Napster founder Sean Parker launches $250M cancer research effort

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sean Parker, who created Napster and served as the first president of Facebook, has turned his attention to cancer research.

A new entity, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, will be launched with a $250 million grant from The Parker Foundation, a private philanthropic organization established by Mr. Parker, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The new institute is a consortium of six top academic centers: University of California, San Francisco; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City; Stanford (Calif.) Medicine; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The collaboration is intended to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies to fight cancer.

"Our model is to enable the most ambitious research to be done by the best people across the field," said Mr. Parker, according to WSJ. "We're concentrating funding around one area where we can have a huge impact."

UC San Francisco immunologist Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, will lead the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy as president and CEO.

According to Fortune, Mr. Parker's donation is the largest single contribution ever made to the field of immunotherapy.

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