AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A $60+ million cancer research facility is in the home stretch of being built in downtown Augusta. But it's still missing a candidate for a hugely important role. Now, a generous donation could help the facility to attract more applicants to that role.
The center is over 75,000 square feet and in October when the doors open, the M. Bert Storey Research Building is expected to be a catalyst for cancer research. But as it wraps up construction it's also wrapping up the search for a new Director, so one homegrown investor decided to invest.
"It was at the end of the year and it seemed like an opportune time to perhaps to make the gift in hopes that it might sweeten the pot," says Peter Knox, Businessman & Philanthropist.
Knox, who just moved back to the CSRA from Florida, donated $1 million to the Georgia Cancer Center. This donation will be in a special fund just for the new director to use to address the needs he or she thinks are needed when they start the job. No strings attached. "I'm not a scientist or a doctor. I would not presume to tell them to use any of that money," says Knox.
"This new director will allow us to do new basic research here which ultimately will result in greater clinical trials that provide patients here in Augusta with the absolute state of the art treatment of disease," says Dr. Brooks Keel, President of Augusta University. And that could come in the form of recruitment for new doctors and researchers for the building. The research center has a bridge on Laney Walker that will connect the new research building to the current patient clinic. It will house storage, research, and workspaces all aimed for one goal: finding cures for all types of cancer.
"We carry a great responsibility that we should be providing outstanding healthcare not only for the CSRA, which of course we're very proud about, but outstanding healthcare for the entire state of Georgia and Region," says Dr. Keel. He says he expects a candidate to be chosen within the next several months.