The University of Southampton’s campaign to build a new centre dedicated to cancer immunology research has moved a big step forward thanks to a major gift.
The £1.35m donation from alumnus, James Vernon (MEng Electronic Engineering, 1987) and his wife Mindy, means the University has entered the final phase of the campaign to raise the target of £25m, with the total now at over £20m.
The Centre for Cancer Immunology is the first of its kind in the UK and is expected to open in September. It will bring world-leading cancer scientists under one roof and enable interdisciplinary teams to expand clinical trials and develop lifesaving drugs.
The generous donation from James and Mindy will support the new Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) in the Centre, the meeting point where scientific discovery from Southampton’s laboratories comes into contact with the patient pathway.
Cancer is a devastating disease affecting so many people from across our regions, but immunotherapy is one of the most exciting new forms of cancer treatment.
“Mindy and I have been impressed with the University of Southampton’s successful and crucial role in the expansion of this field of scientific research over the past 40 years and the inspirational scientists and clinicians who are making a difference to patients. The new Centre will enable them to continue to fight cancer on an even bigger scale. We also hope that our philanthropy will motivate other people to give to this campaign. As I am a graduate of the University, we are especially proud to support the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit, which will be where Southampton’s groundbreaking research impacts directly on patients’ lives.” he continued.
Professor Tim Elliott, Director of the new Centre for Cancer Immunology, said: “We are delighted and very grateful to receive such a generous donation from Mr and Mrs Vernon, especially so close to World Cancer Day. Our new Centre will allow us to build on our expertise to make even greater progress in developing new treatments to help people live cancer free.”
You can also support the campaign. In the run up to World Cancer Day on Saturday 4 February, the University is giving people the opportunity to honour a loved one affected by cancer by #WearingWhite and donating £3 to the Centre for Cancer Immunology. Simply text YOUREIT to 70660 to donate £3.