Stephen Gruber, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, outlined his vision for the future at his first State of the Cancer Center presentation, calling for greater investment and innovation.
HSC Weekly 2012-02-03
Director sees innovation as key to the future of cancer center
By Sara Reeve
While he may have been on the job for a grand total of 55 days, Stephen Gruber, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, outlined a clear vision for the future at his first State of the Cancer Center presentation on Jan. 24.
“Clinical trials and innovation are what bring people to our medical center, and those elements are going to be the hallmark of what distinguishes us in the future,” he said. “What we want to do is distinguish ourselves by providing care that simply doesn’t exist anywhere else.”
A large crowd of researchers, clinicians, staff and students filled the Aresty Auditorium to listen to Gruber’s address, in addition to many from the University Park Campus and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles who viewed the talk via webcast. Gruber provided a basic overview of the cancer center, stating that the cancer center has 225 total members and outlining the 11 core facilities and their leadership.
Throughout his presentation, Gruber was keen to emphasize the links between the clinical services provided at USC Norris Cancer Hospital and the research activities conducted at the USC
Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Noting that patient volume is growing at six percent a year and clinical needs will outgrow available space in 2013, Gruber drew connections between the need for more patient care facilities and growth of research activities.
“Investing in state-of-the-art facilities is critical to advancing research and translating science into treatments and cures,” he said.
He also took the time to emphasize the importance of philanthropy to the cancer center’s mission and the development of new facilities, such as the recently announced Norris Healthcare Consultation Center. According to Gruber, the cancer center’s fundraising goal for the Campaign for USC is $485 million, to include gifts toward endowment, current use funds and capital construction.
“This money will allow us to do unbelievably innovative things in clinical research, clinical trials,” Gruber said. “We’ll be able to develop new endowed chairs for the clinical sciences, invest in translational research and promote and develop the USC Institute of Urology.”
He rounded out his discussion by noting that the renewal application for the cancer center’s core grant is due on Jan. 25, 2015—exactly three years and one day from the date of his presentation. Despite the tremendous amount of work such an application requires, he told his audience that he had an “overwhelming amount of confidence” in the cancer center’s prospects for success.
“We will continue to maintain that the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center is the place for cancer innovation and translational medicine,” he said.
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