President & CEO, Lustgarten Foundation
Kerri Kaplan is the President and CEO of the Lustgarten Foundation, which is America’s largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research and is relentlessly focused on improving patient outcomes. Kerri oversees all aspects of the Lustgarten Foundation’s operational activities, including major fundraising initiatives, patient outreach, and the Foundation’s in-depth research portfolio.
Early in her career at the Foundation, Kerri worked with Cablevision Systems Corporation to secure its commitment to underwrite all the Foundation’s administrative expenses. This unique partnership ensured that 100% of every dollar donated went directly to funding significant research on early detection, new treatments and personalized medicine. A decade later, the Foundation’s board of directors established a separate dedicated fund, not from general contributions, to cover administrative expenses, so the Foundation can continue its strong commitment to allocate 100% of every donation to research.
Under Kerri’s leadership, the Lustgarten Foundation has directed more than $165 million to research, which has led to significant breakthroughs, including the first FDA approval of an immunotherapy treatment for pancreatic cancer and a promising early detection blood test. She was instrumental as well in establishing a collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer to jointly fund several pancreatic cancer research teams and in expanding that collaboration to form the Pancreatic Cancer Collective to accelerate research for pancreatic cancer patients who desperately need better treatments. Through the Collective, the Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer are creating a dynamic and fluid network to engage and influence medical institutions, researchers, and companies, aligned to achieve something bigger and more meaningful for patients.