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Wilmot family, foundation gives $4 million for research

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Judy Wilmot Linehan announced a $4 million gift to support research at Wilmot Cancer Institute. She is pictured with Harmut "Hucky" Land, co-director of the Institute and director of research.
Rochester Business Journal
May 12, 2014

A $4 million gift to the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Wilmot Cancer Institute from the Wilmot family and the James P. Wilmot Foundation is marked to fund genomics research, URMC officials said.

The gift comes as the cancer institute kicks off the public phase of a $30 million campaign to support cancer research.

The institute plans to use the $4 million donation to recruit and equip a laboratory for a new senior cancer-genomics researcher, UR said Saturday. Part of the gift will help set up an endowed chair for the research position, the Wilmot Distinguished Professorship in Cancer Genomics, said Jonathan Friedberg M.D., Wilmot Institute director.

Cancer genomics researchers seek to unravel a genetic map of cancer cells. Such maps can help scientists identify agents that can attack malignancies while minimizing or eliminating the debilitating side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. 

Friedberg last week announced the formation of the Wilmot Cancer Institute as an umbrella organization to tie together UR’s James P. Wilmot Cancer Center and the cancer center’s associated treatment facilities and URMC’s cancer research programs.

 “It’s a tremendous advantage to have researchers and oncologists working together in the same facilities. New research findings quickly make their way into clinical decision making. The tremendous support we’ve received from the Wilmot family has made that possible,” UR president Joel Seligman said.

The $30 million fund drive is hoped to help URMC offset flagging government and private-industry support, Friedberg said.

The Wilmot family’s support of URMC cancer research dates to the early 1980s when the James P. Wilmot Foundation funded a fellowship to train physicians in cancer research.

“It has been amazing watching the progress in cancer research and patient care at Wilmot since 1980,” said Judy Wilmot Linehan.  “Our family has been so affected by this terrible disease. It has taken away some of the most important people in my life.”
   
(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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