UArizona Health Sciences CAMI receives $3 million gift to fund director of cancer research

The University of Arizona announced it received a $3 million gift from Bruce and Patricia Bartlett to fund the director of cancer research role at the Center for Advanced Molecular and Immunological Therapies (CAMI).

The Bartletts’ gift creates the George A. Vanderheiden Endowed Chair in Cancer Immunological Research at CAMI. The chair is named in honor of Bruce Bartlett’s cousin, who died Oct. 13, 2022, of pancreatic cancer at age 76. The person who holds the chair will lead the center’s cancer division, according to an announcement from the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

“Pat and I are very excited about the wonderful research center that the University of Arizona and Dr. Michael Dake are undertaking with the CAMI project in Phoenix. CAMI research will improve and extend the quality of life for the benefit of people, their families and their friends,” Bruce Bartlett said. “We are honored and proud to support the Endowed George Ambrose Vanderheiden Distinguished Endowed Chair for Excellence in Cancer Immunological Research. My cousin George Vanderheiden enriched so many lives.”

The Center for Advanced Molecular and Immunological Therapies, or CAMI, will sit on the southwest corner of 7th Street and Fillmore. The 296,000-square-foot facility will be home to 42 principal investigators and their teams and 15 bioengineering research teams. The space will include creating synergistic translational research space, clinical research space, startup incubator space and opportunities for commercialization. It will also be home to indoor and outdoor dining on the ground level, meant to make it easier for people to connect outside the classroom, lab or office, UArizona Health Sciences Senior Vice President Dr. Michael Dake said.

“In 1970, advisers to the U.S. Senate predicted the long-term battle against cancer would lie with immunologists and geneticists. Their farsighted predictions are being borne out today. There is not a field with more explosive growth than immunotherapy, and precision medicine is increasingly being used by researchers and physician-scientists to prevent and treat disease,” Dake said. “The generous support of Bruce and Patricia Bartlett will allow us to focus our efforts on accelerating the development and delivery of these revolutionary treatments for the management of cancers.”

The University of Arizona Health Sciences previously announced $150 million from the State of Arizona and $2 million from the Steele Foundation to support fundraising for CAMI.

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