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Multi-million Dollar Cancer Research Program Planned for Israel

Plans to create a multi-million dollar research program in Israel directed toward the conquest of cancer were outlined by Dr. Daniel Miller, president of the Israel Cancer Research Fund, and president and director of the Preventive Medicine Institute of the Strong Clinic here.

Addressing the first annual dinner dance of the Fund, Miller said Israel offers unique scientific resources. It has the largest proportion per capita of professional, scientific and technical workers and the second largest number of people with academic degrees in the world, he said.

Miller noted that the combination of trained personnel and diverse cultural, social and behavioral patterns of the population offers a remarkable opportunity to study genetic, ethnic, cultural and psychological influences on the development of cancer. Yer the entire budget for cancer research in Israel last year was under $300,000, he said. The result of such under funding, Miller added, has been the diversion of young, talented, well trained scientists to other fields.

“What Israel needs,” Miller declared, “is to create a new major peacetime industry, a large scale cancer research program which can successfully harness its considerable scientific talents and take advantage of its diverse population to shed new light on the causes and treatment of cancer.”

MAJOR AID IN ACHIEVING GOAL

Major aid in achieving this goal is beginning to be provided by the Israel Cancer Research Fund which hopes to provide several million dollars annually towards cancer research in Israel by the end of this decode Miller said.

Founded only five years ago by a coalition of American and Canadian scientists and businessmen, the Israel Cancer Research Fund is already one of the major sources of funding for recently graduated post doctoral cancer scientists in Israel, according to Miller To date more than 55 fellowships have been granted to promising young investigators by the Cancer Fund. Each investigator receives $10,000 to $15,000 annually for a period of two to three years to support his her studies during the critical first years of laboratory work, he said.

Miller explained that the Israel Cancer Research Fund is now embarking on the second phase of its program, to secure funding for longer term support of those seeking to establish careers in cancer research. For this purpose a million dollar endowment fund is being established which together with annual gifts will form the basis for a sustained grant program.

Miller estimated a $10 million endowment will be needed to create the National Cancer Institute of Israel, envisioned as an “institute without walls.” The institute will support and coordinate cancer research throughout Israel without bearing the heavy cost of building and maintaining its own physical plant, Miller said.

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