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Toronto cancer hospital launches new research institute


Toronto, ON – June 2, 2004 – Princess Margaret Hospital is launching a new research institute devoted to breast cancer, and it will be led by one of the country’s most respected and productive scientists.

Dr Tak Mak, who has received numerous international accolades for his scientific discoveries, will serve as director of the Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital. The institute aims to become a world-leading program in breast cancer research by leveraging basic, translational and clinical research into dramatic breast cancer breakthroughs.

Dr Mak is most famous for his 1984 landmark scientific paper on the cloning of the T-cell receptor genes, a key component of the human immune system. He is a senior scientist with the hospital’s research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute, as well as a university professor with the University of Toronto, an officer of the Order of Canada, and one of few Canadians elected a Foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and a fellow of the Royal Society of London (UK). His international recognition includes the King Faisal Prize for Medicine, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Sloan Prize of the GM Cancer Foundation, and most recently Germany’s top scientific award, the Paul Ehrlich Prize.

The new institute is being launched with a goal of raising a total of $125 million. Already, $60 million is committed, with part of the money coming from funds raised by thousands of walkers in the annual Weekend to End Breast Cancer event in Toronto. This year’s event, scheduled for September 10-12, has already filled its registration for the 60-kilometre course. The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation is pledging to raise an additional $65 million from private donors, corporations and other sources to fund the Institute.