Richard and Jane Lublin, of Avon, have made a new gift of $25,000 to support cancer research at the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
The gift will support the work of Dr. Upendra Hegde, associate professor of medicine, co-director of the head and neck/oral oncology program, and associate director of medical oncology in the melanoma program.
This is the latest in a series of gifts the Lublins have made toward cancer research at the UConn Health Center. In 2010, the Lublins made a major $1 million commitment toward cancer research and they have supported the UConn Cancer Research Golf Tournament. Additionally, they have generously supported the White Coat Gala to benefit the UConn Health Center as a title sponsor.
The effect of cancer in their own lives has inspired the Lublins to join the fight against cancer. Mr. Lublin notes that the couple is increasing their support because they believe in Hegde and his promising research into how cancer affects people differently at ages younger and older than 50. As a clinician-scientist, Hegde works from the bench to the bedside. He’s a physician as well as a scientist, conducting cutting-edge research and translating discoveries made in the lab into new therapies.
“In addition to Dr. Hegde’s research, he treats patients with this horrible disease, spends a lot of time with them, and is always available to his patients by phone. His patient-doctor relationships are unequaled as he guides his patients medically and psychologically through their terrible journey,” says Mr. Lublin.
Hegde explains that his research with world-renowned immunologist Dr. Bijay Mukherji, professor of medicine, and other eminent scientists at the UConn Health Center is designed to understand the effects of weaknesses associated with aging on anti-melanoma activity in the immune systems of older cancer patients compared to younger patients. His goals are to develop insights into the aging immune system at the cellular, genetic, and molecular levels, and evaluate the effectiveness of emerging immune-based treatments in older melanoma patients.
“Richard and Jane Lublin’s support has given us additional inspiration to pursue our research so that our scientific contributions can be translated to improve the quality of life of our patients,” says Hegde. “Philanthropic support is key to the success in generating preliminary data so that we can continue to do translational research based upon sound clinical observations in patients. Our ultimate goal is to gain more knowledge, and seek more funding from federal agencies to further our work.”