Harris Rosen Donates $12 Million to Cancer Research and Treatment

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Harris Rosen Donates $12 Million to Cancer Research and Treatment

By Rowland Stiteler | Mar 3, 2019

From left: Harris, Adam and Trisha Rosen.

Orlando hotel owner and philanthropist Harris Rosen provided what was doubtless a most special moment at a major cancer conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel by donating US$12 million to the University of Florida and UF Health medical network, which are engaged in an innovative cancer care initiative.

The gift was announced Feb. 22, before the inaugural ReMission Summit for Brain Tumors. The UF-organized summit brought together more than 100 experts in neuro-oncology, tumor immunology, genetics, artificial intelligence, neuroimaging and bioinformatics to form an elite research community focused on achieving transformative outcomes for patients with brain tumors over the next decade. The ReMission Summit also serves as the public forum for the debut of the ReMission Alliance, a multi-institutional research collaborative focused on the advancement of novel immunotherapies for adult and pediatric brain cancer.

“I am extremely grateful that Harris Rosen and his family share our vision to make a transformative impact on outcomes for patients with brain tumors,” said Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of UF’s Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy and director of the ReMission Alliance. “Their support of our research, patient care initiatives and the ReMission Alliance will allow us to leverage the power of the immune system to combat invasive brain cancers to dramatically improve the lives of brain tumor patients here at UF and abroad.”

University of Florida President Kent Fuchs said, “Thanks to the generosity and support of Harris Rosen and his family, we are able to pursue research breakthroughs that result in real change. I am confident that, together, we can advance the work necessary to provide extraordinary outcomes for patients suffering from malignant brain tumors and improve their survival rates and quality of life.”

The Rosen gift is the cornerstone of a $100 million fundraising commitment to support the ReMission Alliance Against Brain Tumors.

This work—to organize multidisciplinary, collaborative research efforts among groups of skilled researchers and physicians—resonated deeply with Harris Rosen. His son, Adam, who received care at UF Health, died in November after a prolonged fight with brain cancer. Harris was impressed by the UF Health clinical team’s professionalism, skill and commitment to making Adam and his family as comfortable as possible.

“It was obvious how dedicated they are to improving the quality of life for their patients,” Rosen said.

Harris Rosen is the founder, president and chief operating officer of Rosen Hotels & Resorts. His company owns eight hotels and resorts in Central Florida, including the 1,501-room Rosen Shingle Creek. Rosen is the largest privately-owned conference hotel company in Orlando.


Rowland Stiteler
Rowland Stiteler

Rowland Stiteler, a veteran meeting industry journalist, is a writer and editor for The Meeting Professional.