It is my great pleasure to bring you this latest issue of Synthesis, in which we officially announce our Capital and Endowment Initiative. The initiative, which seeks to raise $35 million, is the first in the history of UC Davis Cancer Center. The funds will allow us to expand our building to meet the demands of our growing region, and will endow the university's first chairs in cancer research.
In the pages ahead, I invite you to meet some of the individuals who will help us to reach these goals. You'll read about Jim Otto, who brings the same determination that earned him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame to his new position as chair of the Capital and Endowment Initiative. It has been my privilege to get to know Jim over the past five years. He is a man of rare leadership and courage, and a tremendous asset in our campaign. You'll also learn about the South Placer County Breast Cancer Endowment, which has pledged to raise $1.5 million to endow a chair in breast cancer research. With allies like these, our initiative is off to a tremendous start.
We bring you two stories that demonstrate the breadth and depth of our cancer research program. The first is about our Mothers' Wisdom, project funded by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, to develop and test effective methods to improve mammography and breast cancer early detection rates among American Indian women. Culturally competent cancer education materials for American Indians are rare; the Mothers' Wisdom project will help to change that. The second article is a report from Hsing-Jien Kung's lab of a novel molecularly targeted agent designed to disrupt a newly discovered pathway used by advanced prostate cancer cells. If the drug works, it may be the first effective agent against hormone-resistant prostate cancer.
Five remarkable patients have contributed first-person essays to this issue of Synthesis. These women have helped to establish Sacramento's first lung cancer support group. Patients who come to our Thoracic Oncology Program for treatment from as far away as Palo Alto and Tahoe attend the support group meetings, which take place at the Cancer Center. It's appropriate that the founders have named the group Legacy.
A legacy can take many forms: a support group that helps to replace shock and fear with hope and knowledge, a research project that prevents illness or saves lives, an endowed chair, or an expanded cancer center. Please join me in celebrating these and many other legacies in the making at UC Davis Cancer Center.