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June 17, 2015

$20-Million Gifts Boost Cancer Studies at USC and Wake Forest

The University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine has received a $20-million gift from the foundation of a late leukemia sufferer for improving treatment of the disease and research into conditions that can lead to it it, the university announced.

Entrepreneur and industrialist Norbert Gehr succumbed to acute myeloid leukemia, a form of cancer in the blood cells, in February at age 74. He was founder and CEO of The Gehr Group, a Los Angeles-based company with interests in real estate, manufacturing, and other sectors. The donation by the Gehr Family Foundation will be split between two Keck researchers.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center will use a $20 million donation to assess the effects of muscadine grape extract on breast and prostate cancers, writes the Winston-Salem Journal.

The anonymous five-year gift will fund three clinical trials at the Winston-Salem, N.C. academic hospital of a type of extract developed by a company in nearby Advance. The muscadine grape, which is native to the U.S. southeast, has high levels of polyphenols, an antioxidant.