Pelotonia, an Ohio-based nonprofit organization that raises money for cancer research through bicycling events, has announced a five-year pledge of more than $100 million to Ohio State University to help launch an institute focused on immuno-oncology, an innovative area of research focused on how the body's immune system can be used to fight cancer.
The largest gift in the history of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute will establish the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology (PIIO). To be led by Zihai Li, an international authority in immuno-oncology and immunotherapy, the institute will build on immuno-oncology efforts already under way at the center, including the treatment of cancers with CAR-T cell therapy, cytokine therapy, monoclonal antibodies, adoptive cell transfer, and vaccines and drug therapies. The institute plans to hire thirty-two faculty members and, over the next few years, will renovate existing lab space to create advanced cellular lab facilities, immune monitoring and discovery platforms, and systems immunology and other research areas.
"Conquering cancer is one of the great challenges of our time," said Pelotonia president and CEO Doug Ulman, who is a three-time cancer survivor. "With one-point-seven million Americans diagnosed with the disease each year, it deserves urgent attention. The recent explosion of discoveries in immuno-oncology have energized this effort, and we know that momentum will build exponentially through an even bigger partnership with Ohio State. As we open the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology — backed by a dedicated community united in our mission, we are entering the next generation of cancer care — a time in which many cancers may become curable."