M. D. Anderson receives one of its largest private research gifts

September 05, 2002

HOUSTON -- The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has received a $15 million gift -- one of the largest private donations in its history to fund research -- from the Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research and Mr. and Mrs. William H. Goodwin Jr. of Richmond, Va.

The gift will fund a molecular diagnostics and therapeutics program at M. D. Anderson, which is aimed at furthering the institution's progress in translational research. Among various initiatives, the contribution will help launch more than 10 new research projects that will enable laboratory research to be more quickly converted -- or translated -- from knowledge into direct patient care applications.

"This gift will accelerate our ability to use our understanding of the biology of cancer to develop drugs that will target specific abnormalities in particular patients' cancers. Diagnostic techniques will be developed that identify which drugs to use and whether or not they are effective," explains Dr. Robert Bast, vice president for translational research at M. D. Anderson. "We appreciate the generosity of the Goodwins and their foundation and their confidence in M. D. Anderson to make this significant investment in M. D. Anderson's efforts."

"The Goodwins' gift will help us realize our vision of translating knowledge from the lab to the clinic and of taking clinical observations back to the laboratory," says Dr. John Mendelsohn, president of M. D. Anderson. "Making new therapies available to patients as quickly as possible is our responsibility as scientists and care givers."

The Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research gift will support six different areas, which are driving M. D. Anderson's translational research effort. They are:"Finding effective strategies to fight cancer is the goal of all involved. We have seen firsthand the tragic consequences of cancer and want to do what we can to help find better treatments and hopefully the ultimate cure for cancer," says Alice Goodwin.

"We have tried very hard to support areas of research that we feel could be the most beneficial to those afflicted with cancer now and in the future. We have talked with many prominent doctors and researchers and feel that they are on the edge of an explosion of many possible strategies to combat and cure cancer. M. D. Anderson's efforts in translational research seem to be in line with the results we are hoping to accomplish with our support."

Bill Goodwin adds, "We were very impressed with the research efforts taking place at M. D. Anderson, particularly in the areas of translational research. We believe that Dr. Mendelsohn, Dr. Bast and his team are outstanding, and we are thankful that we are able to support M. D. Anderson's research efforts."

In addition to M. D. Anderson's research pursuits made possible by the gift, scientists will be collaborating with their counterparts at institutions which have received similar funding from the foundation, including Johns Hopkins University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Mayo Clinic.

Bill Goodwin is chairman of CCA Industries Inc., a diversified holding company headquartered in Richmond, Va. Some of their current business interests include The Jefferson Hotel, which is a 5-Star, 5-Diamond historic hotel in Richmond, The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., and Kiawah Island Resort, which is located near Charleston, S.C.

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

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