John and Rebecca Moores commit $20 million towards planned UCSD Cancer Center facility

May 03, 2000

University nearing $50 million in private fund raising to establish state-of-the-art cancer facility in San Diego

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) today announced that it has secured $47 million in private support to build a Cancer Center facility dedicated to research, patient care and community service. The university's overall goal is to secure $75 million to construct the facility and $25 million to support new clinical care initiatives.

A $20 million philanthropic gift from John Moores, majority owner of San Diego Padres and Regent of the University of California, and his wife Rebecca, is among the largest gifts from private individuals ever received by UCSD and the largest given toward the Cancer Center initiative. Pending Regents approval, the university will recognize the gift by naming the center the John and Rebecca Moores UCSD Cancer Center. A $15 million gift from Jerome and Miriam Katzin, longtime supporters and volunteers at UCSD, also has been committed to the initiative.

UCSD Cancer Center is one of just 59 centers in the United States to hold a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation. As such, it ranks among the top centers in the nation conducting basic and clinical research, and providing advanced patient care.

Founded in 1979, the UCSD Cancer Center has grown as a broad collaboration among physicians and basic and clinical researchers, all dedicated to improving methods of preventing, diagnosing and treating the nation's number two killer. The university plans to unite more than 300 physicians, scientists and professional staff in one state-of-the-art clinical and research facility. The John and Rebecca Moores UCSD Cancer Center facility is planned for a site near the UCSD Thornton Hospital in La Jolla, on the university's east campus.

"Consolidating our cancer-related activities in a central location has been a priority for UCSD and is an important development for cancer care in the region, as well as for the advancement of scientific research which may impact people worldwide. We are deeply grateful to John and Becky Moores and Jerome and Miriam Katzin, for their vision and commitment to UCSD, and to the people of San Diego," said Robert C. Dynes, UCSD chancellor. "While much more work is required to finalize plans for the facility and to seek Regents approval for the proposed center, we are thrilled to announce these gifts and to celebrate approaching the half-way mark in our philanthropic fund raising for the center."

John and Rebecca Moores have a longstanding commitment to supporting cancer-related activities and causes in San Diego. Furthermore, with the encouragement of the Moores, the San Diego Padres have actively supported the Cindy Matters Fund, which benefits pediatric cancer programs at UCSD. To date, the Padres have contributed more than $400,000 to the fund.

"When we lived in Houston we observed the profound impact of a vigorous, highly regarded cancer center equally dedicated to research and patient care," said John Moores. "We believe that the superb, comprehensive cancer program at UCSD is poised to join the ranks of the nation's premier cancer centers, improving access to the best available cancer care through leadership and partnership. We are excited to be a part of the university's vision for a world-class cancer program, which we believe will accelerate the pace of discovery and bring visibility and resources to our region as a recognized leader in the battle against cancer."

Jerome Katzin serves on the Cancer Center Foundation Board and has worked hard over the years to bring to reality a modern new facility for cancer research and clinical care.

"It has been exciting to watch the UCSD Cancer Center develop and grow as an NCI clinical center, " said Jerome Katzin. "This initiative will result in a closer and more effective integration of these services for the community."

UC President and former UCSD Chancellor Richard C. Atkinson, and his wife Rita, also have made a major gift to the Cancer Center initiative. During Atkinson's tenure at UCSD, he envisioned a world-class Cancer Center to anchor its academic medical campus.

"Watching UCSD's Cancer Center evolve has been particularly gratifying for me," Atkinson said. "Now, as it approaches the next phase of its development, I know that this facility, and the work of these researchers and practitioners, will have a profound impact on the San Diego community, and beyond."

Other donors who have given in excess of $1 million since December 1999 toward the UCSD Cancer Center building project include: William and Robin Comer, Maurice and Charmaine Kaplan, Ron and Mary Taylor, and Frank and Lee Goldberg.

"Only with the support of our donors are we are able to pursue our goals. We are extremely grateful to have this level of community participation," Dynes added.

The new facility is still on the drawing boards, but is currently envisioned as containing 270,000 gross sq. ft. of research space, outpatient clinical services, and space for community education and outreach programs. Cancer patients at UCSD will be able to receive all their outpatient care within one facility, helping ease the stress and strain for patients and their families.

"This initiative is not just about a new building," said David Tarin, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UCSD Cancer Center. "The generosity of our benefactors, and the hard work of everyone involved in this initiative, is focused on fulfilling the commitment we have to our community which is to provide the best cancer care available constantly improved by the highest quality of research. The new facility is designed to bring all of the components of the Cancer Center together to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts."

"We are entering an era when the rapid pace of scientific discovery is giving us powerful new tools to manage devastating diseases such as cancer. This initiative will further strengthen the many exciting research and clinical activities already in place at UCSD," said David Bailey, interim vice chancellor for health sciences and dean, school of medicine. "The greatest impact the new facility will have will be on the lives of cancer patients and their families, who will benefit directly from the translation of research breakthroughs into increased survival rates, improved quality of life and even cures."

The UCSD Cancer Center is currently participating in discussions to form a regional cancer consortium in San Diego which comprises some 20 research and clinical care organizations dedicated to cancer prevention, treatment and research. The consortium is being formed with funding provided by the tobacco industry settlement.

"The regional consortium is being designed to help us share ideas and resources, improving cancer treatment for patients throughout the region," said Bailey. "As consortium members become stronger, the group becomes stronger, and the community benefits as a result."

The proposed John and Rebecca Moores UCSD Cancer Center facility may be ready for occupancy as early as fall 2003, pending Regental approval and fund raising.
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Media Contacts: Leslie Franz, 858-543-6201, lfranz@ucsd.edu Karen Gajewski, 858-822-3353, kgajewski@ucsd.edu

University of California - San Diego

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