The largest single gift in UAB history will support cancer research, patient care, education, and prevention and has the potential to triple the number of clinical trials conducted at the center. It also will support the recruitment of additional investigators and provide leverage for additional funding.
One of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers established by the National Cancer Act of 1971, the UAB Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in its region. In recognition of the gift, the center will be renamed the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
"We see this gift as an opportunity to give back in a meaningful way to a cause that is important to everyone," said Craft O'Neal, chair and CEO of O'Neal Industries and grandson of the company's founder. "We hope the gift will be used in ways that will yield the greatest results, accelerating progress in research, treatment, and prevention of cancer and, ultimately, eliminate cancer as a major public health problem."
"The O'Neal family has built a legacy in Birmingham, first in the city's steel industry and now in the city's future as a biomedical and technology hub," said UAB president Ray L. Watts. "UAB's National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center is among the preeminent cancer centers in the world, and we are proud and grateful that our cancer center will bear the O'Neal name."