Decades-long friendship leads to $1.4M Donation to UMN Researcher

David Largaespada, PhD, Professor with the Department of Pediatrics and Associate Director for Basic Sciences for the Masonic Cancer Center has recently received a generous donation of $1.4 million to revolutionize cancer research. This gift was from Michael Allen, a Lakeville resident, a lifelong friend of Dr. Largaespada, and University of Minnesota graduate. This donation will allow Dr. Largaespada and colleagues to advance their research efforts to develop new technologies to prevent, combat, and defeat cancer.

A majority of the proceeds will go towards developing a new CRISPR technology aimed at developing a molecular device that can analyze and execute functions based on the presence of a specific DNA sequence. This advancement could give rise to new treatment therapies that could help to detect and kill cancer both before and after it has started developing. The lab will also use some of the funds to study genetic and genomic pathways followed by cancer cells in various stages of progression. The remaining money will be put towards developing preventative measures for cancer such as developing a vaccine for high-risk populations to prevent the initiation of cancer. To learn more about Dr. Largaespada’s lab work and this generous donation, follow this link