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Major cancer research investment helps attract top researchers to Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute

June 11, 2015

Generous gifts totalling over $3 million by Thomas Kierans, O.C. and Mary Janigan have been matched in part by the Tanenbaum Research Endowment Matching Fund, enabling a substantial investment in cancer research at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (LTRI), part of Sinai Health System. Philanthropic support of this kind plays a significant role in the LTRI’s ability to attract top, international researchers, such as Dr. Daniel Schramek, who arrived in Canada last month and has been named the new Kierans/Janigan Cancer Research Scientist.

Dr. Schramek is an internationally recognized researcher, with a focus in the area of genomics to develop personalized, highly specific treatments for patients with breast, bladder, and head and neck cancers. He has spent the past four years at Rockefeller University in New York. His discoveries have been recognized with professional awards such as the Regeneron Innovation Award and the Alois Sonnleitner Prize for Outstanding Cancer Research by the Austrian Academy. He was also named Anna D. Barker Fellow in Basic Cancer Research by the American Association of Cancer Research.

Mr. Kierans and Ms. Janigan have an extensive history of supporting cancer research at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. Mr. Kierans is Deputy Chair of Sinai Health System’s Research Committee and has played a leadership role on the Committee for over a decade. With their most recent generous gift, Mr. Kierans and Ms. Janigan have now invested over $3 million that includes the Mary Janigan Research Chair in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics and the Thomas Kierans Research Chair in Mechanisms of Cancer Development.

An estimated 188,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer this year and as our population ages that number is expected to increase. Mount Sinai Hospital has one of the largest specialized cancer programs in Ontario, and researchers at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute continue to make pivotal cancer discoveries. The Institute has one of the highest quality bio-repositories in the country that stores sarcoma, breast, prostate and bladder cancer samples, which allows researchers to better understand the genetic links to cancer. The Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute is considered to be one of the leading biomedical research facilities in the world.



“We have personally experienced the devastating effects of cancer in our family, and recognize the impact that researchers at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum are making to develop new treatments. We are incredibly proud to be able to help support the recruitment of outstanding research talent amongst the ranks of the LTRI and believe that they are truly making a difference,” Tom Kierans and Mary Janigan.

“It takes a special kind of philanthropic visionary to recognize and invest in the kind of long-term, basic research that will eventually lead to better patient care. Tom and Mary are those visionaries, and they are helping us to usher in new and exciting developments in cancer research and the future of clinical care, Joseph Mapa, President and CEO, Sinai Health System.

“On behalf of all of the researchers at the LTRI, I want to express how grateful we are for Tom’s outstanding strategic leadership on our Research Committee and for the unwavering belief that he and Mary share in the impact of our research on cancer care,” Dr. Jim Woodgett, Koffler Director of Research, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.

“This gift is an inspirational example of how philanthropic investment can be maximized for the highest impact. We are very grateful to Tom and Mary, and also to Larry and Judy Tanenbaum’s matching endowment that has allowed Tom and Mary’s generous gift to have even greater impact. Together, these gifts will help to propel the very best research talent at our Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute,” Brent Belzberg, Chair, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation.