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Nemours receives $78M gift to expand cancer, sickle cell treatment

Katie Tabeling
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Dr. Edward Anders Kolb, director of Lisa Dean Moseley Foundation Institute for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Nemours Children’s Health. | PHOTO COURTESY OF NEMOURS

Dr. Edward Anders Kolb, director of Lisa Dean Moseley Foundation Institute for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Nemours Children’s Health, discusses how vital the multi-million-dollar gift will be to advancing research in sickle cell disease and cancer. | PHOTO COURTESY OF NEMOURS

WILMINGTON — Nemours Children’s Health has received a $78 million gift to propel the health care system’s research and treatment for children with cancer and blood disorders.

The donation from the Lisa Dean Moseley Foundation will also add 48 inpatient beds, including isolation areas to protect immunocompromised patients, a medication room, expanded clinic and infusion room capacity. This $40 million wing will be built out on the fifth floor of the Nemours building, which is currently unoccupied shell space.

In addition, the gift will also support two endowed chairs, and one of which will oversee sickle cell disease research and clinical care.

Finally, the donation will also establish a laureate program to support an endowed laureate program. Nemours will request proposals for annual research goals to support “Avant-garde, world-leading cancer and blood disorder research,” according to Nemours representatives. A portion of the endowed funds will be allocated to junior investigators each year.

The research and treatment center, named the Mosley Foundation Institute, builds on Nemours decades of treatment at its center for cancer and blood disorders.

“Currently, Nemours Children’s Health is second in the United States in clinical trial enrollment for cancer and blood disorder patients,” Moseley Foundation Institute Director Edward Andres Kolb told the Delaware Business Times. “Additional space will be designed to envelop patients and family, supporting them through their entire care journey, as well as allowing for greater participation in clinical trials.”

Kolb added that these trials will not only help children in Delaware but throughout the world as new treatments advance. Research funded by the grant will also bring together “the best and brightest minds” to tackle challenges in treating children with these diseases and disorders.

Sickle cell disease in particular is commonly seen in Black and Latino children, and one in 365 Black children are born with it.

Nemours has worked to develop two accredited transplant and cellular therapy programs to support children with this disease, as well as launch research projects on diagnostic tools and intervention strategies to mitigate the effects of racism and stigma. In the last decade, Nemours received $20.5 million from the National Institutes of Health.

“Sickle cell disease is also the most profound and unconscionable example of race-based inequality in the U.S. health care system,” Kolb said. “And research and treatment is massively underfunded compared to other similar diseases. This gift will allow us to do more … in research and directly combatting health inequity.”

The Lisa Dean Moseley Foundation is a nonprofit named after a member of the du Pont family. The foundation provides funding for medical and scientific research.

Nemours first received a research grant from the Moseley Foundation in 2018, which allowed the health care system to develop treatment plans using patients’ genetic profiles to treat their leukemia. Nemours later received $5.6 million in funding to study diseases.

Due to their successful relationship, Nemours approached the Moseley Foundation with the idea to establish an institute for field-leading research and treatment for cancer and other blood disorders.

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