Jane M. Holt – Co-Founder

Jane Holt has spent the last 25 years committed to volunteer work in the Boston area. As a young mother, she became very involved in educational activities for her children. In the 1980s, Ms. Holt volunteered for many parent-teacher initiatives such as Understanding Handicaps, Discovering Ourselves, and Future Problem Solvers of America. In 1988, she began her commitment to the Friends of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute working on numerous fundraising initiatives, as co-chairwoman for countless galas, and as Co-President of the Friends from 1996-98.

Having spent a decade surviving chronic pancreatitis, Ms. Holt saw an acute need for greater awareness and education around diseases of the pancreas. And so in 1997, she founded the National Pancreas Foundation with Co-Founder, Patter Birsic.

In recognition for the work she has done in the area of pancreatic research, she was named a member of the Executive Board of the Digestive Disease National Coalition in 2003 and in 2010 was name Chair. Most recently, she is taking part in lobbying initiatives aimed to increase the amount of federal funding granted to pancreatic research.

In 2006, Jane was appointed to the National Commission of Digestive Disease and served as Chair of the Pancreas working group. The Commission developed a long-range research plan for digestive diseases. As part of the research plan, the Commission assessed the state-of-the-science in digestive diseases and the related NIH research portfolio, with a view toward identifying areas of research challenge and opportunity. The Commission’s research plan will guide the NIH–along with the investigative and lay communities–in pursuing important research avenues to combating digestive diseases. The NIH Director, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, appointed the 16 members of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases in Spring 2006.

Jane was also appointed to the NIDDK Advisory Council in 2010 for a four year term. She and Dr. Anil Rustgi are responsible for the NIDDK Pancreas Workshop that will be held in June, 2012.  Jane also serves on the NCI GI Steering committee She has been very involved in getting pancreatitis listed as one of the research topics for the Department of Defense Peer Review Medical Research Program and has served as a consumer reviewer for these programs.

A graduate from Skidmore College with a B.A. in Biochemistry, Ms. Holt lives in the Back Bay of Boston.