On behalf of its founder, Daniel K. Ludwig, Ludwig Cancer Research has awarded $540 million across six Ludwig Centers, including those at Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago. This new funding ranks among the largest private philanthropic gifts to cancer research.
The recent gift adds to the endowments established in 2006 to create the Ludwig Centers at each institution, bringing the Ludwig total funding at these institutions to $900 million. Ludwig’s global contribution to advancing cancer research is now $2.5 billion.
“Never before has the cancer community had the knowledge and tools to probe so deeply into understanding cancer and discovering new ways to defeat it,” said Ed McDermott, Ludwig Trustee and President and CEO of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. “More must be done in terms of funding to ensure continued progress in an era of shrinking global resources for research. Providing reliable, long-term support to scientists fosters high impact, innovative research and must remain a priority for the cancer community.”
Initial funding to the six U.S.-based Ludwig Centers has already yielded groundbreaking discoveries. It has paved the way for the first comprehensive maps of the genomic landscapes of cancers, transformative “smart drugs” and immunotherapy treatments, and fast-tracked research to bring new treatments for various types of metastatic and rare cancers.
“The additional funding received today will allow the Ludwig Centers to expand and amplify their efforts in perpetuity. Sustained support enables the Centers to continue training the best and the brightest of the next generation of scientists,” said Bert Vogelstein, MD, Co-Director, Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins. “Ludwig puts great faith in its scientists by providing ongoing investment that allows them to expedite research and take risks – the only way to make truly breakthrough discoveries.”
“With independent, flexible, and long-range funding we can now take an idea based on the best scientific and medical insights, and pursue it further regardless of how long it may take or the size of the eventual patient population it may benefit,” said George D. Demetri, MD, Co-Director, Ludwig Center at Harvard. “We also have the freedom to collaborate with leading scientists around the globe, which can lead to new innovations to help cancer patients.”
In addition to Dr. Vogelstein and Dr. Demetri, Directors of other Ludwig Cancer Research Centers include Kenneth W. Kinzler, MD (Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins University), Joan Brugge, MD (Ludwig Center at Harvard University), Robert A. Weinberg, MD (Ludwig Center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Geoffrey L. Greene, MD, and Ralph R. Weichselbaum, MD (Ludwig Center at University of Chicago), Alexander Y. Rudensky, MD (Ludwig Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center), and Irving Weissman, MD (Ludwig Center at Stanford University).
Ludwig Cancer Research
Ludwig Cancer Research is an international collaborative network of acclaimed scientists with a 40-year legacy of pioneering cancer discoveries. Ludwig combines basic research with the ability to translate its discoveries and conduct clinical trials to accelerate the development of new cancer diagnostics and therapies. Founded by American shipping magnate, Daniel K. Ludwig, Ludwig Cancer Research has invested $2.5 billion in research to date. Today, the scientific efforts endowed through his resources encompass the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Ludwig Centers at six U.S. institutions, all pursuing breakthroughs to alter the course of cancer. For more information about Ludwig Cancer Research, visit www.ludwigcancerresearch.org. ■