News & Publications

In The Beginning...

August 28, 2013 | Brian Brewer

The Cancer Research Institute was founded sixty years ago by Helen Coley Nauts. She envisioned an organization that would address the needs of the growing field of cancer immunology, and support the people and projects that would establish immunotherapy as a major force in the fight against cancer.

Helen Coley NautsWith a grant of $2,000 from Nelson Rockefeller, Mrs. Nauts and her devoted friend Oliver R. Grace founded the Cancer Research Institute in 1953. During the first two decades of CRI’s history, the science of cancer immunology grew rapidly. Mrs. Nauts enlisted the aid of Lloyd J. Old, M.D., a pioneer in cancer immunotherapy, and together they successfully recruited some of the world’s most prestigious and innovative oncologists and immunologists to serve on the Institute’s Scientific Advisory Council. Prominent among these advisors today are 3 Nobel Laureates, 27 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 20 members of the Academy of Cancer Immunology.

Mrs. Nauts assumed the role of the Institute’s executive director and served tirelessly in that role until 1982, when she became the Institute’s director of science and medical communications. During that time, her efforts to educate the public and foster scientific discourse within the medical community gave the Cancer Research Institute international renown as a clearinghouse for information on the field of cancer immunology.

She remained actively involved in the Institute’s affairs until her death in January 2001 at the age of 93. As a result of Mrs. Nauts’ work and the efforts of those she inspired, cancer immunology now offers one of the most promising approaches to the understanding and control of cancer, and the Institute she founded is now regarded as a pioneering and leading force in cancer research.

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.