June 30, 2016

Purdue Event Rallies Support For Cancer 'Moonshot'

WEST LAFAYETTE -- During January’s State of the Union Address, President Obama put Vice President Joe Biden in charge of a  $1 billion federal initiative known as the “cancer moonshot” —which "aims to end cancer as we know it." Purdue University hosted one of 270 events around the country Wednesday rallying support for Biden’s task force.

Purdue rolled tape from President John Kennedy’s 1962 “We Choose To Go To the Moon” speech before a pep rally of sorts outlining its cancer research efforts.

The initiative’s “moonshot” title evokes an optimistic time in history…when scientists achieved something Purdue alum and NASA astronaut David Wolf says seemed as impossible as finding a cure for cancer.

"That’s the kind of energy that’s the kind of approach the kind of culture and innovation we need to bring to solve this group of disease we call cancer and put them into the rearview mirror," Wolf says.

A big part of Moonshot focuses on how scientists share data. Tim Ratliff, Director of Purdue’s Center for Cancer Research, says that includes funding for a new server-like system that regulates and shares data between institutions, such as colleges and the National Institutes of Health. The moonshot, he says, also makes more grant money available for research and just clinical trials.

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