Photo of university seal for endowed chair © UC Regents

Endowed chairs, one of the highest honors in academia, allow universities to retain and recruit the best minds in each generation. 

Seats of science

The UC Davis Cancer Center's Capital and Endowment Initiative is turning to the community to help raise $15 million to endow eight chairs, the first at UC Davis that will focus on cancer research.

Endowments are sought to support top scientists in these areas of cancer research:

  • Basic Science Endowed Chair, $1.5 million
  • Clinical Research Endowed Chair, $1.5 million
  • Prostate Cancer Endowed Chair, $1.5 million
  • Breast Cancer Endowed Chair, $1.5 million
  • Lung Cancer Endowed Chair, $1.5 million
  • Pediatric Cancer Endowed Chair, $1.5 million
  • Cancer Genetics Endowment, $3 million
  • Cancer Immunology Endowment, $3 million

The expansion will make room for the pediatric cancer program, now located in other buildings on the medical center campus. The project will also expand space for the adult clinic and infusion center, pharmacies, clinical laboratory, and resource center.

Commitments have been made to fund two of the chairs. The Auburn Community Cancer Fund, a grassroots group based in Auburn, Calif., has raised $1.3 million toward the Basic Science Endowed Chair. Jim Otto and his wife Sally, who live in Auburn, have pledged $125,000 of the total. The chair will be named after the whole community rather than an individual — a first at UC Davis.

The South Placer Breast Cancer Endowment, taking Auburn's lead, has announced plans to fund the Breast Cancer Chair by 2010.

Research endowments are invested to fund a designated research area in perpetuity. Chair holders draw from the interest generated by the endowment to hire research assistants, pay for travel to scientific meetings or cover other research needs.

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