Back in the 1990s, chemicals billionaire John Huntsman opened the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. The broad goal of this center was a lofty one: finding ways to beat the most difficult cancers within a generation. He says he's made "great progress," but the goal hasn't been reached as of yet, and according to Forbes, on Huntsman's recent 80th birthday he unveiled a new wing of the HCI: The Primary Children's and Families' Cancer Research Center.
The 225,000-square-foot Primary Children's and Families' Cancer Research Center will effectively double the research capacity at HCI, which has already renown as one of the best cancer centers in the world. Huntsman has donated at least 400 million dollars to the fight to beat cancer so far (with much more giving to come), and in a recent interview he struck an optimistic note that it's been money well spent:
"We've made such enormous progress with research. When I had prostate cancer 25 years ago, I spent 11 days in the hospital. Today with prostate cancer, we can do it robotically, and you're out in 36 hours."
The Primary Children's and Families' Cancer Research Center, as its name suggests, will focus on researching (and ultimately eradicating) cancers that primarily strike children and/or that tend to run in families. And if/when this goal is ever actually reached, hopefully sometime in the near future, Huntsman even has a plan for what to do with the Huntsman Cancer Institute's buildings after they're no longer needed: At the unveiling ceremony for the new addition, he told reporters he hoped to be able to turn the center into a hotel someday.