For people like Albert Marcotte, producing new things and finding solutions are part of the everyday process. This Plymouth native launched his first successful venture after completing graduate school. It was a company that taught executives how to make better decisions through computer simulation. It was an innovative project launched at a daring time when people were still very hesitant around these devices.
Marcotte is now in his mid-seventies and looking to invest in an area that is new to him. His goal is to help find a solution to one of the greatest challenges facing contemporary medicine— cancer. Marcotte recently donated $30 million to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to help them improve upon their research initiatives.
Funding Game Changing Cancer Research
The donation is the second largest gift that the Dana-Farber Institute has received from a single donor. They were also awarded a $50 million donation a few years back from a donor who will go unnamed.
The president and chief executive of the Institute, Dr. Edward Benz Jr., has been extremely appreciative of the donation. He claims that this funding will be enough to further their entire cancer research effort over the next few years. “This really allows us to invest in fundamental basic research that will ultimately be the game changer for cancer,” he exclaimed.
A good proportion of the donations made to the Institute come from people who have received treatment there. So the funding they provide usually gets allocated to their specific type of cancer. Marcotte’s donation is significant enough that it’ll allow scientists to examine some of the basic questions surrounding cancer. Benz and other experts agree that this is where some of the most important answers will eventually come from.
Establishing the Marcotte Center in Boston
The Institute plans to establish the Marcotte Center for Cancer Research this donation. The new facility will be located right across the street from the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care in Boston’s renowned Longwood medical district.
The timing of this donation is significant for other reasons as well. This last year was a uniquely difficult one for many cancer research centers like Dana-Farber as they competed for a significantly reduced share of federal funding.
A Commitment to Research and Better Patient Care
Marcotte was diagnosed with prostate cancer near the turn of the millenium and was treated at the Institute in 2003. All of his regular trips to the hospital as a patient allowed him to get an understanding of the leadership in place and their organization. This was what he did for a living as the chief executive of Advanced Management Systems, the company he has been running successfully since graduating from MIT in 1979.
“Dana-Farber is unique in that it has an equal commitment to research and patient care,” explained Marcotte. “I investigated a number of places, and you don’t find that balance.”
Marcotte believes that this worthwhile investment in cancer research will also help cultivate a better awareness of the need for continued funding. He expects that others will be inspired to follow his example.
“I have a fundamental belief that cancer can eventually be cured,” Marcotte proclaimed. “It will take work. It will take time. It can be done.”