Two-thirds of the money will be used to hire faculty and researchers for the new KU Clinical Research Center in Fairway and to develop drugs for pediatric cancer patients, among other efforts.
The rest, $3.5 million, will help upgrade cancer facilities at Truman Medical Center and pay for Truman’s membership in the Midwest Cancer Alliance, a regional network that is a key part of the KU Cancer Center’s bid for NCI designation.
The designation would provide the KU Cancer Center with federal funds and put it in line for substantial research grants.
NCI officials plan to visit KU later this month, but KU does not expect to find out about the designation until May at the earliest.
The Clinical Research Center opened last month in a building donated by the Hall Family Foundation. Money from the Johnson County Education and Research Triangle sales tax, which voters approved in 2008, was used to renovate the building.
With the gift announced today, the foundation has committed almost $30 million to help land the NCI designation.
“We remain committed to that goal and to the benefits it would bring to patients in this region and to research efforts to eliminate cancer,” Bill Hall, president of the Hall Family Foundation, said in a statement. “We applaud all those involved in this lifesaving work.”