January 3, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Abney Foundation gift to advance cancer research
Charleston, SC - The Abney Foundation has contributed a $400,000 gift to the Medical University of South Carolina, enabling the university's Hollings Cancer Center to strengthen and expand a program to train cancer researchers.
The donation will allow the center to expand the Abney Foundation Scholarship Program, which The Abney Foundation established in 1996 to promote cancer research at the Medical University.
The program provides scholarships for graduate students involved in cancer research, as well as students enrolled in the Medical University's M.D./Ph.D. program, which allows them to earn a medical degree from the College of Medicine and a degree from the College of Graduate Studies with a special interest in cancer research.
The Medical University's current Abney Scholars, seated (l-r): Christopher Gault, Shai White and Kristen Johnson; standing (l-r): Yong Wang, Mark Slomiany and Jarret Walsh.
In both programs, students are trained to bridge the gap between research and medicine, learning how to cultivate new knowledge and apply that knowledge to an ever-higher level of patient care. In that sense, the programs serve as an important training ground for medical researchers who will spend much of their careers working to develop new treatments - and ultimately a cure - for cancer, said Andrew Kraft, M.D., director of Hollings Cancer Center.
"Cancer is the second leading cause of death in South Carolina, killing about 8,000 people in our state each year. These are the individuals who will create the new agents necessary to conquer this problem," said Kraft. "They are the future of cancer research."
To date, The Abney Foundation has invested $3.7 million in its scholarship fund at the Medical University. Under current payout policies, the foundation's latest gift will enable the fund to provide full scholarships for at least seven students each year.
"The Abney Scholars are recognized as the most talented and promising cancer researchers-in-training here at the Medical University," said university President Raymond S. Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D. "We are extremely grateful to The Abney Foundation's Board of Directors, not only for the opportunities they have created for these students, but also for the hope they have given to patients battling this disease."
Founded in 1957, The Abney Foundation supports organizations that are operated exclusively for educational, religious, charitable, scientific, and literary purposes. To date, the Anderson, S.C.-based foundation has awarded more than $35 million to such causes.
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