James and Judith Herbert of Lansing have made a $5 million donation, the largest in Sparrow’s history, to establish an endowment for the advancement of genomics and precision medicine at the Sparrow Herbert-Herman Cancer Center.
The donation to the Sparrow Foundation is earmarked to create The Genomics Endowment for Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer and provides for a new Director of Cancer Genomics at Sparrow to oversee and grow the program.
Growth of the genomics program at the Sparrow Herbert-Herman Cancer Center will impact people from across mid Michigan for decades to come, according to Sparrow.
Both Herberts are cancer survivors and were among the lead donors to Sparrow’s campaign to build a new cancer center in 2014. The Herbert-Herman Cancer Center opened in 2017.
“Cancer genomics is the future,” says Dr. James Herman, longtime Sparrow oncologist and cancer center leader. “Genomics play an increasing role in diagnosis and treatment. This incredible gift to the Herbert-Herman Cancer Center by the Herbert family will ensure that patients continue to have the best cancer care close to home and receive leading-edge care equivalent to anywhere in the nation.”
James Herbert is the founder of Neogen Corp., and has been a national leader in food and animal safety research. He and his wife have long promoted the value of genomics and precision medicine, which involves the use of a patient’s genomic information to personalize care. In cancer patients, it means analyzing the specific makeup of a tumor to guide care, rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach.