The New York City-based Starr Foundation has announced a $100 million initiative to coordinate the efforts of five internationally renowned cancer research institutions.
The Starr Cancer Consortium will consist of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, New York; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medical College, all located in New York City.
Building on their individual complementary strengths, the five institutions will collaborate on research designed to understand cancer at its most fundamental levels and to develop new approaches to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease's many forms. The funding will be earmarked for joint projects involving two or more institutions, including several promising initiatives already underway. Among the consortium's focus areas are the creation or accelerated development of technology platforms to unravel the genetic and molecular basis of cancers; application of these technologies in joint projects aimed at developing highly effective approaches to diagnosis and treatment; and support for basis biological research to provide insights into the fundamental molecular and cellular processes underlying cancer.
"The opening years of the twenty-first century have brought dramatic advances in understanding cancer and in putting new discoveries to work for the people who need it most," said Starr Foundation chairman Maurice R. Greenberg. "Our goal in launching the Starr Cancer Consortium is to bring these exceptional institutions together in a manner that assures maximum efficiency and the greatest firepower in targeting cancer. This will enable us to achieve tangible results more quickly and decisively than any one or two members of the consortium could accomplish working alone."