$102.2M Pelotonia Gift to Help Establish Immuno-Oncology Institute at OSU

$102.2M Pelotonia Gift to Help Establish Immuno-Oncology Institute at OSU

A $102.2 million Pelotonia donation will help establish an institute at Ohio State University (OSU) that will focus exclusively on groundbreaking immuno-oncology therapies and cures for cancer.

Disbursed over five years, the funds will support research to be conducted by the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology (PIIO) at the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James). The gift from the nonprofit Pelotonia, an Ohio-based organization that raises funds for cancer research, is the group’s largest yet, according to a press release.

Doug Ulman, president and chief executive officer of Pelotonia, said that defeating cancer, which strikes nearly 2 million U.S. residents annually, is one of science’s greatest goals. By harnessing the body’s immune system, immuno-oncology is a promising new approach to prevent, find, and eliminate malignant tumors.

”The recent explosion of discoveries in immuno-oncology has energized this effort, and we know that momentum will build exponentially through an even bigger partnership with Ohio State,” he said. “As we open the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology — backed by a dedicated community united in our mission — we are entering the next generation of cancer care, a time in which many cancers may become curable.”

Led by Zihai Li, a physician and globally recognized expert in immuno-oncology and immunotherapy, the PIIO will further contribute to the university’s high standing in the cancer research community, building on immuno-oncology efforts such as CAR-T cell therapy, monoclonal therapy, cytokine therapy, adoptive cell transfer, drug therapy, and vaccines, said Michael V. Drake, OSU president.

There are also some 40 immuno-oncology clinical investigations underway at OSUCCC-James.

”Through the cancer center, we conduct multi-disciplinary research spanning medicine, engineering, food science, public health, and other disciplines in the health sciences,” Drake said. “This transformative Pelotonia gift will allow for an entirely new level of collaboration, research, and discovery at our university, a level only possible at a comprehensive institution like Ohio State.”

Added Raphael Pollock, MD, PhD, a surgical oncologist at OSUCCC-James: “There is much to discover about how this breakthrough research and treatment can benefit cancer patients. Pelotonia’s financial commitment and the research that will be conducted at the PIIO will allow us to make significant new strides in immuno-oncology and fundamental discoveries for cancer survival and prevention.”

For now, the PIIO will be in OSU’s Biomedical Research Tower, but will eventually have its own facilities that will be built over five years to support advanced cellular labs, immune discovery, and monitoring platforms, immunogenomics, and systems immunology.

The structure is also expected to provide space for start-up initiatives and national collaborations with schools and industry. The pledged funding is also expected to provide for 32 new faculty members.

Since its inaugural three-day bike ride fundraiser in 2009, Pelotonia has raised $193 million for cancer research.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Inês Martins holds a BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and is currently finishing her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at Universidade de Lisboa. Her work has been focused on blood vessels and their role in both hematopoiesis and cancer development.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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