Stony Brook University has unveiled a transformative cancer research center that will enable experts to probe the metabolic dynamics of tumors and pioneer new approaches in cancer research, detection, treatment and prevention.
Called the Kavita and Lalit Bahl Center for Metabolomics and Imaging, the state-of-the-art facility was unveiled in a naming ceremony on Dec. 1 at Stony Brook University Hospital. The center is made possible by the vision and support of Kavita and Lalit Bahl and their two generous gifts totaling $13.75 million.
Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, praised the Bahls for their transformative gift and presented them with a commemorative plaque during the ceremony.
“Through continual research and discovery, Stony Brook is on the leading edge of discovering the next generation in cancer care,” said Dr. Stanley. “One of our most ambitious goals is to make significant breakthroughs in cancer research.” He thanked the entire Bahl family for their support of this vital research and for making this day possible.
“Today is a momentous occasion for the Cancer Center,” said Yusuf A. Hannun, MD, Director of the Stony Brook University Cancer Center. He also expressed his gratitude to the Bahls and noted that Stony Brook is the ideal location for the Bahl Center, “because it capitalizes on Stony Brook University’s strengths in three major areas: research, treatment and imaging.”
Dr. Hannun noted the cooperative spirit across campuses and supportive research and clinical leaders that will be instrumental in its success. “We have a highly collegial community that has come together in support of cancer medicine and cancer research,” he said.
Lalit Bahl explained his family’s personal motivation for propelling cancer research forward. “Cancer has claimed a very large number of people in my family,” he said. “It is really what drives us to get us involved in the Center. In our lifetime, we have seen a lot of progress in cancer treatment but there is a still long way to go toward the final goal that nobody should die from cancer. It is really toward this goal that we hope and also expect this Center to provide new discoveries and new treatments that will get us closer and closer to where we want to be.”
Dr. Hannun and Lina M. Obeid, MD, Dean for Research at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, will serve as Co-Directors of the Bahl Center. Dr. Hannun is a renowned physician-scientist whose career has spanned more than 30 years as a cancer clinician and researcher investigating the lipid mediators of cancer cell signaling. Dr. Obeid manages approximately $75 million in research grants and is a nationally renowned researcher in cancer biology who has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 20 years.
“Drs. Hannun and Obeid have a very long record of research in cancer, and we are thrilled to be able to support their work at Stony Brook,” said Kavita Bahl. “Our hope is that metabolomics and imaging research will result in significant progress toward finding new treatments.”
“The Bahl Center will transform precision-based cancer care by enabling our scientists and physicians to learn more about the characteristics and behavior of each patient’s specific cancer.” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine. “As these research breakthroughs are realized, public health policies can be developed to facilitate cancer prevention practices. The result will be a decades-long impact on cancer research, medical treatments and patient care.”
Current Stony Brook University School of Medicine laboratories and other University scientific laboratories will conduct research for the Center. Permanent physical space for the Center and its laboratories will be located in the Medical and Research Translation (MART) building upon opening of the MART in 2018.