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A gift to global cancer research: $180 million for Harvard and MIT

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January 6, 2014. The Ludwig Cancer Research, on behalf of its founder Daniel K. Ludwig, spread $540 million over Ludwig Centers at 6 institutions nationwide to promote cancer research. This gift is one of the largest private donations ever made for cancer research. Among the recipients were Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), receiving $90 million each.

Massachusetts is the only state to have two Ludwig Centers, one at HMS and one at the MIT, and this generous gift means a lot for collaborative and global research to fight cancer. Jeffrey S Flier, dean of the faculty of medicine at Harvard, acknowledges the importance of this award and underlines the HMS commitment to excellence vis-à-vis cancer research: “We recognize that Daniel and Virginia Ludwig were powerful advocates for excellence in cancer research. We at Harvard Medical School are grateful to them for their generosity and their vision, and are committed to honoring their legacy by defining the best strategic use of these new funds to advance the fight against cancer.”

Likewise, MIT President L. Rafael Reif appreciates the significance of such a grant: “Central to this effort is basic research to understand the causes and mechanisms of the disease. Ludwig’s generosity will support our efforts to answer two critical questions: how cancer spreads in the body and what we can do to stop it.”

Both Ludwig centers, at HMS and at the MIT, are recognized poles for elite American research but the gift goes way beyond national boundaries as HMS and the MIT are known for international collaborations with some of the best institutes in the world and attract top researchers from all continents. This $180 million donation, in total, to both Ludwig Centers in Massachusetts is a phenomenal opportunity for global progress in cancer research.

Source: Harvard Gazette, MIT news office

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