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Gifts from Wilmot Family, Foundation launch $30 million campaign for cancer research

Citing a commitment to cancer research that spans three generations of Wilmot family members, Jonathan Friedberg, the Samuel E. Durand Chair and Wilmot Cancer Institute director, announced combined gifts totaling $4 million from the Wilmot family and the James P. Wilmot Foundation, to support cancer research as part of a new $30 million research-focused campaign at UR Medicine.

“The Wilmot family’s commitment to cancer research is measured not simply in dollars, but in decades,” said Friedberg. “Their sustained commitment to cancer research is advancing science, while at the same time elevating the level of cancer care available to the people of our region.”

A portion of the Wilmot gift will be placed into an endowment that will fund the Wilmot Distinguished Professorship in Cancer Genomics, and the remaining portion will help to pay the start-up costs for setting up his or her laboratory.

Last week, UR Medicine announced the creation of the Wilmot Cancer Institute, a new organizational structure for all of its clinical and research programs in cancer, including its growing network of satellite locations throughout the region. In addition, it announced a $30 million campaign to support cancer research.

The institute’s goal is to provide the highest level of care to individuals throughout western New York, by making the institute’s expertise and capabilities available to patients closer to home. Research—and bringing scientific discoveries directly to patients—is also an integral part of the institute’s mission.

With the Wilmot Cancer Center as its hub, the new institute encompasses seven satellite cancer treatment facilities and all cancer research activities at the University.

“Wilmot has been thriving under Jonathan’s leadership, and it’s exciting to see so many important initiatives moving forward at a rapid pace,” says Bradford Berk, CEO of UR Medicine and University senior vice president for health sciences. “He truly understands and pushes the institute’s broad mission: to deliver exceptional care locally and regionally and to be a leader in cancer research.”

Philanthropists Richard Bell Sr. and Robert Kessler are leading the campaign. University Trustee Thomas Wilmot Sr. will serve as honorary chair of the campaign. Funds raised in the Wilmot campaign will be used to expand Wilmot’s research program by creating endowed professorships for cancer researchers, endowed program support for multidisciplinary research funding, and “seed grants” to allow researchers to explore new avenues of research.

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