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Posted 03.31.08


Gift will Fund More than 10 Endowed Professors who Study Breast Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease

COLUMBIA, MO - A recent donation of more than $6 million to the University of Missouri will enhance efforts to treat and cure patients with two of the most prevalent diseases, cardiovascular disease and breast cancer, by funding more than 10 endowed faculty research positions. Margaret Proctor Mulligan, a breast cancer survivor and supporter of MU, recently made the donation to the MU School of Medicine. No other gift has created as many endowed faculty positions at MU.

Mulligan was born in Ashland, Mo., in 1910 to Micajah and Martha Proctor. At the age of 10, her family moved to Columbia, where she was an advertising manager at the Columbia Daily Tribune, managed retail stores and, eventually, joined her father's real estate business. After her father died from a heart attack, Mulligan remained active in real estate and investment until her death in 2007 at the age of 97.

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"Like millions of other people, Mrs. Mulligan was personally affected by breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. She also believed strongly that these diseases could someday be cured or prevented through advancements in medical research," said William Crist, Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean of the MU School of Medicine. "Mrs. Mulligan chose to support research at MU because she was impressed by our faculty physicians and scientists, and she especially wanted to help people in the community she loved."

Mulligan began giving to the MU School of Medicine in 1998. In 2005, the Margaret Proctor Mulligan Breast Health and Research Program opened at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. Her estate gift will create more than 10 endowed faculty professors in medical research. The first six Margaret Proctor Mulligan endowed professors are:

Paul S. Dale is chief of surgical oncology at MU and director of the Margaret Proctor Mulligan Breast Health and Research Program at MU's Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. He is skilled at minimally invasive surgical techniques, and he collaborates with engineers and other scientists on campus to improve cancer detection and treatment for patients.

George E. Davis is a member of the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology. Davis' research examines both breast cancer and cardiovascular disease by studying the development of new blood vessels, or angiogenesis. Davis studies how to control tumor cell migration and invasion at the molecular level.

Dongsheng Duan is a member of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Duan studies the molecular mechanisms involved in inherited and acquired heart diseases. He has generated transgenic and knock-out mouse models that mimic human disease and aid in his studies to produce effective gene therapies.

Kattesh V. Katti is internationally known for developing gold nanoparticles that can detect breast cancer and other forms of cancer, potentially at a much earlier stage than current imaging methods. He directs the National Cancer Institute Nanotechnology Platform at the University of Missouri, is a senior research scientist with MU's Nuclear Research Reactor, and is a professor of radiology and physics.

Gerald A. Meininger is director of MU's Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center and a member of the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology. Meininger uses advanced imaging technology to conduct cellular-level studies on how the tiniest blood vessels contribute to cardiovascular health and disease.

M. Sharon Stack is vice chair for research with the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences. Her research focuses on tumor development and discovering ways to prevent breast cancer cells and other cancer cells from spreading to normal cells. She uses two- and three-dimensional models of tumors to analyze mechanisms of metastasis.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of Americans, and an estimated 40,000 U.S. women die from breast cancer each year.

MU's School of Medicine has raised more than $100 million in gifts and pledges as part of the university campus-wide campaign. February donations to the University of Missouri pushed the "For All We Call Mizzou" campaign to 90 percent of its $1 billion goal. Since the campaign started in 2000, alumni, friends, corporations and foundations have given more than $913 million to Missouri's flagship university.



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