To the editor:
President Wefald and Chancellor Hemenway recently signed an agreement that will usher in a new era of cooperation in cancer research in Kansas. This document, lauded as supporting the KU Cancer Center’s application for National Cancer Institute designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, will benefit both research centers. Under this agreement the accomplishments in basic research at the Johnson Cancer Center and clinical research at the KU Cancer Center will be maximized.
The Journal-World ran an editorial supporting the new collaboration but questioning why an agreement is necessary, why it did not happen earlier and the breadth of its impact.
In 35 years at K-State I have witnessed many examples of cooperation with KU in the biosciences. I am unaware of any discord with regard to such recent examples as bringing the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility to K-State and the Johnson County Research Triangle to Olathe. In recent years, our institutions have worked together to earn and utilize $132 million from a National Institutes of Health program to improve the competitiveness of state scientists for biomedical funding.
Although effective interactions already exist in many areas, a written agreement serves several purposes. It spells out assignment of intellectual property for collaborative projects, formalizes access to facilities that run on a fee basis, creates concrete guidelines for pursuing the collaboration and provides a written document to support the KU Cancer Center application. It is a great step forward for cancer research in Kansas.
Rob Denell, director,
Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research,
Kansas State University