About

Photo of Hale family

The Hale Family Research Center’s objective is to develop more effective pancreatic cancer treatments by uniting laboratory and clinical experts in gene discovery, functional genomics, computational biology, chemical biology, and model system development by:

  • Fostering collaboration at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and across the world-class biomedical community in Boston to accelerate pancreatic cancer research and rapidly translate discoveries into improved patient outcomes
  • Fueling a pioneering effort to address challenges in pancreatic cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, and is already transforming our understanding about the biology driving this disease. 

Hale Family Research Center history

The Hale family’s transformative philanthropy has had a profound impact on pancreatic cancer research and care. Over the past decade, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute trustee Judy Hale, along with her children, Rob Jr. and Beth, and their spouses, Karen and Rich, as well as the Hales’ company, Granite Telecommunications, have made significant gifts to help relieve the burden of cancer. Their support honors the memory of Robert “Bob” T. Hale, Sr., who was treated at Dana-Farber for pancreatic cancer and was a generous philanthropist in his own right.

In 2007, the Robert T. Hale Sr. and Judith B. Hale Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research was established, marking the beginning of the Hale family’s long legacy of giving. Over the next five years, the family’s visionary philanthropy would lead to the creation of the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer at Dana-Farber and the Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Chair in Pancreatic Cancer at Dana-Farber, held by Dr. Brian Wolpin. These remarkable contributions fuel discoveries in early detection and help Dana-Farber investigators develop novel treatments for patients with pancreatic cancer.

In 2015, with a gift to name the Hale Family Research Center, the family’s commitment enabled Dana-Farber investigators to collaborate with top talent within the Institute and across the biomedical community in Boston toward the shared goal of eradicating pancreatic cancer. The Center has become a magnet for some of the greatest minds in gene discovery, functional genomics, computational biology, chemical biology, immunotherapy, and model system development. This collaborative research environment has created a pipeline for innovative findings, expediting translational discoveries, and bringing novel therapies to patients.

In addition to their personal giving, the Hale’s corporate philanthropy through Granite is a powerful engine of support for the Institute. In 2014, the company started a flagship event, Saving by Shaving, a day when Granite staff, along with local celebrities and government officials, shave their heads in a show of solidarity for patients undergoing cancer treatment.

In return, the Hales make a gift to Dana-Farber on behalf of each person who takes a turn in the barber’s chair. The company has also held annual Granite Day carnivals to benefit Dana-Farber, with entertainment, rides, and family fun that attracted thousands of attendees. Since 2008, Granite’s annual events have raised millions for Dana-Farber, thereby accelerating the development of new therapies for cancer patients.

Saving by Shaving event with Tom Brady

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