The gift is the largest one-time donation from the Lilly Foundation to an institution or cause. The funds will be used to recruit nationally recognized cancer scientists to strengthen the research initiatives and progressive care available in Indiana.
"The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation and Lilly employees are committed to improving the quality of cancer care and the quality of life for cancer patients," said Sidney Taurel, Eli Lilly and Company chairman and chief executive office. "This gift of $7.5 million represents that commitment and acknowledges our appreciation of the vision shared by the caregivers and researchers at IU Cancer Center and Lilly scientists."
Taurel added that given the other investments being made by Indiana University School of Medicine and Clarian Health that benefit the IU Cancer Center, including the construction of a new cancer treatment facility and a new research building, Lilly believes that this is an ideal time to support the growth of the program as it increases its national reputation as a leader in cancer research and patient care.
"The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation's support of the IU Cancer Center will elevate the standards of cancer care throughout Indiana and throughout the country," said Center Director Stephen D. Williams, M.D., the HH Gregg Professor of Oncology and professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine. "Our research and clinical programs are expanding and so are the partnerships necessary for us to achieve our goals."
The IU Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center in the state where research and patient care come together. The NCI distinction is awarded to an elite group of research centers whose focus is the rapid translation of research discoveries into treatments for people with cancer.
IU Cancer Center physicians and scientists are well known for bringing cutting-edge research to clinic care; an early example of this is the cure for testicular cancer developed in 1974 by Lawrence Einhorn, M.D., Distinguished Professor and the Lance Armstrong Foundation Professor in Oncology. Since that time, IU Cancer Center physicians and scientists have played a national role in the development of new treatments for several types of cancer, including breast, lung, and blood-borne cancers such as leukemia.
Developing new cancer treatments is a complex and multi-dimensional process requiring collaborative efforts among researchers in various fields. The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation gift will allow the IU Cancer Center to attract top-tier scientists and physicians and give them the resources they need for this work.
Creating and improving patient care based on scientific discoveries and solutions developed in the lab historically has been referred to as a "bench to bedside" process and more recently dubbed translational science.
"The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation gift will help the IU Cancer Center meet its goal to take a national leadership role in emerging areas of cancer research," said D. Craig Brater, M.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine and IU vice president with life science responsibilities. "Most importantly, patients will benefit from the collaborations of our scientists and physicians, which are enhanced by this gift."
The IU Cancer Center, with 168 physician and researcher members, is expanding its research and clinical care spaces. Last fall, ground was broken for a $150 million structure that will be connected to Indiana University Hospital. The facility expansion, a collaboration between the IU School of Medicine and Clarian Health, will make the most advanced treatment technologies and modern, comfortable resources available in a 405,216- square-foot building scheduled to open in 2008.
Also under construction is a 254,000-square-foot building, Research III, which will be the fourth and the largest research facility built since 2000 by the medical school. When finished in 2008, it will house researchers focusing on the biology and chemistry of cancer, as well as other health issues.
The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation was established in 1968 to carry out philanthropic interests. The foundation is funded from the company's profits and is the major source of the company's support for not-for-profit and charitable organizations around the world.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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