A research team at the
Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center is one of six in the
nation to share a $120 million gift from the Ludwig Fund,
named for the late shipping tycoon Daniel K. Ludwig. Some
$20 million will come to the newly formed Ludwig Center at
Johns Hopkins this year as well as a lifetime annual
commitment of $2 million.
Bert Vogelstein and Kenneth Kinzler will serve as
"We recognize that it takes more than a good idea to
drive future discoveries in cancer research," said
Vogelstein. "It takes resources, and we're grateful to the
Ludwig Fund for its support."
Vogelstein and Kinzler were among the pioneers in
uncovering genetic mutations responsible for the onset and
development of cancer. Most recently, with Ludwig Fund
support, their team completed the first map of mutations
found in colon and breast cancers.
Lloyd J. Old, chairman of the Ludwig Fund's trustees,
said, "Johns Hopkins is revered as one of the outstanding
institutions for cancer research in the world, and Drs.
Vogelstein and Kinzler have been mighty contributors to
this renown. Their work on the genetics of human cancer
forms much of the basis for our current understanding and
has identified a plethora of potential new therapeutic
targets for cancer," he said. "The trustees are delighted
that Drs. Vogelstein and Kinzler and their outstanding
colleagues at Johns Hopkins will become an integral part of
the collaborative Ludwig Cancer network of Ludwig Centers
and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research."
The six Ludwig Centers will collaborate with the
Ludwig Institute, which has branches and affiliate sites in
more than 15 countries worldwide. At Johns Hopkins, Ludwig
funds have supported two named professorships in cancer
research. This latest gift to the Vogelstein-Kinzler
laboratory is earmarked for research on gene maps for other
tumor types and charting the routes of mutant gene pathways
to develop better treatments and tests for the disease.
Said Kinzler, "The Ludwig Fund has given us the tools
to explore comprehensive genetic studies so that we can
make a collective impact against this disease."
Daniel Ludwig's shipping empire was the largest in the
United States during the 1960s and '70s, when its assets
were reported at several billion dollars. Ludwig died in
1992 after creating the eponymous institute, which has
supported cancer research efforts totaling $1.1 billion.
Kinzler and Vogelstein are consistently ranked by
Science Watch magazine as two of the world's most highly
cited scientists, a common measure of scientific impact,
with more than 100,000 citations in peer-reviewed journals.
Their work led to blood tests widely available for
diagnosing hereditary forms of colon cancer, and current
research is focused on developing simple tests to detect
early nonhereditary forms of cancer.
The five other institutions to share in the current
Ludwig Center awards are the Dana-Farber Cancer
Center/Harvard, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,
MIT, Stanford and the University of Chicago.