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$8.9 Million Cancer Donation


26 February 2015 at 11:00 am
Xavier Smerdon
A donation of $8.9 million has been made to establish a professorial chair in bowel cancer research at the University of Sydney.

Xavier Smerdon | 26 February 2015 at 11:00 am


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$8.9 Million Cancer Donation
26 February 2015 at 11:00 am

A donation of $8.9 million has been made to establish a professorial chair in bowel cancer research at the University of Sydney.

The majority of funding comes from national charity Bowel Cancer Australia which has committed $5.9 million to establish the position and additional funds of $3 million for the University to advance research into bowel cancer – Australia’s second biggest cancer killer.

“Latest figures from Cancer Australia reveal that 2009-2011 funding for bowel cancer specific research was $47.8 million, making the $8.9 million a significant injection of funding into the research mix,” Bowel Cancer Australia Chief Executive Julien Wiggins said.

“Funded largely by the charity’s community fundraisers, the announcement comes as Government funding for medical research is under review and the NHMRC Chief has highlighted the limited number of grants available to medical researchers.”

Wiggins said the size of the funding commitment will enable the chair and ancillary support to continue in perpetuity.

“It’s good news in tough times. Our funding will expand Australia’s research capacity and we hope the Chair will be a game changer for bowel cancer research in this country,” he said.

Bowel cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Australia.

“Changing that fact requires significant, long-term funding for dedicated bowel cancer research and that’s what we’ve provided,” Wiggins said.

“Screening can help with early detection but it won’t eliminate bowel cancer.  Research is the only way to discover a cure.”

The Chair, to be named the Lawrence Penn Chair in Bowel Cancer Research after one of Australia’s oldest bowel cancer survivors, will be based at the University of Sydney’s Northern Clinical School Campus.

“We are extraordinarily grateful to Bowel Cancer Australia for their support,” Dean of Sydney Medical School, Professor Bruce Robinson said.

"In times when national research funding is increasingly difficult to secure, we rely more than ever on funds from community groups and individuals to undertake the research which is essential if we are to better prevent and treat bowel cancer.

“The University of Sydney has many world class cancer researchers and clinicians. This philanthropic support for bowel cancer means we can build on our existing programs and make a greater contribution to improving cancer outcomes.

Julien Wiggins said that establishing the Chair will start with an international search in the first half of this year to attract a world-class research leader.

Bowel Cancer Australia chairman Brian McFadyen said that the charity's agreement with the University of Sydney was the culmination of many years of effort by the Bowel Cancer Australia board.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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