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CIBC invests $1 million for innovative breast cancer research at Mount Sinai Hospital's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute

Tanenbaum Research Endowment Fund to match donation in establishment of the CIBC Breast Cancer Research Scientist Fund 

TORONTO, Oct. 21, 2014 /CNW/ -  CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) today announced a $1-million investment to create and name an endowed scientist position for breast cancer research at Mount Sinai Hospital's prestigious Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Toronto.

Called the CIBC Breast Cancer Research Scientist Fund, CIBC's donation will be matched by the Tanenbaum Research Endowment Fund, bringing the total investment in breast cancer research to $2 million. The scientist who will be named to this position will have the opportunity to work closely with a multi-disciplinary group of clinicians and scientists to translate important research into transformative models of care.

"Cancer - and breast cancer in particular - is a cause that is important to us at CIBC, as it affects so many Canadian families," said Victor Dodig, President and Chief Executive Officer, CIBC. "We are proud to support Mount Sinai's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, as the important work of researchers and clinical scientists will result in more effective treatments and outcomes for those diagnosed with breast cancer."

Mount Sinai's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute is one of the top 10 biomedical research institutes in the world. Located within the hospital, researchers and clinician scientists are working to unravel the complexities of breast cancer, including current leadership of one of the largest breast cancer trials in the world. Mount Sinai is also a leader in breast cancer care, having started Canada's first multi-disciplinary breast centre in the 1990s that today sees more than 33,000 patients annually visiting the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre for breast cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and genetic counselling.

CIBC has supported Mount Sinai Hospital for over 60 years, having made its first donation in 1951, and was an early lead supporter of Mount Sinai's research institute when it was first established in 1985. "CIBC is a philanthropic pioneer and leader in funding breast cancer research," says Kevin Goldthorp, President, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation & Executive Vice President, Advancement, Mount Sinai Hospital. "CIBC has a long-standing commitment to help those who have been affected by breast cancer, from the funds raised through the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure to widespread employee engagement in the cause and leading advocacy efforts nationally. We are thrilled that CIBC has fortified its commitment to Mount Sinai through its establishment of the endowed CIBC Breast Cancer Research Scientist."

The establishment of the CIBC Breast Cancer Research Scientist is the latest infusion of support for the Campaign to Renew Sinai, the largest fundraising campaign in Mount Sinai's history that will see the revitalization of its facilities and the growth of its internationally recognized clinical and research programs.

Breast Cancer Research Highlights at Mount Sinai Hospital

  • Dr. Pamela Goodwin, Director of the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre is considered a leader in understanding "host factors," which are the characteristics of the individual that contributes to cancer risk and outcomes.  She and her colleagues were the first to:  look at patient-related mediators of the association of obesity and breast cancer outcomes; show that insulin levels may be important in predicting breast cancer recurrence and outcomes; and uncover a link between vitamin D deficiency and poor prognosis of breast cancer.
  • Dr. Goodwin is currently leading the largest clinical trial worldwide exploring the connecting between a diabetes medication called metformin, and breast cancer recurrence and survival.
  • Dr. Jeff Wrana developed new software technology called DyNeMo—the first of its kind worldwide—that can predict with more than 80% accuracy a woman's chance of recovering from breast cancer.
  • Dr. Jeff Wrana and his lab identified new proteins produced in normal cells near the environment of a cancer tumour that influence the breast cancer's ability to spread to other tissues of the body.
  • Led by Dr. Irene Andrulis and Dr. Julia Knight, the Legacy Girls Study is the first study of its kind to follow the health and habits of young girls both with and without a family history of breast cancer and track their breast health as they age.
  • Mount Sinai clinicians conducted the first Toronto-specific research looking at barriers to breast cancer screening programs for women with disabilities. Based on the findings, the hospital has created an education program for health care professionals focused on working with women with mobility disabilities with the goal of improving access, screening and early detection of breast cancers.
  • Dr. Irene Andrulis and her colleagues demonstrated the ability of the HER2 genetic test to predict recurrence for women with node negative breast cancer (cancer that has not metastasized to the lymph nodes).This is an essential characteristic that helps to determine the best treatments for each individual patient through personalized medicine.

About Mount Sinai Hospital

Mount Sinai Hospital is as an internationally recognized 442-bed acute care academic health sciences centre affiliated with the University of Toronto that is dedicated to delivering the best medicine and best patient experience. It is focused on excellence in patient and family-centred care, innovative education and leading-edge research. Clinical strengths include women's and infants' health, chronic disease management, specialized cancer, emergency medicine, and geriatrics. The hospital has been designated with Exemplary Status from Accreditation Canada and every aspect of patient care is anchored in a rigorous quality plan and monitoring of safety and quality goals. Mount Sinai's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute ranks in the top ten biomedical research institutes in the world. The Hospital is considered to be a top employer in Canada, receiving multiple awards for its employment and culture centred programs.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. With a strategic focus on Kids, Cures and Community, and employee commitment to causes, including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children's Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2013, CIBC contributed more than $41 million to over 1,870 organizations in 430 communities.  You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our  Media Centre on our corporate website at

SOURCE Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

For further information:

Sally Szuster
Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
Mount Sinai Hospital
t: 416-586-4800 ext. 8713

Caroline Van Hasselt
Director, External Communications and Media Relations
t: 416-784-6699