Endowment Campaign Gift

Help Save Lives through New Ideas

80% of brilliant, scientific research ideas never get to the bench…which is why the Be A Life Changer™ Endowment Campaign is essential.

No one knows which bench research will lead to breakthrough science that will transform the treatment or solution of cancer, but without bench research, we will never know. That’s why the OCR Endowment Campaign was launched…to support more talented, young scientists. Not all scientists can be supported, which is why the OCR Scientific Review Committee has high-level scrutiny of grant requests funding only those with the most potential for breakthroughs. OCR knows they’re on the right track because more than 70% of seed money research recipients are awarded additional dollars from national funding sources.


• National Institutes of Health (NIH) only fund 18% of ALL research funding requests.
• NIH funding is on the chopping block for the upcoming fiscal budget.
• Historically, OCR funds approximately 20% of all funding requests.


• Recipients of OCR’s seed money research leverages the funding by almost 320%.
• Cancer remains one of the top causes of death.
• New treatment modalities are extending the lives of cancer victims.

To see how many grant requests OCR’s receives and actually funds, click here.

Click: Funding Gap Chart (NEW)

Bench Research leads to Bedside Impact

Without primary research, scientific breakthroughs can’t happen. Experimenting, testing, hypothesizing and learning are all done at the bench. Once those breakthroughs occur, clinical testing and new methods of treating different forms of cancer can occur.But it starts at the bench.

What Researchers Say

Bob Brueggemeier PhD The Ohio State University

I am privileged to be a part of academia in pharmaceutical sciences realizing a dream in actually participating in research efforts at the bench and at the bedside that resulted in new and potent medicinal agents for treating thousands of breast cancer patients. My research focused on hormone -dependent breast cancer, which represents two-thirds of all breast cancers diagnosed in the US. Studying the enzyme, called aromatase, which accelerates cancer growth in post menopausal women, researchers developed inhibitors that suppress this enzyme. Three products were introduced as a new class of drugs for the treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone – dependent breast cancer, and are marketed under the names of Arimidex, Femara, and Aromasin throughout the world. Had I not received basic research seed money from Ohio Cancer Research, my own research would have been inhibited. Because those dollars permitted me to secure other funding, this breakthrough research is helping women around the world. Not only did this seed money help me, but it also allowed my graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to advance their own scientific careers.

Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD

Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD, the Markowitz-Ingalls professorship of Cancer Genetics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, credits the start up support from Ohio Cancer Research he received as key early funding to initiate the program in GI cancer research that has grown into one of the leading GI cancers research groups in the country. Dr. Markowitz is internationally recognized for his work identifying key genetic causes of colon cancer and developing molecular tests for early detection of this disease, as well as being recognized as an “NCI Outstanding Investigator.” His team is honored as an NCI Specialized Program of Research Excellence in GI Cancers (SPORE), one of only four such centers in the country.  Work from the Markowitz team has pioneered development of stool DNA testing for early detection of colon cancers, has developed tests for identifying individuals who do or don’t benefit from use of aspirin for lowering cancer risk, and has created a promising new drug for healing tissue damaged in cancer treatment, including speeding regrowth of bone marrow after bone marrow transplantation.

The team attributes the early seed research funding from Ohio Cancer Research for making these later accomplishments possible. Dr. Markowitz is also an attending physician at the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospital’s Case Medical Center.

Zalfa Abdel-Malek PhD, Professor of Dermatology, University of Cincinnati

I had a new idea that needed a chance. I wanted to investigate the genetic susceptibility to melanoma, the deadliest of skins cancers, and the role of sun exposure in melanoma formation. Ohio Cancer Research game me the chance to advance my idea…and reap results. Findings unequivocally showed that the loss of function of MC1R, a prevention mechanism that is deficient in individuals with red hair, fair skin, and poor tanning ability, thus increasing risk for melanoma. With additional funding from other sources, generated from the seed money received from Ohio Cancer Research, we developed a breakthrough treatment that is patent protected. This lotion will have a huge impact on individuals with a high risk for melanoma and other skin cancers, and will meet the need of many young adults for a safe tanning agent without the adverse effects of sun bathing or the use of tanning beds. This new idea advanced from bench to bedside…thanks to the belief in my project by Ohio Cancer Research.

What Patients Say

Cynthia Fregiato

I will forever be grateful to Ohio Cancer Research. After being diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer and presented with an initial treatment plan, OCR strongly encouraged me to seek a second opinion. They then directed me to one of the nation’s leading experts in intraocular malignant melanoma cancer. Had I not opted for that second opinion and pursued the new treatment plan, the cancer certainly would have spread. While my life changed overnight, the recommendation from Ohio Cancer Research extended it.

Sue Zazon, President, Central Ohio, Huntington National Bank

I have been personally and positively impacted by Ohio Cancer Research (OCR) funding. Following a mammogram, which was determined to be normal, I decided to undergo breast reduction surgery. During the process, tissue samples were examined by a pathologist and, much to my surprise, I was told I had developed a form of breast cancer called lobular carcinoma. As part of my successful treatment, my oncologist prescribed a drug that was formulated as a result of basic research seed money awarded Ohio Cancer Research.

Without the “bench” research conducted by Dr. Bob Brueggemeier of The Ohio State University, who was awarded $19,000 in the 1980’s, this drug potentially would not be saving lives. We don’t think about how the drugs we use are created; however, I know that many hands and brilliant minds are involved. Dr. Bruggemeier’s initial results leveraged an additional $4.5 million from national funding sources to continue his work with junior scientists, which brought the drug to clinical trials. A drug could never get to patients without the initial research, funding, and dedicated professionals. When I think about all the people who had a part in my recovery allowing me to become cancer free, I used to think of my doctor, oncologist and plastic surgeon. I now realize that oncologists are partners with the cancer researchers, are involved in clinical trials, and are essential in the chain that brings treatments to patients. The researchers are the “bench and the oncologists are the “bedside” and without that collaboration, there would have been nothing to prescribe without their brilliance. I am forever grateful for that partnership!

Patti Niehoff

Knowledge is power and early detection of cancer saves lives. I was empowered by the knowledge that ongoing stomach and acid reflux problems can be early signs of cancer, regardless of age. I became my own advocate in convincing doctors that I needed an endoscopy, in spite of my young age. The doctors were skeptical, but performed the test. The outcome: stage 1 tumor in my esophagus. The knowledge I gained attending Ohio Cancer Research events and luncheons assisted me in taking charge of my healthcare. I am now referred to as The First Lady or Ambassador of Early Detection for Ohio Cancer Research …a title I wear proudly.

Why an endowment?

An endowment is a fund that is restricted. Only the interest from the fund can be spent, not the principal that anchors the endowment.

Usually, only a portion of the interest or earnings from the endowment (typically five percent) can be spent annually to make sure that the original funds grow over time. Professional money managers often oversee endowment funds, investing the money in stocks, bonds, and other investments.

OCR has a special committee appointed to provide oversight of the Endowment Fund, to make investment decisions, as well as distribution approvals. An Endowment Policy drives the activities of the committee and the fund resides in an account separate from operations dollars.

Levels of Gifts to Endowment Campaign

Naming Opportunities:

Chair Endowment/naming opportunity $1 million

Fellow Endowment/naming opportunity $750,000

Resident Endowment/naming opportunity $500,000

Intern Endowment/naming opportunity $250,000

For all naming opportunities and recognition, please call:Tom Lamb or Bill Boggess at 614.224.1127.

Other Donor Opportunities:

Innovator Scholarship Endowment $100,000 and less

Life Changer Scholarship Endowment $100,000 and less

Call us at 800-232-6272 or donate online

Donate Now

For contributions to the Innovator and Life Changer Scholarships, you can donate here or discuss your giving intentions with staff. There are significant benefits at the $100,000, $60,000, and $30,000 contribution levels.To schedule an appointment or for more information, call: Tom Lamb or Bill Boggess at 614.224.1127.