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History of Dana-Farber Society

  • Dr. Farber and Dr. Dana

    Sidney Farber, MD, (left) and Charles A. Dana Sr.

  • The Dana-Farber Society started as a group of 90 individuals in 1990 and has grown to a community of more than 1,000 members across the globe. The Society provides invaluable resources to the Institute, allowing Dana-Farber to leverage the latest research advancements, foster collaboration among physician-scientists, and provide the utmost comprehensive clinical care. Ultimately, support from DFS members helps secure a brighter future for our patients and families. Thanks to DFS members, Dana-Farber will continue to make progress against cancer for years to come, fulfilling the vision of Sidney Farber, MD, and Charles A. Dana Sr.

    Sidney Farber, MD, established the Institute in 1947 as the Children's Cancer Research Foundation. A pathologist who became known as the "father of chemotherapy," Dr. Farber was the first physician to achieve remission in childhood leukemia. An envoy of hope, he made groundbreaking advances in cancer research and patient care, as his Children’s Cancer Research Foundation ultimately became the Institute, treating both children and adults.

    Charles A. Dana Sr. was an attorney, legislator, industrialist, and philanthropist. As founder of the Charles A. Dana Foundation, he directed funding to advance programs in healthcare and higher education. The Institute acknowledged its generous, long-term support from the Dana Foundation by incorporating the Dana name into its official title in 1983.