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Paul Allen set aside funds to fight his disease

Matthias Stephan
Matthias Stephan, who studies lymphoma at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is among 10 newly named Allen Distinguished Investigators. (Fred Hutch News Service Photo / Robert Hood)

It’s notable that the newest class of Allen Distinguished Investigators, announced today by the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, includes researchers who are developing new treatments for lymphoma. Lymphoma is the type of blood cancer that led to the death of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the namesake and funder of the research program.

The decision to focus on that disease — along with nuclear biophysics, neuroimmunology, brain cells and Alzheimer’s disease, and cellular development and aging — was made last year, long before the billionaire philanthropist was diagnosed with a recurrence of his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Nevertheless, the choice is in line with Allen’s willingness to tackle the toughest challenges in bioscience.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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