A generous gift

- June 9, 2006

DMRF Chairman and recent honorary degree recipient Frank Sobey
Local medical research is receiving a substantial boost this week. At its annual meeting today, the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation is announcing a $3.7 million commitment to research in the Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine in 2006-07. The largest contribution in the foundationÕs 27-year history, it includes a one-time $2-million pledge to the planned Life Sciences Research Institute. Of the remaining $1.7 million, $805,000 will fund cancer research and the rest will support recruitment, research chairs, capital equipment and training awards.

The $805,000 Ð which includes annual income of $585,000 from a number of cancer-specific endowments and $220,000 raised through the foundationÕs most recent Molly Appeal Ð will support the Dalhousie Cancer Research Program. Launched in 2001, the Dalhousie Cancer Research Program is a collaboration of DalhousieÕs Faculty of Medicine, Cancer Care Nova Scotia and the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation.

ÒThe Dalhousie Cancer Research Program provides a coordinated approach to cancer research, an area thatÕs so important to the health of our community,” says foundation Chairman Frank Sobey. ÒWe are grateful for the generosity of our donors throughout the Maritimes. Their confidence in medical research makes this contribution possible.” 

The planned Life Sciences Research Institute will provide much-needed research and incubator space for the regionÕs growing life sciences and biotechnology sectors. The Brain Repair Centre will be the lead Life Sciences Research Institute tenant, occupying two-and-a-half floors of the five-storey building. The Brain Repair Centre, which has harnessed the talent of more than 100 scientists and clinicians, is the largest research initiative in the Atlantic Provinces.

The Dalhousie Medical Research FoundationÕs $2-million funding commitment to the Life Sciences Research Institute comes from its ÔPartners in Medical ResearchÕ program. Through this program, employees of roughly 20 member companies make regular small contributions to the foundation through payroll deductions.

Through fundraising and growing its endowment fund Ð which now stands at $53 million, Atlantic CanadaÕs largest endowment for medical research Ð Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation provides about $2 million every year to support research in DalhousieÕs Faculty of Medicine and affiliated health-care institutions.

Each year, the Molly Appeal and related special events are dedicated to one of the Faculty of MedicineÕs main areas of research emphasis: cancer, cardiovascular research, neuroscience, and immunity, inflammation and infectious diseases. The next Molly Appeal, to be launched this fall, will target neuroscience. 


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