Tampa, FL – Philanthropist Donald A. Adam will donate $20.4 million for the development of a Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. This center will conduct research in melanoma and translate that into cutting-edge patient treatment. This represents the largest single gift in Moffitt’s history.
“Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States, with Florida ranking second in the nation in number of cases,” said Dr. William Dalton, President and CEO of Moffitt. “This center will allow us to respond even more aggressively to Florida’s growing melanoma rate and reduce the state’s burden.”
Adam, a melanoma survivor himself, is chairman and chief executive officer of American Momentum Bank, headquartered in Tampa.
“With this gift, I am confident that Moffitt will become the premier melanoma research and treatment center in the United States,” said Adam. “I know first hand the importance of developing effective new treatments and, I hope, a cure for this disease.”
Adam has enterprises in Texas, Ocala and Tampa, the headquarters of American Momentum Bank, which obtained a charter from the state of Florida in October, 2006. With $100 million in capitalization, American Momentum represents the largest bank start up equity in Florida history.
“It is important to me that we contribute to, and become an integral part of the fabric of the community,” said Adam.
Adam considers Moffitt the ideal location for a Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center because it sees more than 1,500 new melanoma patients yearly and is one of the top three cancer centers by volume in the United States.
“We are honored that Mr. Adam chose Moffitt,” said Dr. Jeffrey Weber, director of the Donald A. Adam Comprehensive Melanoma Research Center. “His generous gift will provide a quantum leap in our ability to translate new ideas in melanoma research into clinical trials, and hopefully a cure for this devastating disease.”
In addition to Weber, the leadership team for the center includes James Mule’, Ph.D., a world-renowned translational scientist and Dr. Vernon Sondak, an internationally-known melanoma surgeon.
Adam’s gift almost entirely funds the first five years of research and development at the new center. During that time, the research and medical team plans to recruit from around the country and add to its top melanoma researchers, conduct clinical trials on new cancer drugs and pursue the Melanoma Genomics Project, which maps the development of the diseases on a molecular level, which can dramatically improve patient diagnoses and physician understanding of the methods for treating various types of melanoma.
About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Located in Tampa, Florida on the University of South Florida campus, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute (www.moffitt.org) is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Hospitals for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.