Funding the Best: Dr. Jose Trevino

Dr. Jose Trevino knows what cancer can do to patients and their families, perhaps more so than most cancer researchers. Trevino is a researcher and also a cancer surgeon. His work at the University of Florida College of Medicine includes research on pancreatic cancer biology, tumor signaling and chemoresistance. He is not only working to end cancer in his lab, but he is also working to help current cancer patients affected by the disease. “I see how cancer affects my patients’ lives every day, and I take it personal,” said Trevino. “My patients and I work as a team and a family to combat this disease. Every day, I wake up and go to work; it is my personal mission to help my patients through this illness and help them in any way I can.”

He knows that much of that help can come from groundbreaking research being done in his lab, which was funded when he trevino_1
received a 2015 V Scholar Grant from The V Foundation. The grant was a breath of fresh air for Trevino, who said due to a lack of independent funding, his lab was on the verge of shutting down. “Through the grace of God, The V Foundation had faith in our proposal and funded our work. Had we not gotten that support, our work would have been stalled, if not discontinued and our lab closed.”

Trevino’s current research focuses on improving the quality of life of patients with pancreatic cancer. “Not only are we helping the patients in the clinic with surgery and medical therapeutics, but the hope is that we will develop therapies that will not only control pancreatic cancer but also control the systemic effects it has on our bodies ability to maintain good nutrition and strength.” There are many ways to fight cancer, but helping patients live a longer quality-filled life has become one of Trevino’s biggest goals.

His work is getting noticed. Last month, Trevino was invited to speak alongside four other early-career investigators (three of which were also V Scholars) at a Congressional Briefing organized by the American Association for Cancer Research, as part of the Cancer Moonshot initiative. “It was really great exposure. It not only allowed myself and others in the group a chance to shine on our expertise, but it provided a platform for us to express what we feel are the current needs for the cancer research field.”

It is amazing and heartbreaking at the same time to think that a wonderfully talented researcher like Trevino nearly had his lab shut down due to a lack of funding. Stories like Trevino’s make the work done by The V Foundation to raise money for researchers feel so important, and that importance is not missed on those receiving the funding, either. “I will forever be in the debt of The V Foundation. I’m so thankful it exists for me and other young investigators like myself.”