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Cleveland Clinic Researcher Receives Gift for Endowed Chair in Innovative Breast Cancer Research

$1 Million Gift To Support Development of Preventive Breast Cancer Vaccine 

November 8th, 2012

Vincent K. Tuohy, Ph D, staff researcher in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute is the beneficiary of The Mort and Iris November Distinguished Chair in Innovative Breast Cancer Research.

The endowment will allow for the expansion of Dr. Tuohy’s research program, including his continued development of a vaccine designed to prevent breast cancer, as well as other cancer-related projects.

“The Novembers and I share a common vision for the future of healthcare, in which our daughters and granddaughters will be protected from breast cancer and free from this disease,” Tuohy said. “The generous gift from Mort and Iris November will improve our efforts in controlling breast cancer by funding research focused on providing immune protection from diseases we commonly confront with age.”

Endowed chairs allow recipients to start new projects, support additional staff, pay for equipment, and cover the cost of experiments. Endowed chairs also support the accumulation of preliminary data by chair holders, an important step in obtaining new outside funding.

“It is with great anticipation that our support of this exceptional research will change the way we approach breast cancer,” said Iris November. “Mort and I hope that our gift inspires further commitments to scientific progress. A vaccine that prevents breast cancer in the same way that vaccines have protected us from diseases like polio and whooping cough, is our goal.”

The November Endowed Chair is part of the Lerner Research Institute Endowed Chair Challenge, a creative approach to attracting philanthropic support for research.

Dr. Tuohy has been with Cleveland Clinic since 1989 and has spearheaded innovative research for developing a preventive breast cancer vaccine since 2002.  The breast cancer vaccine research was published in the prominent medical journal, Nature Medicine.

In addition, Dr. Tuohy has been working on a similar vaccine designed to prevent ovarian cancer. The research concentrating on ovarian cancer suggests that immune protection against ovarian cancer may be safely and effectively induced by vaccinating women against ovarian-specific proteins that are “retired” from expression in normal tissues with age but are expressed in the majority of emerging ovarian malignancies.  Induction of safe and effective prophylaxis against ovarian cancer represents a novel and powerful way to substantially reduce the incidence of this often fatal disease.

At the Cleveland Clinic, the Novembers honored their late daughter with significant commitments to build the Debra Ann November Pediatric Airway and Pulmonary Mechanics Lab and the Debra Ann November Wing at the Center for Autism. They also have supported Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital HeartThrob Ball and served on the Children’s Hospital Leadership Board.  Recently, Mrs. November was recognized by Speaking of Women’s Health for her community involvement.

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