By Samuel L. Stanley, Jr.
In recognition of his dedication to the cancer fight, Stony Brook University proudly honored the 47th Vice President of the United States Joseph R. Biden Jr. at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala — our annual fundraising event — on Wednesday, April 19.
Hosted by the Stony Brook Foundation, the gala generates funds for student financial aid and a select academic area of excellence. This year, the university raised $6,946,000 in gifts and pledges, including $2,051,000 for scholarships and $4,895,000 to support the Stony Brook University Cancer Center. Since 2000, the event has raised more than $50 million.
As vice president, Joe Biden led the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force. Its mission: to double the rate of progress in preventing the disease that leads to more than 8 million deaths worldwide every year. The intention, said Biden in his remarks, was to infuse the cancer research culture with “the urgency of now.”
At Stony Brook, we share Joe Biden’s determination, sense of urgency and his fundamental confidence in our ability to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The Stony Brook Cancer Center brings together the brightest minds, enhancing purposeful collaboration, and creating strategic partnerships to share information and accelerate research.
Our researchers are receiving worldwide attention for a pioneering study of the genesis and behavior of cancer cells at the molecular level with the goal of one day helping to detect, treat and eventually eliminate the disease for good.
Through continual research and discovery, Stony Brook Cancer Center is on the forefront of cancer care. In the new Kavita and Lalit Bahl Center for Metabolomics and Imaging, for instance, Dr. Yusuf Hannun and Dr. Lina Obeid are receiving international recognition for their pioneering studies in the relationship between cancer and lipids, naturally occurring molecules in the body such as fats. Their work is changing what is known about the role lipids play in cancer and brings us closer to understanding how to prevent and treat the disease.
Next year, the Stony Brook Cancer Center will relocate from its current location on the Stony Brook Medicine campus to the new 254,000-square-foot Medical and Research Translation (MART) building, designed to enable scientists and physicians to work side by side to advance cancer research and imaging diagnostics.
We’re thrilled that for one big night, we shined a white-hot light on the cancer issue and worked to raise awareness and money that will no doubt play a continuing role in bringing an end to this disease.
Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. is president of Stony Brook University.