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$100 million grant funds research center

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard will join forces with four prominent New York research centers to battle cancer thanks to a $100 million award from the Starr Foundation announced today.

Together these institutions will form the five-year Starr Cancer Consortium, which aims to harness the power of genomic technology for the understanding and treatment of cancer. In addition to the Broad, they include Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, and Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

"Science and medicine have always been about teamwork," said MIT president Susan Hockfield. "Now, the philanthropy of the Starr Foundation will allow the world-class scientists at the Consortium institutions to take collaboration to a whole new level and accelerate our progress in cancer research."

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is itself a research collaboration involving several Boston-area universities and teaching hospitals, with programs focused on a variety of human diseases.

"Genome technology offers enormous opportunities to accelerate the understanding and treatment of cancer, which is a genomic disease," said Todd Golub, the director of the Broad's Cancer program, an investigator at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

"With these tools, it will be possible to systematically define the molecular pathways underlying cancer and to reveal the Achilles' heels that can be targeted by new therapies."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 27, 2006 (download PDF).

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