Weizmann Institute receives $8 million grant from Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute

11/09/04

Research will focus on lung cancer caused by second-hand and mainstream tobacco smoke

NEW YORK, NY November 9, 2004 The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science (ACWIS) announced today that the Weizmann Institute in Israel has been awarded an $8 million grant from the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI). According to ACWIS chairman Robert B. Machinist, the grant will fund the Center for Advanced Research on Lung Cancer (CARE on Lung Cancer). This "Center of Excellence" on the Weizmann Institute campus represents FAMRI's commitment to linking scientists and physicians from various disciplines in order to enhance knowledge relating to exposure to tobacco smoke, and to serve as a new source for methods of detection, diagnosis and therapy for diseases associated with tobacco smoke.

The new center will focus on lung cancer research with an emphasis on instances of the disease caused by second-hand and mainstream tobacco smoke, as well as patient care issues. Importantly, CARE on Lung Cancer will link the Weizmann Institute's world-class cancer and biomedical researchers with leading oncologists from the Sheba Medical Center, a major research-oriented Israeli hospital known for its pioneering approaches to cancer diagnosis and treatment.

"We are thrilled to have received such generous support from FAMRI to advance the prevention, detection and treatment of lung cancer," said Mel Dick, chairman of the ACWIS South Florida Region and Executive Vice President of Southern Wine & Spirits, one of the largest beverage distributors in America. He added, "This grant will be invaluable in helping Weizmann facilitate the collaboration of existing research with treatment protocols." ACWIS' South Florida Region played a pivotal role in securing the FAMRI grant.

Mr. Dick noted that CARE on Lung Cancer will be led by Professor Varda Rotter, Director of the Weizmann Institute's Department of Molecular Cell Biology, and Professor Gideon Rechavi, Co-Director of the Sheba Medical Center's Department of Cancer Research, along with principal investigators Professor Zvi Livneh and Professor David Wallach of the Weizmann Institute's Department of Biological Chemistry; Professor Adi Kimchi of the Weizmann Institute's Department of Molecular Genetics; Professor Moshe Oren of the Weizmann Institute's Department of Cell Biology; and Professor Meir Krupsky of Sheba Medical Center's Pulmonary Institute.

"FAMRI is a one-of-a-kind foundation formed as a result of a class action lawsuit comprised of non-smoking US flight attendants brought in Miami, Florida by attorneys Susan and Stanley Rosenblatt against US tobacco companies," said Elizabeth A. Kress, FAMRI's Executive Director.

"Since FAMRI's creation, it has provided more than 130 grants totaling in excess of sixty-million dollars to some of the finest researchers in the most prestigious institutions in the world to further the foundation's mission. We welcome Weizmann and the scientists at the Center into the FAMRI family."

To enhance existing research and treatment of the disease, CARE on Lung Cancer will leverage recent advances in structural and functional analysis of human genes, augmented by the human genome project.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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