Wayne and Julie Drinkward are longtime supporters of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. Wayne, CEO and president of Hoffman Construction Corporation, is chair of the Knight Cancer Council; his wife, Julie, has supported a plethora of women’s health efforts at OHSU. In addition, the Drinkward family donations — along with Hoffman Construction Corporation — were instrumental to the completion of the $1 billion Knight Cancer Challenge fundraising campaign.
Today, the Drinkwards have expanded their support of cancer research by establishing the Wayne and Julie Drinkward Endowed Chair in Precision Oncology at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. The recipient, Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D., is among the most highly cited medical scientists in the world. He recently was recruited to OHSU from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to lead the institute’s efforts in precision oncology. This endowed chair will provide resources to Mills and his team for innovative studies that will capitalize on the incredible promise of precision oncology.
“Julie and I are inspired by Dr. Mills’ track record and the opportunity his recruitment brings to advance precision medicine in ways that truly transform cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said Wayne Drinkward. “We see our gift as a meaningful investment in the health of our community.”
“At this time when research support from federal agencies is challenged by political wrangling, this endowed chair will provide an opportunity to perform the high-risk, high-yield studies that will transform outcomes for our patients,” said Mills. “We stand on the precipice of change, and this financial support will galvanize our efforts to implement the promise of precision medicine at the Knight Cancer Institute.”
In addition to funding cancer research studies, the Wayne and Julie Drinkward Endowed Chair in Precision Oncology at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute will provide Mills support to train and mentor the next generation of physician-scientists who will capitalize on the new technologies that promise to change the way we practice cancer care.
Mills says he appreciates the support from the Drinkwards and from the Portland community.
“It’s exciting to find the community in Portland is supportive of making the Knight Cancer Institute a premier cancer institute on the West Coast, with the goal of becoming one of the leading institutes in the world,” he said. “We are grateful to the Drinkwards for putting their confidence in our ability to ensure that the Knight Cancer Institute provides cancer patients the best chance to survive their cancer. I’m glad they want to take this journey with us.”