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Toronto (June 2, 2008) - Canada's leading cancer research centre announced today that a long-term gift of $37.5 million from the Campbell family will be recognized through the creation of The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute (CFCRI) at Princess Margaret Hospital. The Campbell family's support over the course of their association with Princess Margaret Hospital now totals $67.5 million, representing the largest cumulative private gift to cancer research in Canada.
"The Campbell family's support of cancer research at Princess Margaret Hospital is inspirational and transformative," said Dr. Robert Bell, President and CEO of University Health Network (UHN), which includes Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. "In recognition of this support, we will be naming part of our cancer research enterprise The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute. Dr. Benjamin Neel, Director, the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI) will also be the Director of The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute. He is a leading cancer cell researcher and was recruited from the Harvard Medical School to lead our cancer research in the fall of 2006."
The creation of The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute enables OCI to advance research into targeting discoveries to develop potential cures for many kinds cancer, said Dr. Neel. "I was attracted to Canada and to The Princess Margaret in particular, because of the unique combination of basic, translational and clinical research that makes it one of the top five cancer research centres in the world. I am delighted that the Campbell family has decided that this is a place worthy of such support and I will work with all of the scientists to ensure that the Campbell family's support of our work translates into hope for cancer patients around the world."
The new knowledge coming from Princess Margaret Hospital builds on a legacy of landmark science that includes Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch's discovery of the stem cell and Dr. Tak Mak’s cloning of the T-cell receptor. More recent discoveries include Dr. Norman Boyd's discovery of breast density as a risk factor for breast cancer and Dr. John Dick's discovery of the colon cancer stem cell.
The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute will accelerate the pace of breakthrough cancer research, facilitating the translation of cancer discoveries into new life-saving therapies and more personalized cancer treatments for each patient. The family’s previous gift of $25 million in 2004 established The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research (CFIBCR). Dr. Tak Mak leads the CFIBCR and will work closely with Dr. Neel to ensure full integration of cancer research activities.
"The Campbell support is advancing our knowledge of breast cancer and we are focused on using that knowledge to refine and target treatments," said Dr. Tak Mak, "This gift is a significant step as research conducted at The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute will ultimately benefit Canadians diagnosed with any type of cancer."
While breast cancer will remain a major focus at The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute, funding for the new institute will support a high content tumour bank; a state-of-the-art Advanced Molecular Profiling Lab (AMPL) and cancer research in tumour metabolism, cancer stem cells, cancer genomics, proteomics, informatics and guided therapeutics.
"It is an honour to work with the family to ensure that their gift creates the best opportunities possible for Canadian researchers to continue to solve parts of the cancer puzzle," said Paul Alofs, President of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. "The ultimate goal is to conquer cancer and there will be many milestones on that road, which we will celebrate with the Campbells."
"Support of this magnitude for research is very exciting," said Dr. Christopher Paige, Vice President of Research at UHN. "This vote of confidence in Drs. Mak, Neel and their colleagues at UHN is well placed and I thank the Campbells for their extraordinarily generous gift to research."
The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation at University Health Network raises funds for research, exemplary teaching and compassionate care at Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute, which now includes The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute and The Campbell Family Breast Cancer Research Institute. More information about the Foundation can be found at www.thepmcf.ca.
The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital brings together an elite team of cancer researchers, scientists, clinicians and staff dedicated to the ultimate goal of conquering cancer by leveraging basic, translational and clinical research into dramatic cancer breakthroughs.
Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm the Ontario Cancer Institute, which now includes The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute and The Campbell Family Breast Cancer Research Institute, have achieved an international reputation as one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. Princess Margaret Hospital is a member of University Health Network which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. All three are research hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto.
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