Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center has been awarded the
largest gift for pancreas cancer research in its history.
The award was made possible by Albert P. 'Skip' Viragh, Jr.,
a mutual fund leader, and a pancreas cancer patient treated
at Johns Hopkins. He died of the disease at age 62.
The funds formally establish the Skip Viragh Center for
Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care. The Skip
Viragh Center brings together the extensive pancreas cancer
laboratory and clinical expertise already in place at Johns
Hopkins and cutting-edge research discoveries to improve
patient care. The Center also allows for the expansion of
current internationally recognized clinical programs and the
development of promising new ideas in pancreas cancer as
well as support promising new research by young
The new center's namesake was considered to be one of the
region's most influential mutual fund investment
authorities. He founded Rydex Investments, based in
Rockville, Md., and grew the business from a three-person
operation to a 200-employee enterprise with $10 billion in
assets under management.
extraordinary gift has significantly strengthened our
abilities on every front and will enable means Johns Hopkins
physician-scientists from many disciplines to find new ways
to prevent, treat and ultimately cure pancreas cancer," said
Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., co-director of the Skip Viragh
Center and the Dana and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli Professor in
Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Pancreas cancer is one of the most lethal. It is the fourth
leading cause of cancer death and only five percent of
patients survive five years after diagnosis.
research to education to helping us recruit the very best
new talent, the Center will make a huge difference in
patients? lives for many decades to come," said Daniel
Laheru, M.D., co-director of the Skip Viragh Center and the
Ian T. MacMillian Professor in Clinical Pancreatic Cancer
Viragh gift builds on the already strong foundation of
discovery and innovation at Johns Hopkins, including the
first mapping of the pancreas cancer genome, a therapeutic
vaccine, perfecting the Whipple surgical procedure and
expertise in diagnosis and staging," said William Nelson,
director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Johns Hopkins also is home to the National Familial Pancreas
believe investing in Johns Hopkins expertise will have a
significant impact on its scientists' ability to conquer
this disease," said Katherine Viragh. "Losing a loved one to
pancreas cancer is devastating and our hope is that the Skip
Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and
Patient Care will help make the world a better place for
cancer patients," she added.
A new Web site, launched with the gift,
comprehensive information about pancreas cancer treatment
and research at the Skip Viragh Center.