U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center Receives $17.5 Million Commitment, Will Create New Institute

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The University of Michigan (U-M) Board of Regents announced a $17.5 million commitment for cancer research from Madeline and Sidney Forbes of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. This gift will create the Forbes Institute for Cancer Discovery within the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In addition, the Forbes’ gift will:

  • Advance cutting-edge science from the laboratory to patients by stimulating innovative technology and new therapies
  • Offer team research awards for cross-disciplinary efforts—bringing together faculty from disparate areas including medicine, business, pharmacy, dentistry, engineering, and public health
  • Create Senior Forbes Scholars and Emerging Forbes Scholars programs in cancer discovery
  • Establish the Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professorship in Oncology within the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. This professorship has been awarded to Max S. Wicha, MD.

The goal of the Forbes Institute will be to encourage scientists across the university to undertake high-risk, high-reward initiatives with the potential to drive new advances in cancer research. The intent is to fuel rapid development of innovative technology and new therapies, creating better, more targeted treatments for patients with cancer.

The Forbes Scholars program will provide grants to senior investigators as well as to junior faculty. Team science awards will encourage innovative discoveries by multidisciplinary teams.

The Institute will also facilitate the development of new technologies such as single-cell genomics, which will hasten cancer drug development and personalized oncology.

Technology transfer is a key focus of the Institute. Institute faculty will work with industry to transfer ideas into marketable cancer therapy solutions and pursue models of venture philanthropy that could further invigorate the biotech economy. ■