The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation is thrilled to announce a historic $50 million gift for cancer discovery research in honour of the late Allan Slaight, Canadian business legend and philanthropist. This remarkable gift will establish the Allan Slaight Breakthrough Fund, thanks to the generosity of La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, managed by Emmanuelle Gattuso, wife of the late Allan Slaight, and The Slaight Family Foundation, managed by Allan’s son, Gary Slaight.
The Allan Slaight Breakthrough Fund will allow The Princess Margaret to recruit the next generation of leading cancer researchers and facilitate collaboration across UHN and among other top academic research institutions in Toronto. This will lead to new breakthroughs with the potential to dramatically reshape our understanding of cancer, and to the development of more effective diagnostic techniques and cancer treatments.
While major gifts are commonly tied to specific outcomes or programs, this $50 million undesignated gift is unique in that it is dedicated to pure discovery research, sometimes known as basic scientific research. Scientists recruited through this fund will be known as the Allan Slaight Scientists and will have the freedom to approach their work in truly creative, exploratory and unconventional ways.
"We know that curiosity creates cures. But which cures, for which cancers, and in what time frame, are unknowns. The path to those cures has not yet been charted and in many cases has not yet been imagined. But, the scientists at The Princess Margaret know that nothing is impossible and through creative and innovative research, we’ll discover tomorrow’s cures,” noted Dr. Aaron Schimmer, Director of the Research Institute at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Senior Scientist, Staff Physician and Professor at the University of Toronto.
The Princess Margaret will also host an annual Allan Slaight Breakthrough Forum, uniting leading cancer scientists from around the world to discuss the next breakthroughs.
“Scientific breakthroughs are possible, and if they are going to happen anywhere, they’ll happen here, at The Princess Margaret. Allan would have loved everything this gift stands for – it reflects his curiosity, creativity, and his belief that talented people will accomplish remarkable, magical things when they are empowered to do so,” noted Emmanuelle Gattuso and Gary Slaight.
The Gattuso Slaight family are true agents of change in the cancer landscape, having previously made a $50 million gift to establish the Gattuso Slaight Personalized Cancer Medicine Fund in 2013, which supported the recruitment of brilliant young scientists to The Princess Margaret, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. From the development of a simple blood test to detect cancer in its earliest stages, to the invention of a revolutionary hand-held device that surgeons can use during cancer surgery to see otherwise invisible cancer cells, the Gattuso Slaight Scientists have made game-changing advancements.
In recognition of this transformational gift, the Princess Margaret Research Tower at 101 College Street will be renamed the Allan Slaight Medical Innovation Labs.
Thank you to La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso and the Slaight Family Foundation, for your generosity, vision and steadfast commitment to providing scientists with the opportunity to pursue uncharted areas of research. With discovery research leading to the most transformative breakthroughs, the impact of your gift will be felt for decades to come, at The Princess Margaret, throughout Canada, and around the world.
Published April 05, 2022