A Toast to 20 Years

The Rivkin Center kicked off the first of its 20th Anniversary celebrations this past week at our “Toast to 20” event. Held at the historic Seattle Tennis Club, nearly 100 friends of the Rivkin Center gathered to discuss the highlights of the past 20 years and our vision for the future of ovarian cancer research.

Highlights from the past 20 years include:

  • We’ve awarded more than $9 million in grants to ovarian cancer researchers around the globe.
  • We began the first ovarian cancer early detection program in the Pacific Northwest, and provided no-cost diagnostic testing for women at high risk for the disease. 530 women participated in the program, 69 women had preventative surgery to remove their fallopian tubes and ovaries, and 5 women caught their ovarian cancer in its early stages.
  • We established the longest running research symposium in the United States dedicated exclusively for ovarian cancer, scheduled this year for September 12-13.  This year, along with the past three years, we are partnering with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to host the event.
  • We merged with CanCan Health to establish a joint education and awareness program with an ovarian and breast cancer focus. CanCan has educated over 30,000 women about breast cancer over the past 12 years and will now extend its curriculum of ovarian and breast cancer to thousands of more women in the future.

Dr. Nora Disis, Rivkin Center Scientific and Medical Director, shared highlights of research the Rivkin Center has funded. As a funder of scientists and scholars early in their careers, Rivkin Center grant recipients go on to receive grants from major funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DoD).

In a recent study of past grant recipients, we identified 73 projects funded over a seven year period in which we awarded $4.7 million in research grants. Of the 73 projects funded, 57 were able to successfully discover advancements in their research and leverage the original Rivkin Center investment in their projects into $33 million in additional funding. This results in a 7.2 times return on the Rivkin Center dollars invested in these investigators.

We also introduced eleven 2016 Pilot Study Award recipients and three Scientific Scholar Award recipients. The following awards have been named by families that have funded a research grant:

  • The 2016 Pape Family Pilot Study Award recipient, Erinn Rankin, PhD, from Stanford University
  • The 2016 Skacel Family Scholar, Erin George, MD, from the University of Pennsylvania.

Details about the 2016 Rivkin Center scientific grants recipients can be found here:

Pilot Study Award Recipients

Scientific Scholar Award Recipients

Two more named grants will be awarded later this year:

2016 Lynda’s Bridge Fund Award

2016 Lester and Bernice Smith Fellow

At the close of the evening, we raised our glasses to toast the Rivkin Center’s 20th Anniversary, and in honor of the Rivkin family. Because of Marsha Rivkin’s fight against ovarian cancer, and her husband Saul’s continued crusade to improve treatment, early detection, and prevention of ovarian cancer, the Rivkin Center continues toward its vision that women no longer die from the disease.