Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear, and his wife, Mary, have made a $10 million gift to OHSU in support of a new Oregon-based collaboration focused on utilizing “big data” to better fight cancer and other diseases. The Boyles’ gift to the joint OHSU-University of Oregon Center for Biomedical Data Science will allow the center to expand its efforts to use “big data” to transform health care. The center’s goal is to extract key knowledge from the unprecedented volumes of health care-related data being amassed today, so it can be used to propel innovation and clinical practices in all areas of health care, from disease prevention and diagnosis to drug discovery to direct clinical care and hospital operations. “Big data is driving significant advances in medicine,” said Tim Boyle. “That’s why Mary and I are pleased to support OHSU and the OHSU-University of Oregon Center for Biomedical Data Science. We believe this collaborative effort has tremendous potential to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and many other diseases.”
“This is a new kind of collaboration structured around a new kind of research center for an important new era in health care,” said OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS. “Our partnership is exciting because it will contribute to OHSU’s efforts to advance innovation, science, health and well-being through our signature, nationally distinguished programs in cancer, but also in many other disciplines. The Boyles’ investment will accelerate our progress by broadening, enhancing and expanding our capacity.”
A new kind of research infrastructure, populated by a new generation of scientists fluent in both biology and data science, is needed to translate these huge volumes of data into useful clinical knowledge – and to train the next generation of scientists, clinicians and engineers for leadership in tomorrow’s data-driven health care environment.
Initial projects of the partnership will focus on cancer, and the center is poised to play a major role in the success of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s two primary research initiatives: precision oncology and precision early cancer detection. Data and analytics are used across the continuum of cancer care, from the basic research lab to the patient’s bedside.
“Mary and Tim Boyle have a remarkable philanthropic legacy in the state of Oregon,” said OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director Brian Druker, M.D. “Their longstanding support of our shared vision to end cancer as we know it, backed by this generous gift, will invigorate our ability to attract talented scientists and leaders to this novel center.”
The Boyles have a long history of supporting cancer research and scholarship at OHSU. In 2014, they donated $10 million to the Knight Cancer Institute to recruit and support the next generation of cancer researchers. Currently, that mentorship fund supports eight scholars. The fund honors Hildegard Lamfrom, Ph.D., Tim Boyle’s aunt and a leading molecular biologist before her death in 1984 at age 62. In 2010, the Boyles and Tim’s mother, Columbia Sportswear Chairman Gert Boyle, donated $2.5 million to create the Hildegard Lamfrom Endowed Chair in Basic Science at the Knight Cancer Institute. The Lamfrom Chair is currently held by Lisa Coussens, Ph.D., who also serves as associate director for basic research at the Knight Cancer Institute.