The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced a $10 million gift to the James P. Allison Institute from the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation and Andrew “Andy” Sabin, a senior member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors (BOV). The gift is the philanthropist’s second multimillion-dollar commitment to MD Anderson in less than 10 years.
The Allison Institute is a visionary research and innovation hub created to advance exceptional discovery, translational and clinical research that integrates immunobiology across disciplines and unlocks the full potential of science and medicine for human health.
Funds from the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation’s gift will support the institute in two ways: first, by recruiting and retaining elite talent, including world-renowned scientists who will serve as core members, associate members and scholars; and second, by aiding the post-doctoral program and fellows.
“The breakthroughs and discoveries happening every day within the labs of MD Anderson have tremendous potential to change lives, and it is a privilege to support these efforts,” said Sabin, of Hampton, New York. “Trailblazing scientists from all over the world are needed to realize the mission of the Allison Institute in order to unlock the key to end cancer, once and for all.”
By integrating discovery, translational and clinical research, the Allison Institute will rapidly advance breakthroughs into novel and synergetic therapies that enable cures.
The institute builds upon the legacy and foundational discoveries of James P. Allison, Ph.D., who was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on T cell biology and the invention of ipilimumab, the first immune checkpoint inhibitor to treat cancer.
“Investment in talent recruitment is paramount to accelerating discovery in this next generation of impactful research,” said Allison, director of the Allison Institute and regental chair of Immunology at MD Anderson.
“The generous support of donors like Andy will bring the best and brightest minds to our institution, allowing us to conduct the best science possible for the benefit of patients now and in the future.”
Sabin first joined the institution’s BOV in 2005. He made a transformational gift of $30 million in 2015 to establish the Andrew Sabin Family Fellowship Program.
Designed to encourage creative, independent thinking and high-risk, high-impact research, the program supports the novel work of world-class cancer researchers in four categories: basic science, clinical, physician-scientist, and population and quantitative science.
Eight cancer research fellowships providing $100,000 over two years are awarded annually, with more than 62 fellowships awarded to date.
With this second multimillion-dollar commitment, Sabin is not only set to further the careers of current MD Anderson faculty, but also to bring inspiring new talent to the table.
“Through the Allison Institute and other initiatives, we are changing the way researchers come together to unleash individual brilliance in a collaborative environment,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of Andy and the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation. With their continued support and investment, the next generation of scientific pioneers, like Dr. Allison, will ensure our progress is maintained for decades to come.”