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$3.5 million gift earmarked for cancer research

By Staff Report

The Medical School Foundation has received a $3.5 million bequest for cancer research and education from Mrs. Florence Farrow of New York City. This is the largest gift from an individual earmarked for medical research at U.Va., and the Health Sciences Library's largest gift for its collections endowment.

"The funds established through [Mrs. Farrow's] generosity will accelerate our bold agenda for cancer research," said Dr. Robert M. Carey, dean of the School of Medicine. "Already, our Cancer Center is working to consolidate strengths, attract new resources, and catalyze new and existing research aimed at ways to treat, prevent and even cure cancer."

Mrs. Farrow, the widow of U.Va. alumnus Joseph Helms Farrow (Arts & Sciences '26, Medicine '30), left $688,000 to complete the Joseph Helms Farrow Professorship in Surgical Oncology, which she established in 1988. An additional $250,000 of her gift will establish a fund in the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library for the purchase of books, journals and other materials in cancer-related fields. The remainder, in excess of $2.5 million, will be used to create a cancer research fund for fellowships to support talented cancer researchers.

"U.Va. scientists are aggressively pursuing a number of leading-edge initiatives in cancer research," said Michael Weber, director of the Cancer Center. "We have an extremely strong core of researchers working in prostate cancer. Another team has made great strides toward developing a vaccine against melanoma. And we are developing promising new technologies for detecting and treating breast cancer. Generous gifts such as the one made by Mrs. Farrow are pivotal in accelerating the rate of our research."

"Students, researchers and health professionals all depend on the library's resources to do their work, and this gift will contribute significantly to our collection," said Linda Watson, director of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library.

Florence Farrow, who died in February 1999 at the age of 93, had made previous gifts to U.Va., including a collection of her husband's historical medical texts to the library. She had served as an honorary trustee of the U.Va. Medical School Foundation. Dr. Farrow, a native of Roanoke, was an oncologist and chief of breast services at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for more than 35 years. He also presided over the New York Cancer Center until his death in 1977.


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