$20 million gift to Stephenson Cancer Center to help discover new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – OU Medicine’s Stephenson Cancer Center has announced a multi-million dollar gift that will help discover new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

On Friday, officials with center announced a $20 million gift from the Stephenson Family Foundation and Peggy and Charles Stephenson, the center’s namesakes and longtime supporters of the University of Oklahoma.

Stephenson Cancer Center is hoping to raise an additional $20 million, bringing a total of $40 million to discover new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

“Cancer is a malicious foe,” said Robert Mannel, M.D., director of Stephenson Cancer Center. “One in three women and one in two men in Oklahoma will be diagnosed with cancer during their lives. We are committed to providing tomorrow’s cancer care today through clinical trials, laboratory research and translational research. This gift from the Stephenson family will transform our research efforts.”

The gift will include the recruitment of new world-class scientists, the creation of five new endowed chairs in cancer research and the renovation of laboratory space with innovative features and technology.

It will also further Stephenson Cancer Center’s pursuit of Comprehensive Status from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

“Peggy and Charles Stephenson are longtime generous supporters of the University of Oklahoma, and their latest gift will literally save lives,” said Joseph Harroz Jr., interim president of the University of Oklahoma. “Their generosity will have an amplifying impact on the research mission of Stephenson Cancer Center, creating opportunities for the discovery of breakthroughs in leading-edge cancer therapies. It’s because of the Stephensons and their vision for cancer care in Oklahoma that our state has the resources it does to provide the highest quality care for those afflicted with cancer. We are immensely grateful for their leadership in funding the acceleration of cancer research that will have a profound impact on our state.”

The center is nationally recognized for disease-based research in gynecologic, pancreatic and gastrointestinal cancers.

“When we had the opportunity to give back in a way that would fight cancer, we knew that’s what we wanted to do,” the Stephensons said. “Our entire family is committed to helping the cancer center continue the pursuit of excellence. Research is crucial in creating more effective treatments for all types of cancers. Research excellence, combined with the care and compassion of everyone who works at the cancer center, is what makes it such a special place. We are grateful to help make a difference.”

If you’d like to donate to the Stephenson Cancer Center, click here.

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