diseases and are dedicated to putting the Goals and Recommendations into action through the following mechanisms:
- Providing a forum that promotes the development, strengthening and effectiveness of multi-disciplinary, multi-site, multi-center studies.
- Providing investigators with access to new or better methods, tools, resources and infrastructures to maximize efficiency, accuracy and quality.
- Creating an environment for all members of the pancreas community – academic, physician, government, patient, industry – to contribute to the study and improved management of pancreatic diseases.
- Providing thematic direction for physicians and scientists to develop novel mechanistic or therapeutic approaches for pancreatic diseases.
- Providing opportunity for willing participants from organizations or sites that have inherent limitations to components required for successful pancreas related research.
- Providing the education, mentorship, and integration of trainees and junior faculty to develop a pipeline of well-trained and knowledgeable investigators