A researcher who spent the last 30 years working on a drug to help women fight ovarian cancer has now donated her share of the money from the drug’s sale—over a million dollars—to charity to further help those in need.
Professor Nicola Curtin worked as part of a team at Newcastle University to develop the newly available drug, called Rubraca, that treats carriers of the BRCA gene that makes some women more vulnerable to ovarian and breast cancers.
While Curtin’s research work has focused on fighting disease the fund her enormous donation has created will help treat social ills, specifically it will help people get back on their feet in society.
According to the Independent: “Professor Curtin used her £865,000 share of the funds to establish the Curtin PARP (Passionate About Realising your Potential) Fund at the Community Foundation, which will work with people to help overcome barriers in education and employment.”
Recipients will include both immigrants and the otherwise socially disadvantaged like people seeking a job after spending a lengthy period of time caring for family members or doing other forms of often underappreciated work.
As Professor Curtin explained:
“Young carers have quite a rough time, they miss out on opportunities at school because they’re busy looking after a sibling or a parent. They need a help up—so do refugees, so do all sorts of people.”
“I just don’t believe that talent is restricted to white middle-class people.”
After dedicating so much of her career to helping women fight cancer Curtin’s latest act of selflessness is hardly a surprise but it’s massively impressive nonetheless.
Despite the size of her donation Curtin told the Independent that she’s never been driven by money and considers herself lucky to be in a position to give back, saying:
“I don’t think any scientist is driven by monetary considerations. What we’re driven by, largely, is finding things out. And the fact that we’ve hit gold with this drug is largely down to luck. There’s been a lot of hard work by a lot of people, but that’s true of many projects that don’t reach fruition in the same way. I could easily have been one of these people.”
This is Prof Nicola Curtin. She invented an ovarian #cancer drug, got £865 thousand in royalties and GAVE IT ALL AWAY. She’s supporting disadvantaged people into work/training. 🙌🙌 @UKCF_tweets @UniofNewcastle #GoodNews #philanthropy ❤️ @bbcnewcastle pic.twitter.com/QudG1iSA13— Charlie Charlton (@chatcharlton) November 26, 2019