One of the largest gifts, even in support of cancer research, $250 million thanks to Mr. and Mrs. William H. Goodwin, Jr., their family, and the estate of William Hunter Goodwin III just helped create the Break Through Cancer foundation, designed to find new solutions to the most challenging cancers. Led by the cancer-fighting MD Anderson Cancer Center, other research groups will join the initiative, including the top cancer centers of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The overall effort, led by Tyler Jacks, Ph.D., Founding Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, will focus initially on historically highly challenging cancer types from pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, glioblastoma to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).
The initial programs established research teams guided by an external scientific advisory board of cancer experts as teams organized to investigate new approaches and hopefully cure these dangerous cancers will receive considerable sums of research dollars.
The new research organization is supported by a board that includes leaders from each of the participating institutions, including William G. Nelson, V, MD, Ph.D., Marion I Knott, Professor of Oncology, and Director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins serving as Chairman. MD Anderson’s representatives include Giulio Draeta, MD, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, and David Jaffray, Ph.D., chief technology officer and digital officer. See the organizational website.
‘Collaboration for Cures’
The new research group’s tagline emphasizes the importance placed on teamwork, collaborative activity, and the coming together of different diverse disciplines and perspectives to accomplish great things. The pressure will be on with this high profile research affair as the President of Break Through Cancer, Dr. Tyler Jacks, recently shared, “Break Through Cancer’s model builds on the outstanding efforts of the broader cancer research community and presents the potential for major advances in our shared fight against these intractable cancers.” Highlighting the importance of teamwork, the newly appointed head shared in an MD Anderson press release, “Our tagline, “collaborating for cures,” captures our collective goal to empower many of the brightest, most dedicated minds in cancer research and to maximize the capabilities of these highly respected institutions. In the future, we look forward to partnering with the broader philanthropic, biotech and pharmaceutical communities to expand the impact of Break Through Cancer further still.” Collaboration has been core to the cancer research strategy at MD Anderson.
The Goodwin Family Story
Based in Richmond, VA, the now-retired William H Goodwin Jr. was the president and chairman of the Riverstone Group LLC, part of CCA Industries and CCA Financial Inc, owner of hotels and resorts. He was also the co-owner of the AMF Bowling chain. Starting as an IBM salesman, he made his mark later in life, making a series of successful business investments, notably real estate. His AMF Bowling chain was acquired by Goldman Sachs for over $1 billion generating enormous capital gains.
About Break Through Cancer
Break Through Cancer is a public foundation that brings several of the top cancer research centers together to collaborate on and accelerate research, clinical trials, and ultimately cures for the deadliest cancers. The organization provides funding to research teams selected from across its partner institutions, with input and insight from a scientific advisory board composed of cancer experts from outside the participating centers.
Break Through Cancer is currently partnering with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. The institutions are committed to working across their respective facilities to provide grant recipients with greater access to resources in support of their research.
Dr. Tyler Jacks, Founding Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the David H. Koch Professor of Biology and co-director of the Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology