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Robertson Foundation donates $10.2 million for Duke Cell Therapy Center
Date:3/18/2010

DURHAM, N.C. A $10.2 million commitment from the Robertson Foundation to create a state-of-the-art Translational Cell Therapy Center (TCTC) will advance Duke Medicine's pioneering cell therapy research and treatment programs for children and adults with cancer, cerebral palsy, stroke and brain injuries suffered at birth. In making the announcement, Victor J. Dzau, MD, Chancellor for Health Affairs, Duke University, and Chief Executive Officer for Duke University Health System, said the gift is intended to facilitate the translation of advances in cell therapy to patient care, particularly related to the work of Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, and her team, who have spent decades investigating the therapeutic use of umbilical cord blood stem cells.

"The emerging field of regenerative medicine has great promise, and this generous gift will accelerate the pace of Dr. Kurtzberg's, and other Duke scientists', world-renowned, translational work in cell therapies," said Dzau. "The creation of the TCTC will support the work of many Duke researchers exploring various applications of cell-based therapies."

Kurtzberg is the director of Duke's Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and director of the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank (CCBB), which she established in 1996 with support from the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Over the years, the CCBB has grown to become a processing, testing and storage center for public cord blood units donated by mothers delivering at 14 hospitals/health systems throughout the region. The CCBB is one of the largest public cord blood banks in the world, currently storing approximately 27,000 units.

"Dr. Kurtzberg's research reflects the kind of transformational science that has the potential to change the lives of thousands of people throughout the country and around the world," said Julian Robertson on behalf of the Robertson Foundation. "The Foundation has enormous resp
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Contact: Michelle Gailiun
michelle.gailiun@duke.edu
919-660-1306
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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