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GEN News Highlights : May 9, 2012

UPenn Alumni Gift $25M for Facility Focused on BRCA-Mutated Cancers

Basser Research Center will be sited at UPenn’s Abramson Cancer Center.

The University of Pennsylvania has been gifted $25 million by alumni Mindy and Jon Gray to establish the Basser Research Center (BRC), focused on the treatment and prevention of cancers associated with hereditary BRCA mutations. Located at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) at the Perelman School of Medicine, the Basser Center will contribute to all stages of research related to BRCA-related cancer detection, prevention, treatment, and care.

The gifted funds will establish a professorship, enhance core technologies including bioinformatics and DNA vaccine production, and establish the Basser Prize for cutting-edge research. The center is named after Mindy Gray’s sister, Faith Basser, who died of ovarian cancer aged 44. “We hope that the Basser Research Center will eliminate BRCA-related cancer and, in doing so, provide a road map for curing other genetic diseases,” Mindy and Jon Gray state.

“In creating this first-of-a-kind center, the Grays’ gift endows Penn researchers and clinicians with the crucial resources reuiqred to identify innovative ways to prevent and treat inherited diseases,” adds UPenn president Amy Gutmann.

The ACC currently supports 300 cancer research scientists, and has acted as an NIH-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center for over 30 years.