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Silicon Valley philanthropists Tad and Dianne Taube have committed $6 million to the Stanford University School of Medicine to establish the Taube Initiative in Pediatric Cancer Research, which will further the development of innovative therapies to improve the cure rates for childhood cancer.
“It is essential that we help society’s most vulnerable, our children, to beat cancer,” says Tad Taube, chairman of Taube Philanthropies. “Researchers at Stanford, one of the world’s preeminent research institutions, are leading the way in the search for better treatments for this dreadful disease. We are proud to support them in their effort to save countless children’s lives.”
The gift will accelerate the work of researchers at the School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford who are exploring promising areas of discovery such as cancer genomics and immunotherapy. The new Taube Initiative in Pediatric Cancer Research will support two faculty members performing cutting-edge cancer research in key areas and establish a fund for future innovation.
“Through their generous contribution, Tad and Dianne Taube are accelerating the development of childhood cancer therapies that are more personalized, more precise, and more effective,” says Lloyd Minor, MD, the Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine. “I am immensely grateful for their support of Stanford Medicine’s researchers and their dedication to improving the lives of children around the world.”
The Taube Distinguished Scholar in Pediatric Immunotherapy will focus on developing and advancing immunotherapy treatments for childhood cancers. This type of therapy is associated with fewer long-term toxicities than chemotherapy and radiation, which kill cancer cells but also destroy healthy cells and weaken the immune system. Immunotherapy equips the patient’s own immune cells to specifically attack cancer cells.
The Taube Distinguished Scholar for Pediatric Oncology will focus on developing customized therapies to treat childhood cancers utilizing knowledge of the genetic differences found in cancer cells.
Secondly, the Taube Innovation Fund in Pediatric Cancer will support innovative research and clinical projects within the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine.
Stanford has built world-class clinical, research, and manufacturing facilities and recruited leading researchers. Its researchers are already leaders in translating the lessons of immunotherapy, pioneered for leukemia, into new treatments to combat incurable solid tumors that affect children.
The Taubes’ gift will help sustain this progress and continue to grow a vibrant research community committed to curing children with cancer.
“We are committed to advancing the treatment of childhood cancer, but we could not do this work without the generous support of donors like the Taubes,” says Mary Leonard, MD, MSCE, Arline and Pete Harman Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. “We are very grateful for philanthropists in our community who support our efforts to help children live longer, healthier lives.”
Additionally, the Taubes have given generously to other areas of the School of Medicine and Packard Children’s. Their recent gifts, now totaling over $40 million, include: