Busy H1 2020 for Range of Programmes Supported by Victor Dahdahleh Foundation

The first half of 2020 has been a busy period for a number of the projects that the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation has supported across the healthcare, education and cultural sectors.

Reviewing activity in the first six months of the year, Victor Dahdaleh said: ‘It has been encouraging to see positive action across a number of the programmes that the Foundation has been supporting in both the UK and Canada.

‘Given that we are experiencing such an unprecedented period of challenge around the world as a result of COVID-19, the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation is delighted to see continued impact and progress in a range of setting and projects.’

Dahdahleh Institute for Global Health Research support for COVID-19

In 2015, a major donation from the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation, enabled the establishment of the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research at York University in Toronto.

Since its creation, the Dahdaleh Institute has quickly grown in prominence, focusing on important research around humanitarianism, planetary health, and modeling the world we need for a prosperous future.

Dr. James Orbinski, the inaugural Director of the Dahdaleh Institute has worked with Ph.D Candidate Aria Ahmed to develop the COVID-19 Global Health Portal, a critical online resource. This valuable portal provides readers with up to date information and data interpretation that’s easy to understand. This reflects the work of an incredible team of scientists publishing COVID-19 research.

Separately, Professor Steven J Hoffman, Dahdaleh Distinguished Chair in Global Governance & Legal Epidemiology, has been appointed by the UN Deputy Secretary-General to lead the development of a United Nations Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery.

Professor Hoffman has been asked to submit his final report to the UN Deputy Secretary General in September 2020 ahead of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly

In addition, the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation responded quickly to the urgent need students are experiencing in the wake of the pandemic by contributing C$150,000 towards the York University Emergency COVID-19 Student Relief Fund as a match to encourage others to give.

Mesothelioma support – clinical trials and new research network website

A clinical trial, funded by the British Lung Foundation and the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation, is investigating personalised treatments for mesothelioma, a cancer most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos.

A University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust study shows promising results using rucaparib to treat mesothelioma in patients where chemotherapy has not been effective in controlling the disease. 

Initial results from arm one of the Mesothelioma Stratified Therapy (MiST) trial, led by Professor Anne Thomas, showed a disease control rate (DCR) of 57.7% (95% CI, 36.9 – 76.7) at 12 weeks. This demonstrates a promising efficacy and with manageable toxicity from treatment.

These results, were presented virtually at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual conference in May 2020.

Funding MiST is made possible thanks to a generous £5 million donation by the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation to the British Lung Foundation for mesothelioma research programmes.

In addition, a new website has been launched for members of the Asthma UK – British Lung Foundation’s Mesothelioma Research Network (‘MRN’) found at https://mrn.blf.org.uk/.

Since its launch in October 2017, membership of MRN has grown to include over 190 researchers and clinicians worldwide working on mesothelioma and is funded by the Victor Dahdahleh Foundation.

The aim of Mesothelioma Research Network is to bring together researchers and clinicians working on mesothelioma and seed new collaborations, drive progress and leverage more funds into mesothelioma research. The new website is designed to help this happen more effectively, with the ultimate aim of accelerating the timeline for new treatments reaching people with mesothelioma.

Supporting new Virtual Canada Gallery and Meryl McMaster exhibition

The Victor Dahdahleh Foundation is delighted to be the principal sponsor of the Canada House Gallery and to be supporting the creation of the new Virtual Canada Gallery this month.The first artist to be featured in this new digital medium is the work of Indigenous artist Meryl McMaster.

With current events having regrettably forced the temporary closure of Canada House Gallery, the High Commission of Canada’s Cultural Diplomacy team have been hard at work to bring McMaster’s exhibition alive online in the new Virtual Canada Gallery.  The exhibition features a number of stunning works together with exclusive, never-before-seen artist commentary and audio-visual elements.

The show was curated by Verity Seward and Ocean Masterman-Smith of the Baldwin Gallery, IKON Gallery in Birmingham.

Details of the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research can be found here.

The Dahdaleh Institute was founded in 2015 at York UniversityToronto, Canada, through an endowment from Victor Phillip Dahdaleh. Mr Dahdaleh’s donation is the largest by an alumnus in the university’s history.

Details of Asthma UK – British Lung Foundation’s Mesothelioma Research Network (‘MRN’) can be found here

Details of the new Virtual Canada Gallery and Meryl McMaster Exhibition can be found here

For further information on The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation visit the Foundation’s website or contact Matthew Moth at Madano on t: +44 (0)7770 381 263 or e: matthew.moth@madano.com

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