I was honored last week to speak at an intimate reception which celebrated the inauguration of a major collaboration between global biotechnology company Life Technologies Inc. and the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory at the University of California in San Francisco. Founded in 1995 by thoracic surgeon David M. Jablons, MD and thoracic oncologist Thierry Jahan, MD, UCSF’s Thoracic Oncology Program has been at the forefront of groundbreaking laboratory research, innovative clinical trials, and compassionate, expert care for patients with mesothelioma and other thoracic malignancies.
This event marked the official dedication of 5500 Series SOLiD™ Sequencers, a machine which will drill down on the molecular underpinnings on mesothelioma, lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. Efforts to bring this technology to UCSF were greatly helped by the generosity of our clients, mesothelioma victim Gordon Bankhead and his wife, Emily who donated $100,000 towards the purchase of the $750,000 machine. Mr. and Mrs. Bankhead were also invited to attend the reception, but sadly could not because of his illness .
We see these kinds of philanthropic partnerships as essential to laying the foundation for innovative methods of discovery, which will be critical in helping to discover a cure for mesothelioma.