The Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC combines interdisciplinary research with the prevention and treatment of cancer. David B. Agus, professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, leads the institute as the Founding Director and Chief Executive Officer. Under Agus’ guidance, the Ellison Institute’s research focuses on the application of proteomics (the study of the body’s proteins) and genomics, mathematical modeling, integrating clinical trials, pre-clinical studies and molecularly targeted therapy, which focuses on molecular and cellular changes specific to cancer. The Ellison Institute uses all of these techniques to determine which cancer therapies are likely to work best for individual patients, allowing physicians to customize treatment for each patient’s cancer.
The Ellison Institute of USC draws collaborators from across conventional health and wellness fields, as well as from a broad range of other disciplines such as physics, biology, math and engineering to study cancer and potential ways to prevent, detect and treat the disease. The Institute complements and integrates cancer research being conducted by faculty physicians and scientists across the university.
Lawrence J. Ellison, Oracle Corp. chairman and chief technology officer, announced his lead gift of $200 million on May 11, 2016 at the Rebels with a Cause fundraising gala, to establish the newly named institute, which will be housed in a state-of-the-art facility in west Los Angeles. The building will house interdisciplinary cancer research laboratories focused on scientific discovery and innovation. Clinical advances will focus on transforming cancer treatment through technology and an interactive care clinic that offers patients world-class health care. The institute’s collaborative environment will include a think tank, education and outreach, and a wellness program. The institute will feature community spaces built on encouraging a healthful lifestyle, including a library and gardens. The center will be open to the community for lectures and wellness classes on nutrition and similar topics.
“The new institute will invite mathematicians, physicists and other scientists to collaborate with cancer researchers from the traditional disciplines of medicine and biology,” said Ellison, “We believe the interdisciplinary approach will yield up new insights currently hidden in existing patient data.”
Ellison’s gift is among the largest made to cancer research and treatment in recent years.