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Teaming Up to Battle Pediatric Cancer

Published: 02/09/2017

$10 million supports new endowed chairs at The University of Kansas Cancer Center and at Children's Mercy Hospital

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The University of Kansas Cancer Center and Children's Mercy Hospital have announced four endowed chair positions that take a big step toward making Kansas City a premier pediatric research innovation hub.

The endowed chairs are the first of their kind, focusing on genomics, health outcomes, hematological malignancies and immunotherapy. The positions are made possible by $10 million in philanthropic support from four individual donors and four foundations, including unique gift matches from Donald Hall and the Hall Family Foundation.

The four Children's Mercy leadership positions will have joint University of Kansas faculty appointments.

Leaders at The University of Kansas Cancer Center and Children's Mercy stressed the significance of the endowed chairs to the institutions' integrated pediatric research efforts, enhanced clinical care for children, advanced pediatric academic development and a shared goal to save children's lives here and around the globe.

"For our Children's Research Institute, this is a game-changer, allowing us to offer stellar recruitment packages to attract the best and brightest pediatric research scientists to Kansas City," said Tom Curran, PhD, FRS, Children's Mercy's chief scientific officer and executive director of the Children's Research Institute. "It's a privilege to collaborate with The University of Kansas Cancer Center in this important effort."

Added Roy Jensen, MD, director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, "These joint chair appointments are the latest in our endeavor to combine the resources of our powerhouse institutions so that young cancer patients can benefit from a deeper pool of cancer specialists."

The newly endowed chair positions, and the collaboration they promote, are a key consideration for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in its current evaluation of The University of Kansas Cancer Center for Comprehensive Cancer Center designation as emphasis on pediatric cancer research and treatment has grown.

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