Dr. Salvador E. Luria, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist, is the head of the new $6 million Center for Cancer Research at MIT. The Center will be funded by grants from the Federal government and MIT.
The center is expected to be operating by 1975, and will be the site of basic research in virology, cell biology and development, and immunology.
Luria explained yesterday that his research team is committed to a long-term program, adding that it will probably not focus on clinical research for the first few years of the Center's existence.
Luria, Sedgwick Professor of Biology at MIT, said. "The uniqueness of this center is that MIT has been the only non-medical institution to commit itself financially to cancer research on this scale."
MIT is providing $1.9 million for the renovation of facilities, and the National Cancer Institute has awarded $4.3 million to cover both remodeling and operating costs for the next four years, beginning in January 1973.
Dr. Sidney Farber, a former president of the American Cancer Society and a co-chairman of the Senate Committee for the Conquest of Cancer, yesterday called Luria "a great scientist and a superb choice."
"We welcome the MIT center because it brings into the cancer field a fine institution and very fine scientists," Farber added.
Luria said that the Center has been in the planning process for about 18 months. He said he tried to obtain $14 million--a figure that exceeds the initial grants by $8 million.
Farber said yesterday the difference would not be hard to obtain because "first-rate institutions have little difficulty in competing for funds."