Sidney and Madeline Forbes Donate $17.5M to U-M Cancer Research


The University of Michigan has received a $17.5 million donation for cancer research from Sidney and Madeline Forbes, partners of Forbes Co. in Southfield, which owns and operates the Somerset Collection in Troy along with several luxury shopping malls in Florida.

The commitment, which is the largest private donation for cancer research in the university’s history, will be used to create the Forbes Institute for Cancer Discovery within the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.

“Defeating cancer will take victors to move the process along and continue the fight toward conquering this dreadful disease,” says Sidney Forbes, founder of Forbes Co. “There is no better place to lead this fight than the University of Michigan.”

He says the goal of the institute will be to encourage scientists across the university to undertake high-risk, high-reward initiatives with the potential to drive new advances in cancer research.

The donation will fund: new technology and therapies; research awards for cross-disciplinary efforts aimed at developing cancer treatments; the establishment of the Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professorship in Oncology within the university’s cancer center; and the Senior Forbes Scholars and Emerging Forbes Scholars programs in cancer discovery, which will provide grants to senior investigators and junior faculty.

The institute will also facilitate the development of new technologies, such as single cell genomics, and work with industry to transfer ideas into cancer therapy solutions.

“Our cancer center has a national reputation for innovation and collaboration,” says Ted Lawrence, director of the university’s cancer center. “This gift from the Forbes family will allow us to further accelerate our interdisciplinary work in ways that should truly improve patient care.”