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$1.1 Million Gift Supports Cancer Research at MU

Gift will Fund Chair at School of Medicine

May 2, 2008

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, (573) 882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A donation of $1.1 million to the University of Missouri will benefit patients with cancer by advancing research efforts focused on improving the prevention, detection and treatment of the disease. Michael and Sharon Bukstein recently made the donation to the MU School of Medicine, which establishes the Michael J. and Sharon R. Bukstein Chair in Cancer Research.

“Dr. and Mrs. Bukstein believe in the University of Missouri’s potential to help cancer patients of the future. The university’s comprehensive facilities and exceptional team of clinicians and researchers provide much hope for saving lives and improving cancer care,” MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said. “We are excited and very appreciative of this gift. The Buksteins are making an investment in MU to ensure the work of the School of Medicine continues for generations.”

The Michael J. and Sharon R. Bukstein Chair in Cancer Research will be awarded to an MU medical faculty member who will expand cancer research at the university’s medical research facilities. These facilities include the MU School of Medicine and the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, where physicians and researchers have the opportunity to conduct ground-breaking laboratory studies and clinical trials in a multidisciplinary environment.  

“Our hope is that this endowed chair will increase MU researchers’ ability to garner research grants and, ultimately, make even more contributions to the ongoing efforts to prevent and detect cancer, and to improve treatment for patients with cancer,” Michael Bukstein said. “I am pleased that I have been honored with a career in surgery and have been able to care for so many patients with cancer. I also am extremely pleased that Sharon and I are able to help the University of Missouri by creating a chair in cancer research.”
Michael and Sharon Bukstein have a close relationship with MU, which began more than 30 years ago when Sharon was a University Hospital nurse and Michael was a medical student. Bukstein completed medical school at MU in 1970 and served as the university hospital’s chief surgical resident. He has been an advocate for the fight against cancer and chairs Missouri’s Comprehensive Cancer Action Plan. The plan represents more than 40 agencies and health care professionals that have come together to cover issues related to cancer, including prevention and diagnosis to end-of-life issues. Bukstein is a general surgeon who is president and CEO of the Hannibal Clinic in Hannibal and is president of the MU Medical Alumni Organization.

MU’s School of Medicine has raised more than $100 million in gifts and pledges as part of the For All We Call Mizzou campaign, which will celebrate raising $1 billion in the spring of 2009. The campaign has raised $932.81 million, 93.28 percent of goal. Private gifts to the campaign enhance MU’s ability to compete nationally and internationally for the best students and faculty and provide broad access for students of all economic backgrounds to Missouri’s flagship University.

The University of Missouri School of Medicine has improved health, education and research in Missouri for more than 160 years. MU physicians treat patients from every county in the state, and MU is a primary provider of training for all physicians in Missouri. The School of Medicine’s more than 650 faculty physicians and scientists educate approximately 1,000 medical students, residents, fellows and other students seeking advanced degrees. Their research is focused on potentially lifesaving discoveries that address the most prevalent health problems.