Donors endow McGraw Chair, a first in head and neck cancers at Dana-Farber.

Donors endow McGraw Chair, a first in head and neck cancers at Dana-Farber.

Honoring Robert Haddad, MD, chief of the Division of Head and Neck Oncology, a generous group of like-minded donors came together to establish the McGraw Chair in Head and Neck Oncology at Dana-Farber—the Institute’s first such endowed position in head and neck cancers, which will provide financial resources for the incumbent in perpetuity.

Initiated with a leadership gift of $1.25 million from Elizabeth H. and Robert L.W. McGraw and The Donald McGraw Foundation, Inc., the McGraw Chair represents a key strategic priority of The Dana-Farber Campaign: investing in the exceptional expertise at the heart of the Institute.

“The McGraws have always tried to lead by example,” said Robert “Robin” McGraw, whose family has long supported the Institute and its work in breast cancer research and population science. Inspired by his incredible care team at Dana-Farber, led by Haddad, McGraw was further motivated “to do something—not just show appreciation—but to really help lead the way for research and care in head and neck cancers.”

It became clear to the McGraws that establishing an endowed chair would be one of the most important investments they could make to accelerate scientific discovery in head and neck oncology. Endowed positions for esteemed senior faculty are an important tool for Institute leaders to retain and recruit the best clinicians and scientists from around the world. This vital funding makes it possible for outstanding minds to advance their most innovative research at the earliest stages and bring groundbreaking discoveries to fruition more rapidly. The enduring financial support for endowed chairs provides physician-scientists like Haddad more time to discover and deliver better treatments for patients.

“It is inspiring to see how many came together to stand shoulder to shoulder to make this a reality for Robert,” added McGraw. More than 10 additional donors contributed a collective total of more than $2.5 million to fully endow the position.

As first incumbent of the McGraw Chair, Haddad brings his expertise as an accomplished researcher, physician, lecturer, and mentor. He was instrumental in the phase III studies that led to FDA approval of docetaxel, Nivolumab, and Pembrolizumab for head and neck cancers. Haddad has made many other influential contributions to the field, particularly in the use of checkpoint inhibitors, biologics, and combined modality sequential and concurrent chemoradiotherapy in head and neck cancer.

“I am honored to hold this position and grateful for the added awareness the McGraw Chair brings to head and neck cancers,” said Haddad. “Our donors are amazing ambassadors for Dana-Farber’s mission and their commitment makes a tremendous difference in what we can do ultimately to advance therapies for patients.”

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