$540 million donated to U.S. cancer research from late shipping magnate's estate
Daniel Ludwig foundation's makes one of the largest one-time cash gifts in fight against disease
The late American shipping magnate Daniel Ludwig's estate has donated $540 million for cancer research in the U.S., making it one of the largest one-time gift donations ever made in the fight against the disease. CEO of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ed McDermott says that the donation will help researchers build upon recent advances at a time when medical research funding has been dropping off.
Daniel Ludwig was among the world's richest men in the 1960s, with a self-made empire of around 200 companies involved in shipping, energy, mining, forestry, agriculture and luxury hotels.
"Never before has the cancer community had the knowledge and tools to probe so deeply into understanding cancer and discovering new ways to defeat it," McDermott said. "More must be done in terms of funding to ensure continued progress in an era of shrinking global resources for research."
The cash will be evenly distributed to "Ludwig Centers" established at Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford University and the University of Chicago.
"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," MIT President L. Rafael Reif said.
Ludwig centers, since their inception in 2006, have served as trail blazers for the first maps of the genomic landscapes of cancers, developed so-called "smart drugs" and immuno-therapy treatments. The centers have also fast-tracked research to bring new treatments for certain rare and fast-spreading cancers.
The latest funding came from the sale of some of Ludwig's real estate holdings. According to McDermott, the donations to the centers by Ludwig Cancer Research were on behalf of a philanthropic trust established by Ludwig.
Ludwig was among the world's richest men in the 1960s, with a self-made empire of around 200 companies involved in shipping, energy, mining, forestry, agriculture and luxury hotels. Passing away in 1992, he had founded the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research 20 years previously.
With the latest donation, Ludwig has donated some $2.5 billion globally to fund cancer research.
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