Racing champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will suit up for his ninth Indy 500 on Sunday, May 29, but he’s got more riding on this race than ever before.
Alongside AutoNation, the country’s largest automotive retailer, Hunter-Reay is pledging to spread awareness about the importance of raising funds to accelerate the race to find a cure for cancer. Since 2013, AutoNation and Hunter-Reay, through his non-profit Racing for Cancer, Inc., have generated more than $6 million to fund cancer research. And now, just in time for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, NSU, AutoNation, and Hunter-Reay will mark the event in a unique way.
“As I drive the iconic track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, my focus will not only be on the biggest prize in sports racing, but on the even bigger prize of finding a cure for a disease that has impacted me and so many people in such a dramatic way,” said Hunter-Reay, who lost his mother to colon cancer in 2010.
To raise awareness of the importance of funding cancer research, Racing for Cancer unveiled a display of Hunter-Reay’s No. 28 DHL Honda Indy Car at NSU’s Don Taft University Center on May 23, 2016. The display will remain indefinitely.
Middle school students from the NSU University School were on hand to learn about the importance of cancer research. Representatives from AutoNation will join to celebrate the unveiling and help spread the word on the importance of finding better methods of prevention, treatments, and cures.
“NSU is heavily focused on cancer research and is making strident efforts to bring experts from a variety of fields together to tackle different forms of this terrible disease,” said George Hanbury, Ph.D., NSU president. “We are proud to work with Mr. Hunter-Reay, Racing for Cancer, and AutoNation to drive out cancer.”
NSU is also working to advance cancer research with the September 2016 opening of the NSU Center for Collaborative Research (CCR), one of the largest and most advanced research facilities in Florida, with state-of-the-art laboratories. The CCR will be home to NSU’s Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research, NSU’s Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research, NSU’s Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine, and the NSU Cell Therapy Institute (a partnership with researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet), all of which will collaborate on cancer research. Additionally, researchers from NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography are collaborating with the labs to develop natural sea-derived drug products.
PHOTO: (At Top) AutoNation Chief Marketing Officer Marc Cannon with NSU University School Head of School William Kopas, M.Ed.; NSU EVP/COO Jacqueline A. Travisano, Ed.D.; Razor, VP for Advancement and Community Relations Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D.; and NSU College of Pharmacy Associate Professor Jean Latimer, Ph.D. (At Bottom) VP Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D. and middle school students from NSU University School. (NSU leadership and researchers in attendance, but not pictured) VP for Facilities Jessica Brumley and NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Associate Professor Stephen Grant, Ph.D.