Summary | Timeline

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Moffitt was founded 25 years ago. Here is some background on its founding and development.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute opened its doors on October 27, 1986, on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida. With cancer as a major public health threat in Florida, Moffitt has one priority – fighting cancer through patient care, education and research.

Funding for construction of the initial $70-million facility came primarily from the state's cigarette tax, while the momentum to create the Cancer Center came from a cadre of legislators, physicians, educators and business leaders who envisioned a new dimension of cancer care and research in Florida.

In 1999, Moffitt developed the Affiliate Network Program, a professional partnership involving strategic affiliations with community physicians and health care facilities throughout Florida and beyond. With a mandate from the state to reach the citizens of Florida, Moffitt works with its partners to offer clinical expertise and research trials found only at an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center. Moffitt reaches about 20 percent of the cancer patient population in Florida through these relationships.

A not-for-profit corporation, Moffitt is best known for its translational research, forging new discoveries out of the convergence of basic science, clinical trials and patient care.


1981 Florida Legislature passes bill to create H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute.
1983 Moffitt Cancer Center breaks ground.
1986 Moffitt Cancer Center opens.
1989 Blood and Marrow Transplant Program opens.
1990 Moffitt names its first Center Director.
1993 Moffitt Cancer Center Screening and Prevention (formerly Lifetime Cancer Screening Center) opens.
1994 The Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation opens.
1995 Moffitt Research Center opens.
1998 Moffitt earns National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Center Support Grant.
Florida Legislature funds $100 million to expand research and clinical areas.
2001 U.S. Sen. Connie Mack of Florida named as Board Chair.
Moffitt earns NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status.
Moffitt breaks ground on expansion to research and clinical areas.
2002 Moffitt receives generous gift from Naples resident Vincent A. Stabile to name the new Research Building.
2003 The Vincent A. Stabile Research Building and expanded Muriel Rothman Building (Moffitt Clinic) open.
Moffitt establishes Total Cancer Care®, an innovative program that seeks to overcome economic and geographic barriers to advance cancer care. The program combines information technology, scientific research, clinical trials, quality-of-life studies and personalized treatments to produce evidence-based guidelines that will improve outcomes for cancer patients in Florida and beyond.
2004 Moffitt forms the Board of Advisors, which is chaired by veteran ABC newsman and melanoma survivor Sam Donaldson. Advisors are appointed to the group and are charged with raising the national awareness of the institution.
2006 Moffitt partners with Merck & Co., Inc., through a Merck affiliate, to expand its efforts in research and biotech with the goal of developing personalized medicine.
2007 Moffitt breaks ground for construction of the 100,000 square-foot facility that will house M2Gen, Moffitt’s wholly owned, for-profit biotechnology subsidiary. As part of the Total Cancer Care approach, Moffitt uses sophisticated technology to analyze patients’ tumors, ultimately identifying the genetic “fingerprints” that are unique to those tumors.
2008 Moffitt Cancer Center, Shands HealthCare and the University of Florida announce they will work together to develop world-class programs in cancer care, research and prevention. The partnership extends Moffitt’s innovative model of comprehensive patient care to UF and Shands cancer programs.
Robert Rothman is appointed as the next chairman of the Moffitt Cancer Center Board of Directors. Sen. Connie Mack, the immediate past chairman, remains on the Board as Chair Emeritus.
2009 Moffitt opens the South Expansion. Two new Varian Trilogy™ units and a new Pinnacle Treatment Planning System have been installed and are in use in the expanded Radiation Oncology section of the South Expansion. In addition to expanded space for Radiation Oncology, the area includes more clinic space for Moffitt’s Blood & Marrow Transplant Program, new patient beds and a three-story faculty office building.
Moffitt opens the M2Gen facility on McKinley Drive.
2010 Bob Griese named chairman of the Board of Advisors; Sam Donaldson, immediate past chairman, remains on the Board as Chair Emeritus.
2011 Moffitt Cancer Center at International Plaza opens; Moffitt South, located at Tampa General Hospital, moves to the renovated two-story building near Tampa International Airport and International Plaza.
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