Toronto, ON – Today, Canada’s leading cancer hospital announced receiving a gift of $25-million to the hospital’s newly launched Institute for Breast Cancer Research. Marking the country’s largest private gift to cancer research – and to breast cancer research – these funds will help the institute in becoming a world-leading program in breast cancer research by leveraging basic, translational and clinical research into dramatic breast cancer breakthroughs. The funds were donated by Audrey Campbell, daughter of the late Roy Thomson, and her three daughters.
“We are grateful to the Campbell family for their significant and visionary gift to breast cancer research,” says Dr Tak Mak, director of the Institute for Breast Cancer Research. Dr Mak has received numerous international accolades for his scientific discoveries and is most famous for his landmark 1984 scientific paper on the cloning of the T-cell receptor genes, a key component of the human immune system.
The institute was launched in June this year, with the goal of raising a total of $125-million. Thousands of walkers have raised over $10-million during the first two years of Toronto’s annual Weekend to End Breast Cancer event in support of the Institute for Breast Cancer Research.
“Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women in Canada,” notes Dr Mak. “This gift will allow us to make a major effort towards the development of early diagnosis procedures and more effective treatments that can increase the quality and length of life of these individuals.”
The gift will enable the institute to double its number of principal investigators and staff to a total of 12 principal investigators and 150 staff.
“This donation, combined with the leadership of Dr Mak, places Princess Margaret Hospital in the forefront of the global quest for the cure for breast cancer,” says Dr Robert Bell, vice-president and chief operating officer of Princess Margaret Hospital. “Dr Mak is one of Canada’s best-known and most prolific research scientists.”
“The Institute will be named the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital, in honour of the generosity of the Campbell Family,” says Paul Alofs, president and CEO of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.