Agi Hirshberg, Founder
Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research
In 1998, after her late husband Ron Hirshberg lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, Agi established the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research (Foundation). The Foundation was the first of its kind to focus exclusively on this disease, and under Agi’s direction, funded the establishment of a 3 prong research effort: basic science, translational research and a pancreas tissue bank at UCLA. In 2005 a national seed grant program was added to her agenda, funding new concepts of research that do not yet qualify for National Institute of Health (NIH) funding. The success of all the funded research to date has received approximately 40 million dollars of NIH funding.
In addition to a research focus, the patient’s benefits program began in 1999, in partnership with Cancer Care, Inc. This program is the heart of the foundation, offering financial assistance to patients living with pancreatic cancer. Home care, medical expenses, travel to treatment centers, child care and many other needs are funded, all which are necessary to provide comfort to patients.
Agi’s roles in the Foundation include leading patient support and scientific operations in addition to creating awareness of pancreatic cancer worldwide. As a respected member of both the business and financial community in Los Angeles, she serves on the UCLA Board of Governors, UCLA Board of Visitors and UCLA Women in Philantrophy.
Prior to the Foundation her business background includes two decades of top- level management in marketing and design in the Apparel and Sporting Goods Industries. Currently, as President and Founder of Sidmap, LLC, her understanding of the need for improved patient diagnostics led her to organize a core team of scientists and researchers in metabolomics.
Personal: Born in Hungary, a 1956 refugee to the United States, children Lisa and Mike and 4 grandchildren. Father Edmund, a Holocaust survivor, and Mom Sara are living close by in Los Angeles and remain an inspiration to Agi and her family.