The cancer center was first established at Northwestern University in 1974, and since 1989 has been led with distinction by Steven T. Rosen, MD, FACP, director and Genevieve E. Teuton Professor of Medicine. In 1991 the center was dedicated as the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center of Northwestern University through a gift of endowment from Ann and Robert H. Lurie. The center's title was modified in 1998, when the National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded the Lurie Cancer Center the highly competitive "comprehensive" designation—reflecting the center's dedication to the highest standards of cancer research, patient care, education, and community outreach. Today, the Lurie Cancer Center is one of only 40 NCI-designated "Comprehensive" cancer centers in the nation. In addition, the Lurie Cancer Center is a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 21 of the world's leading cancer centers dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer.