Dr. and Mrs. Adi Gazdar recently gave $200,000 to Southwestern Medical Foundation to establish a charitable gift annuity endowing the Adi Gazdar, M.D., Annual Lectureship in Translational Medicine and the Adi and Celia Gazdar Fund in Translational Cancer Research.

The lectureship will highlight new discoveries in targeted cancer therapies, while the fund will support development of novel cancer therapies.

Dr. Gazdar, professor of pathology and the deputy director of the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research, is a highly cited author who has written more than 700 medical articles and serves as associate editor for several journals. His research focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of malignant tumors, with a special interest in lung cancers.

Recently, his research has led to significant strides in finding treatments that target genetic mutations of cancer cells – treatments that are more effective than conventional therapies, with fewer side effects.

Before joining the faculty at UT Southwestern in 1991, Dr. Gazdar worked as a medical investigator at the National Cancer Institute-Navy Medical Oncology Branch. He currently holds the W. Ray Wallace Distinguished Chair in Molecular Oncology Research. Dr. and Mrs. Gazdar made their gift through a charitable gift annuity, which enables donors to receive a lifetime income. The annuity offers an annual fixed return and significant tax benefits.

“Rather than just leaving the money in our will, it is paying certain dividends during our lifetime and then will be committed to a purpose that my wife and I are passionate about,” Dr. Gazdar said.

The Gazdars said it was important for them to support the missions of the Hamon Center and the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, which are to improve the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, prognostic assessment and treatment of cancer by performing interdisciplinary research that translates findings between the laboratory and clinic.

“It is important for the only academic medical center in Dallas to be leading the way in cutting-edge cancer research and therapies,” Dr. Gazdar said. “I want to support that.”