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Siteman and Washington University Received Funding for Innovative Research

Gwen Ericson

Jan. 20, 2010 – The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University have received from Alvin J. Siteman a commitment for an endowment that will provide at least $1 million annually to advance pioneering investigations into cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The new endowment establishes the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Research Fund, which will provide support for transformational scientific contributions that address the challenges associated with overcoming cancer.

"I have been privileged over many years to be associated with Washington University, the School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital," Siteman says. "With the continuing growth and development of the Siteman Cancer Center, the progress made in treating cancer patients through expanded research programs has been encouraging. I am delighted to be able to contribute further to that effort by supporting projects on the leading edge of cancer research, which promise even greater hope for the future."

Alvin J. Siteman

In 1999, Alvin J. and Ruth Siteman committed $35 million to the development of the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which was named in recognition of the their gift. This commitment comprised the largest gift ever received by Barnes-Jewish and Washington University in support of cancer research, patient care and services, education and community outreach.

The newly established Siteman Cancer Research Fund is intended for both short-term projects and significant major initiatives. It will be targeted particularly for innovative programs that might not receive funding from federal agencies. The fund will be a resource to catalyze fruitful research progress that will attract additional foundation, corporate or federal research support.

"The Siteman Cancer Research Fund will enhance the impact of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center and cancer research throughout Washington University," says Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton. "The Siteman center's wide-ranging research programs offer great hope for progress against cancer, and the new Siteman fund will give impetus to projects that epitomize scientific ingenuity, allowing our most inventive scientific minds to pursue new concepts in the fight against cancer."

Funds will be available to the leaders in many fields of science, medicine and engineering at Washington University and also will support the acquisition of equipment and facilities needed to open new veins of investigation.

"We are truly grateful to Mr. Siteman for his generous gift, which, by focusing on breakthrough research, will no doubt encourage major advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through the programs of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center," says Larry Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

Siteman Cancer Center director Timothy Eberlein, MD, Wrighton and Shapiro will be responsible for identifying especially significant initiatives related to overcoming cancer in humans and encouraging research proposals from the Washington University faculty and research staff requesting support from the Siteman fund. Review of proposals from faculty and research staff will come from acknowledged experts in the relevant field who may be drawn from the Siteman Cancer Center External Advisory Committee.

“This is a phenomenal expression of support that Mr. Siteman has given our cancer center members," Eberlein says. "This continuing gift will assure that the Siteman Cancer Center continues to maintain our national leadership in developing innovative cancer treatments for our patients.”

Alvin J. Siteman was president and chief executive officer of the Siteman Organization, a major real estate developer, property manager and leasing agent. He is chairman of Site Oil Co. of Missouri and president of Flash Oil Corp. He chaired Mark Twain Bancshares Inc., the company he helped merge with Mercantile Bancorporation in 1997.

A leader of many organizations in St. Louis, he is a former chairman and a current member of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation's board of directors. He also served on the boards of Jewish Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Now an honorary trustee for the Saint Louis Art Museum, he also was a past president of its board of commissioners.

He is an emeritus trustee of the University and has received several major awards from the institution for his support and generosity, including the Dean's Medal for exceptional service to the Olin Business School and the Robert S. Brookings Award for advancing the alliance between the University and the community. Furthermore, he received an honorary doctor of humanities degree in 2000 and the University's Second Century Award in 2002.