A career venture capitalist, Dana-Farber Trustee Howard Cox has always had an eye for investing in innovation. It’s this mindset that motivated him to establish the Presidential Entrepreneurial Initiatives Fund for The Dana-Farber Campaign, which empowers Dana-Farber President and CEO Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, to direct funds to emerging areas of critical need.
With a new commitment of $1 million, Cox has empowered Glimcher to deploy resources to support some of the most entrepreneurial priorities driving The Dana-Farber Campaign, an ambitious multi-year, $2 billion fundraising effort to help Dana-Farber defy cancer through investments in revolutionary science, extraordinary care, exceptional expertise, and essential opportunities.
“This fund is critical because it provides Dr. Glimcher with a discretionary fund for entrepreneurial initiatives that will have the most immediate impact,” says Cox. “While certain types of funding can take time to secure, this money can be deployed immediately—whether it’s to recruit and fund a promising new researcher or break new ground with a cutting-edge clinical study.”
Through his generosity, coupled with his enthusiasm for innovation, Cox has helped advance many of the Institute’s most entrepreneurial-minded programs, including ImmunoProfile, which aims to customize treatment to a patient’s immune system, enabling it to recognize and fight cancer cells and guide more effective and durable outcomes; single cell analyses, a new technology critical in understanding cancer biology; and groundbreaking research into the progression of gastrointestinal cancers, with a goal of improving treatment and prevention. Most importantly, Cox’s generous support has enabled Dana-Farber to attract and retain its most valuable asset: the world-class faculty that drive this vital work, ensuring they are funded at the most critical stages of their careers.
“Cancer medicine is a swiftly evolving field, and Howard’s visionary philanthropy keeps the Institute ahead of the curve by empowering us to capitalize on the most promising opportunities for pivotal breakthroughs,” says Glimcher, who is the Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine. “Strengthened by this versatile funding, we have been able to nimbly invest in entrepreneurial projects and people that are continuing to pay off for patients many years later.”
Immediately, Cox’s gift will be used to recruit and retain some of the field’s most talented faculty and researchers to help achieve the ambitious goals outlined in The Dana-Farber Campaign, which will accelerate the Institute’s success in preventing, treating, and defying cancer. “Science is moving quickly—we now have technology that allows us to get things done in months that used to take years,” says Cox. “Our goal is to cure cancer, and the only way we can cure cancer is to come up with new initiatives, new ideas. And that’s what this fund is all about.”