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State of the Cancer Center address looks to build on the past

Stephen Gruber, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Paying tribute to the storied history of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Director Stephen Gruber gave his annual State of the Cancer Center address on Jan. 22 to a large crowd of cancer center members, staff and students.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Norris cancer center’s founding as one of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Gruber was keen to discuss the achievements of today and future plans in the context of the milestones of the past.

“The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center still stands as one of the hallmark institutions of the war against cancer here in the U.S.,” Gruber said. “It’s critical to note that, as of today, there are exactly 41 comprehensive cancer centers, and we still play a leadership role.”

Gruber noted that 2013 also marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of USC Norris Cancer Hospital. Norris Cancer Hospital, which has recently undergone a cosmetic refresh in its lobby and some inpatient areas, has also seen significant capital investments in new equipment and technologies.

“Ultimately, our goal is to bring great therapies to our patients and to provide exquisite, personalized care to our patients. We can only do that by advancing our research mission,” he said.

In outlining the cancer center’s 11 core research facilities and one developing core, Gruber continued to carry through the theme of building on the past. For each core, he highlighted key research developments of years past alongside the recent strides made by current members as well as plans for future research.

Gruber emphasized the success of the cancer center in the development arena, with almost $100 million raised since the beginning of The Campaign for the University of Southern California, which launched in 2010. He noted that the cancer center’s total goal for the campaign is $485 million, and that continued success in philanthropy is an important component in its success and growth.

“Our key focus needs to be on research,” Gruber said. “We will, in fact, break new ground in cancer research as a globally recognized destination for patients with cancer and cancer-related diseases.”

Peter Jones, Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, announced that in celebration of its 40th anniversary, the cancer center would host several special events throughout the year. These include a scientific symposium, a series of four continuing medical education courses, the groundbreaking for the Norris Healthcare Consultation Center on May 2, and a gala fundraiser scheduled for October.

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State of the Cancer Center address looks to build on the past

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