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M. D. Anderson Honors Businessman, Philanthropist

F. O'Neil "Neil" Griffin Conference and Education Center Dedicated on South Campus

M. D. Anderson News Release 04/30/08

Representatives of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer today dedicated the F. O'Neil "Neil" Griffin Conference and Education Center, 7455 Fannin, at the Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer. The naming recognizes the generosity and continued support of Neil Griffin, a Kerrville and Austin businessman and philanthropist who is a senior member of M. D. Anderson's Board of Visitors.

Griffin's most recent contribution to M. D. Anderson was a $3 million gift in August 2007 to the South Campus Research Initiative, an effort to raise more than $135 million for the McCombs Institute. The gift, which enabled M. D. Anderson to reach its philanthropic goal three years ahead of schedule, combined a $1 million personal contribution with a $2 million pledge from the Neil and Elaine Griffin Foundation.

Griffin, chairman of Griffin Investments, said he was happy to have played a role in the SCRI.

"Having spent a lot of my career in Houston, I've always known the importance of M. D. Anderson," he said. "I've been blessed beyond any dream I could ever have had. I really believe in giving back."

On hand for the dedication reception were John Mendelsohn, M.D., president of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center; Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., provost and executive vice president of M. D. Anderson; and Nancy Loeffler, of San Antonio, chair-elect of The University Cancer Foundation Board of Visitors. Accompanying Griffin were his wife, Gena, as well as a number of family members.

Also among faculty attending were the directors of the six centers at the McCombs Institute: Isaiah J. Fidler, D.V.M., Ph.D., Cancer Metastasis Research Center; James D. Cox, M.D., Proton Therapy Center; Garth Powis, D. Phil., Center for Targeted Therapy; Gordon B. Mills, M.D., Ph.D., Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Center for Molecular Markers; Yong-Jun Liu, M.D., Ph.D., Center for Cancer Immunology Research; and Juri G. Gelovani, M.D., Ph.D., Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging Research.

Launched in September 2005 during the most aggressive expansion of research in M. D. Anderson's history, the SCRI generated a remarkable outpouring of philanthropic support and was completed in less than half the projected time frame.

The McCombs Institute is located on the 116-acre UT Research Park a mile and a half south of M. D. Anderson's main campus.  04/30/08

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