News Release: Research, School of Medicine, Winship Cancer Institute

Dec. 18,  2008

Cancer Patient Family Teams with GRA, GCC to Fund Chairs at Emory and Georgia Tech

Two endowed faculty chairs at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology will support innovative research in the promising area of cancer nanotechnology. Worth a total of $6 million, the chairs are the result of donations from Coca-Cola Enterprises Chairman and CEO John Brock, his wife Mary and their children, Rebecca, John IV and Major, who have teamed up with the Georgia Research Alliance and the Georgia Cancer Coalition to boost cancer research in this emerging and groundbreaking field.

"These heartfelt gifts from the Brock family in honor of John's late mother will contribute significantly to cancer nanotechnology research at Emory University and at Georgia Tech," says Brian Leyland-Jones, executive director of Emory Winship Cancer Institute.

Brock's mother, Anise McDaniel Brock, was an active member of her community in Moss Point, Miss. Mrs. Brock, who never smoked and who lived a healthy lifestyle, was stricken with lung and colon cancer in 2006. She was treated primarily in Mississippi until her family brought her to Emory. 

 After her death in Dec. 2007, the Brock family began looking for ways to help researchers develop new leads in the early detection and treatment of cancer. A Georgia Tech alumnus, Brock talked with cancer researchers and physicians at Emory and Georgia Tech about their nanomedicine research program. In addition, he worked with the Georgia Cancer Coalition and the Georgia Research Alliance to help enhance the value of his donation. The result is the Anise McDaniel Brock Chair and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Cancer Nanotechnology at Emory University, with a second chair at Georgia Tech.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and scientists at Emory Winship Cancer Institute and Georgia Tech believe nanotechnology holds great promise for radically increasing options for prevention, detection and treatment of cancer. In 2006 the NCI selected the Emory and Georgia Tech joint research program as one of seven National Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE). The CCNE's goal is to function as a "discovery accelerator" to integrate nanotechnology into personalized cancer treatments and early detection.  Nanotechnology deals with the engineering and creation of materials or devices that are less than 100 nanometers -- one-billionth of a meter--in size. 

"These visionary gifts to Emory and Georgia Tech by John and Mary Brock in support of two chairs in cancer nanotechnology epitomize the collaborative relationships underway between these two great institutions for over 20 years," says William J. Todd, president and CEO of the Georgia Cancer Coalition.

"These sophisticated philanthropists have seen the power of interdisciplinary, inter-institutional collaboration and seek to harness that energy to battle cancer.   The Anise McDaniel Brock Chair and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Cancer Nanotechnology at Emory University is the creative byproduct of excellent cooperation and strategic thinking by the Georgia Research Alliance, the Georgia Cancer Coalition, medicine at Emory, and engineering at Georgia Tech.  These units can accomplish something truly significant working together that could not be done alone, and it took the Brock gift to bring it all together."

"The Brock's commitment to groundbreaking research using the tools of nanotechnology to unlock the pathways to cancer diagnosis and treatment is extraordinary.  We are proud to be a partner in this effort," says C. Michael Cassidy, president and CEO of the Georgia Research Alliance.

Brock says the care his mother received at Emory Winship and the strength of the joint research programs at Emory and Georgia Tech led to the gifts.

 "After she passed away, we started talking more about our interest in trying to help researchers get new leads in the early detection and treatment of cancer," Brock says. "My mother was a caregiver in her community.  She would be thrilled that some value can be created in the search for better ways to manage cancer."


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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