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$10 million gift to support cutting-edge epigenome center at USC
Date:10/2/2007

to meet the increasing demands for new, cutting-edge research.

We are proud to continue our support of the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center by helping to develop one of the first epigenome centers in the world, he says. We believe the facility will be critical to the future of cancer research.

Through its foundation, the Norris family has given more than $50 million to USC, naming the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Eileen L. Norris Cinema Theater, the Norris Dental Center, the Norris Medical Library and the Norris Auditorium.

The Epigenome Center will be housed on the ground floor of the Harlyne J. Norris Cancer Research Tower, a 172,440 square-foot research facility that opened earlier this year at USCs Health Sciences Campus. The center will house state-of-the-art sequencing equipment and computational biologists who will analyze the massive amount of data to be produced. The $10 million gift will go towards acquisition of equipment and staff recruitment.

Peter Laird, a lead researcher and associate professor of surgery, biochemistry and molecular biology, has been named director of the center. A formal opening is planned for January 2008.

In the past year, the center has received five National Cancer Institute grants, five Foundation grants, two California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) seed grants and three CIRM basic science grants.

The Norris Foundations support will position the university to apply for additional funding from the National Institutes of Health, which has launched a Roadmap Epigenetics Program, Jones notes. The program seeks to develop comprehensive reference epigenome maps and new technologies for comprehensive epigenomic analyses throughout the world.

The grant is a very generous and well-timed gift which allows USC and the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center to continue its upward trajectory in this field. It contributes directly to the well being
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Contact: Meghan Lewit
lewit@usc.edu
323-442-3576
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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