The gift will advance research on cancer therapies at the School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.
May 1, 2019 - By Jodi Mouratis
Silicon Valley philanthropists Tad and Dianne Taube have committed $6 million to the School of Medicine to establish the Taube Initiative in Pediatric Cancer Research, which will further the development of innovative therapies to improve the cure rates for childhood cancer.
“It is essential that we help society’s most vulnerable, our children, to beat cancer,” said Tad Taube, chairman of Taube Philanthropies. “Researchers at Stanford, one of the world’s preeminent research institutions, are leading the way in the search for better treatments for this dreadful disease. We are proud to support them in their effort to save countless children’s lives.”
The gift will accelerate the work of researchers at the School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford who are exploring promising areas of discovery, such as cancer genomics and immunotherapy. It will support two faculty members performing cutting-edge cancer research in key areas and establish a fund for future innovation.
“Through their generous contribution, Tad and Dianne Taube are accelerating the development of childhood cancer therapies that are more personalized, more precise and more effective,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “I am immensely grateful for their support of Stanford Medicine’s researchers and their dedication to improving the lives of children around the world.”
The Taube Distinguished Scholar in Pediatric Immunotherapy will focus on developing and advancing immunotherapy treatments for childhood cancers. This type of therapy is associated with fewer long-term toxicities than chemotherapy and radiation, which kill cancer cells but also destroy healthy cells and weaken the immune system. Immunotherapy equips the patient’s own immune cells to specifically attack cancer cells.
The Taube Distinguished Scholar for Pediatric Oncology will focus on developing customized therapies to treat childhood cancers utilizing knowledge of the genetic differences found in cancer cells.
In addition, the initiative will support the Taube Innovation Fund in Pediatric Cancer, which will back innovative research and clinical projects within the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine.
Stanford has built world-class clinical, research and manufacturing facilities and recruited top researchers who are leaders in translating the lessons of immunotherapy, pioneered for leukemia, into new treatments to combat incurable solid tumors that affect children.
The Taubes’ gift will help sustain this progress and continue to grow a vibrant research community committed to curing children with cancer.
“We are committed to advancing the treatment of childhood cancer, but we could not do this work without the generous support of donors like the Taubes,” said Mary Leonard, MD, professor of pediatrics and of medicine, who holds the Arline and Pete Harman Professorship for the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. “We are very grateful for philanthropists in our community who support our efforts to help children live longer, healthier lives.”
The Taubes have given to other areas of the School of Medicine and Packard Children’s. Their recent gifts, totaling over $40 million, include:
- $20 million to help open the Tad and Dianne Taube Pavilion at Packard Children’s new main building.
- $9.5 million to establish the Tad and Dianne Taube Youth Addiction Initiative.
- $5 million to create the Taube Stanford Concussion Collaborative, which advances education, care and research to protect children from concussions.
- $3 million to support a collaboration between the School of Medicine and the Gladstone Institutes focused on research related to Huntington’s disease.
- $1.4 million for the Taube Pediatric Neurodegenerative Disease Research Fund.
- $1 million to support transdisciplinary research through the Stanford Maternal & Child Health Research Institute.
Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, and Stanford Children's Health. For more information, please visit the Office of Communications website at http://mednews.stanford.edu.