Wilmot Cancer Center Gets $2.5M Federal Funds for Research

February 06, 2006

Reps. Thomas Reynolds and James Walsh, center, delivered $2.5 million in research funding to the Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center. At left is C. McCollister Evarts, M.D., and at right are Richard I. Fisher, M.D., and Joel Seligman.

The James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center today received $2.5 million in research funding from Reps. Thomas Reynolds and James Walsh.  The funding was included in the 2006 defense spending bill.

“Everyday in the United States, 3,000 people are diagnosed with cancer, and this funding means the fight against this deadly disease can take place right here in Rochester,” said Reynolds. “The University of Rochester Medical Center is a critical resource for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and it is at the forefront of researching cures and treatments for this deadly disease.  I am also pleased that this funding will mean more jobs in our area.”

The University of Rochester plans to conduct innovative, interdisciplinary research aimed at improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through a number of different medical components at the University.  This will include research to understand the cellular and molecular basis of the most common cancers, including breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer as well as leukemia and lymphoma.

“I'm pleased to see the support from Representatives Reynolds and Walsh for expanding cancer research here at the University of Rochester,” said Joel Seligman, University of Rochester President. “Research is the key to improving cancer survival. For example, the development of a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer began right here at the University of Rochester. Our scientists found the critical component of the vaccine that could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year.”

Congressman Walsh was instrumental in Reynolds' efforts on behalf of URMC.

“This funding will further the University of Rochester Medical Center's efforts to re-establish itself as a nationally-known and recognized cancer treatment provider,” said Walsh. “This investment of defense health program funding will have a sizable impact upon regional efforts to better link advanced research to clinical care provision.  The Medical Center’s goal to expand transitional research will lead to both new treatments and new cures for cancer patients in the Greater Rochester-Finger Lakes region.”

“I have long said that two of the greatest strengths of our region are our highly skilled workforce and proven innovative capability- and this project is a terrific example of this,” Reynolds said.  “This funding represents needed investment in our area - investment that will continue to fuel our economy and create jobs, and potentially lead to life-saving treatments for cancer.”

Cancer is one of the most prevalent and pervasive diseases that people face. The Wilmot Cancer Center and University of Rochester Medical Center are committed to providing the best possible care for people in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region, said C. McCollister Evarts, M.D., Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). 

“We are dedicated to conducting cutting-edge research to bring new discoveries that will lead to cures,” Evarts said.

“We appreciate the efforts by our delegation to support the Wilmot Cancer Center as we expand our state-of-the-art cancer care for the people of upstate New York,” said Richard I. Fisher, M.D., director of the Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The Wilmot Cancer Center is in the midst of a comprehensive campaign to raise $42.5 million to construct a 163,000-square-foot, four-story building and recruit 25 additional clinicians and scientists to expand research. To date, $20 million has been raised in the community

The new building and programs will let more Rochester area residents with cancer stay close to home for the very best care and accommodate a growing number of people from outside the region coming to Rochester for Wilmot’s expertise.  It’s expected the new building and programs will lead to Wilmot Cancer Center doubling its workforce, bringing the number to 1,200 employees, and create an additional 700 jobs to support the operation.

The Wilmot Cancer Center is the leader in cancer care, research and education in the Finger Lakes region. The team of 600 doctors, nurses, scientists and staff provide diagnosis and comprehensive, multidisciplinary clinical care for all forms of cancer.  With oncologists who specialize in each cancer working closely with scientists, nurses and staff, the Wilmot Cancer Center is dedicated to a single mission: to beat cancer.

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Leslie White
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