December 1, 2013

MasterCard Donates $500,000 to Bolster Weill Cancer Research

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With the help of a $500,000 grant from MasterCard, Cornell Weill Medical College will bolster its efforts to research treatments for women’s cancers.

The grant, announced Nov. 18, will help Weill Cornell find ways to end breast, ovarian and uterine cancers, MasterCard said in a press release.

With the funding, the University will be able to create a researcher-in-residence position. The person in the position will collaborate with other researchers and be directed by Dr. Lewis Cantley, director of the Weill Cornell Medical College Cancer Center, according to the press release.

As an additional effort to bolster its cancer research, in 2014, Weill Cornell will open the MasterCard Principal Investigator Office Suite in the school’s Belfer Research Building.

The facility is intended to maximize collaboration between researchers. In addition to directing Weill Cornell’s Cancer Center, Cantley is also involved in leading research efforts for Stand Up to Cancer, a national cancer research organization. MasterCard has previously helped raise over $17 million for the organization, according to the press release.

Cantley and the team focus on developing protocols, procedures and clinical trials in treating many types of women’s cancer, according to the press release.

According to their website, Stand Up to Cancer takes pride in “bringing together the best and the brightest researchers and encouraging collaboration instead of competition amongthe entire cancer community.” Cantley said in the press release that MasterCard’s grant “ensures that Weill Cornell can continue the critical scientific investigation that leads to breakthrough therapies.”

MasterCard president and CEO Ajay Banga said the corporation hopes “to spark the research that will deliver treatments that will turn cancer patients into survivors” through supporting and funding research.

Cantley is the William Bosworth Castle Chair in Medicine at Harvard, as well as the director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center in Boston.

Cantley’s discovery of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase was a major breakthrough in the field of cancer research and introduced a new way for researchers to observe how defective cells grow and become cancerous, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

In addition to the MasterCard donation, Weill Cornell has also received another major gift this year. In September, the school received $100 million from Joan Weill and Sanford I. Weill ’55 to help launch two new research centers and bolster medical research.