08:39 AM

$5M Mangurian Foundation gift funds neuro research, cancer drug development

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Foundation is donating $5 million over five years to fund both brain and human performance research at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Ohio State Athletics along with cancer drug development at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James).

The donation to The Ohio State University Foundation will support two research areas. The first will establish the Human Performance Innovation Initiative to build on existing research collaborations with Ohio State’s Neurological Institute, Ohio State Athletics and the United States Air Force Research Laboratory. The center will use current and new generation neural sensor and neuroscience technologies, as well as big data neuro analytics, to improve overall body health and performance.

“This gift by the Mangurian Foundation will catalyze and accelerate our research collaborations, such as the groundbreaking findings published recently in Nature featuring a brain implant that allows quadriplegic patient Ian Burkhart to regain functional hand movement, and our inaugural Global Brain Health and Performance Summit. Our research focuses on the use of wearable sensor and analytic technology to quantify and further understand the role of anxiety, stress, sleep, and immune function in athletic and military performance and patient care,” said Dr. Ali Rezai, CEO of Ohio State’s Neurological Institute. “These studies will advance our understanding of brain health for the general population, military, athletics and patients.”

The second will support the Drug Development Institute and strategic cancer research initiatives at OSUCCC-James to accelerate anticancer drug discoveries from identification to development to inclusion in clinical trials.

“In order to make progress in cancer treatment, we must accelerate our efforts to develop new drugs, with more efficiency and in strategic partnership with the pharmaceutical and research/development community. We are so thankful to the continued support from the Mangurian Foundation because it will help ensure the most promising anticancer agents advance into phase I clinical trials for patients in need of new treatment options,” said Dr. Michael Caligiuri, director of Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

Harry and Dorothy Mangurian established the Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. Foundation in 1999 to provide support to medical, educational, and environmental organizations nationally and internationally. Harry Mangurian was a Florida businessman, horse breeder and former owner of the Boston Celtics who was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome that became acute myeloid leukemia. He died in 2008 at age 82.

In 2010, the Mangurian Foundation donated $2 million to Ohio State, split between the Wexner Medical Center and the Fisher College of Business to fund leukemia and dementia research at the medical center and establish a new professorship at the business school.

“A portion of this gift is a continuance of the previous commitment made by our Board to the Drug Development Institute at the OSUCCC-James; the other segment is to support the impressive and groundbreaking research being conducted at the Neurological Institute. Both of these endeavors reflect the visionary leadership that is Ohio State,” said Stephen Mehallis, president of the Mangurian Foundation and an Ohio State graduate who worked for Mangurian since 1972.

“As to the Drug Development Institute, its attraction to us is not only that it involves bringing the campus-wide talent of 15 colleges together in a unified effort, but it also lays the groundwork to realize the benefits of commercialization for those drugs developed. Likewise, the Neurological Institute is leading a collaboration of the Department of Athletics and the Air Force Research Laboratory to employ new technologies in neuroscience and brain health,” said Mehallis.