By  Christopher Tyree

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal diseases afflicting humans. Although it accounts for about 3% of all cancer diagnoses, the most recentdataindicate that pancreatic cancer may soon become the leading cause of all cancer-related deaths. On top of that, the percentage of people with the disease has been growing over the last decade. Matthew J. Lazzara, an associate professor of chemical engineering at the University of Virginia School of Engineering, and researchers in his lab are devising a better way to treat the disease following the award of a five-year, $2.34 million grant from the National Cancer Institute as part of itsCancer Systems Biology Consortium. The consortium is an initiative focused on bringing together multidisciplinary teams to investigate the complexity of cancer research.