The Ginny L. Clements Breast Cancer Research Institute: New Hope for Breast Cancer Research

The University of Arizona Health Sciences and the UArizona Cancer Center will celebrate the 65th anniversary of breast cancer survivor Ginny L. Clements and the establishment of the Ginny L. Clements Breast Cancer Research Institute on Monday, April 12, at 3 p.m. 

Register here: 

The event will honor breast cancer survivors everywhere and provide an overview of the Cancer Center’s breast cancer program, including research, clinical trials and vision for the future. In addition to remarks from Clements, UArizona leaders will commemorate her life as a survivor and philanthropist, and outline the future of breast cancer research and patient care at the Cancer Center.

The tentative speaker list includes:

  • Robert C. Robbins, MD, University of Arizona president
  • Michael D. Dake, MD, UArizona Health Sciences senior vice president
  • Joann Sweasy, PhD, UArizona Cancer Center director; Nancy C. and Craig M. Berge Endowed Chair  
  • Pavani Chalasani, MD, UArizona Cancer Center breast cancer clinical research team leader
  • Joyce A. Schroeder, PhD, Cancer Biology Program member
  • Judith Su, PhD, Clinical and Translational Oncology Program member
  • Terry Badger, PhD, RN, Cancer Prevention and Control Program member

On Aug. 31, Clements contributed a gift of $8.5M to the Cancer Cancer that was publicly announced in October. This transformative donation will strengthen breast cancer patient care and research programs. Her gift established an endowment for the Ginny L. Clements Breast Cancer Research Institute and will fund a new endowed director's chair, two endowed professorships, startup packages for those professors and lab renovations.

“Ginny’s gift is truly transformative, and we could not be more excited about the future of breast cancer research and care at the Ginny L. Clements Breast Cancer Research Institute,” Dr. Sweasy said. “Breast cancer is a very complex set of diseases, and we plan to recruit the finest clinician-scientists, basic scientists and experts in breast cancer research to work together at our center. This collaborative approach will lead to novel discoveries and cutting-edge treatments that will have a direct and positive impact for patients across Arizona and beyond.”

Clements’ Impact on Breast Cancer Research

Clements, who serves on the Cancer Center’s philanthropic board, has made other major gifts to the university in support of breast cancer research. To mark the 50th anniversary of her diagnosis in 2006, she created the Ginny L. Clements Breast Cancer Research Fund. Until that time, she hadn't spoken publicly about her experience, but she chose to do so then in order to inspire other women diagnosed with breast cancer.

The legacy fund has been instrumental in providing the center's researchers critical resources to initiate original investigations and expedite critical research. This results in the ability to test promising medicines and therapeutic approaches in clinical trials designed to improve patient care.


3 p.m. Monday