Queensland's modest benefactor strikes again

By Pete Young
Monday, 11 March, 2002

The golden reach of a US philanthropist has touched the Queensland Institute of Medical Research again.

QIMR has received a $3.43 million grant from Bermuda-based Atlantic Philanthropies to help develop new cancer treatments without harmful side-effects.

The founder of Atlantic Philanthropies, US billionaire Charles Feeney, has a holiday home in Queensland and the charity organisation has donated tens of millions of dollars to Queensland's biomedical sector in the past few years.

The new bequest to QIMR follows a $20 million donation which helped construct QIMR's Comprehensive Cancer Research Centre last year.

The latest grant will be used to establish a cell-based Cancer Therapy Research Centre in the new building.

It will enable preparation of cellular therapies as well as development of molecular diagnosis and molecular profiling of the cancer cells during and after the research therapies, said QIMR director, Prof Michael Good. The research will employ about 15 of QIMR's 460 scientists.

The new grant will also help fund large-scale clinical trials involving patients in various Queensland hospitals.

QIMR is developing new cancer treatment methods based on harnessing the patient's own immune system to attack cancer cells.

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