The Walther Cancer Foundation, Inc. (WCF) is an independent, private grant-making foundation committed to eliminating cancer as a cause of suffering and death through supporting and promoting interdisciplinary and inter-institutional basic laboratory, clinical, and behavioral cancer research. The foundation is particularly interested in supporting efforts to strengthen cancer research institutions in the state of Indiana. WCF believes that cancer research provides tangible benefits in expanding our base of knowledge, saving lives and offering hope to patients and their families. Since its founding in 1985, the Walther Cancer Foundation has invested almost $100 million in cancer-focused medical research.
Dr. Joseph E. Walther's bold vision of medical philanthropy was born in 1985 with the creation of the Walther Cancer Institute (WCI). He realized that insights into this family of diseases go beyond initiatives that seek to unlock the fundamental secrets of the transfigured cells that give rise to cancer. Thus, in addition to investing in basic research, the WCI actively supported research programs that tested new therapies and focused on human behaviors as well as ways patients and their families respond to a diagnosis of cancer.
In July, 2007, the corporate form of the Walther Cancer Institute was changed to a private foundation, and the name modified to become the Walther Cancer Foundation. The mission of the organization remains the same, while the mechanisms for providing support for cancer research have been streamlined to substantially reduce administrative costs. One of Walther Cancer Foundation’s greatest strengths is its independence. Its autonomy, both organizationally and financially, gives the Foundation the freedom of action it needs to stimulate necessary bridge building across multiple boundaries that interface research disciplines and institutions.
The Walther Cancer Foundation (WCF) has awarded a $392,000 grant to the Behavioral Cooperative Oncology Group – a consortium of behavioral scientists in the Schools of Nursing at Indiana University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and the Ohio State University. The purpose of the group is to provide a collaborative infrastructure that serves as a training ground for current and future behavioral scientists that will further develop both individuals and the field of behavioral oncology. Grant funds support 1) fellowships for pre-doctoral students at each of the Universities; 2) infrastructure support for research and training including senior faculty mentoring, research assistants and supplies; and 3) funds for an annual colloquium and a scientific retreat.