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The one hundred honoree: Stephen A. Scullen

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Stephen A. Scullen

Mass General Giving

As former president of corporate operations and chief information officer at Fidelity Investments, Steve Scullen often views processes and problems from a unique angle. When he was diagnosed with diffuse large-cell lymphoma in 2009, he started thinking about the nature of data and how it relates to cancer. “I began to see that determining the correct cancer treatment is like a huge statistics problem,” says Steve. “The more data you have, the better off the patient is going to be.”

Steve and Ephraim Hochberg, MD, his medical oncologist at the Mass General Cancer Center, discussed this idea at length. During these conversations, Dr. Hochberg shared that Mass General started collecting cancer data around 1900 and has one of the largest cancer databases in the world. The challenge was that much of this information was stored in outdated and disparate systems — without a central database, researchers could not easily access the information, which slowed the pace of research.

Steve and his wife, Daureen, decided to help. In 2012, they pledged $1 million to establish the Scullen Family Group for Cancer Data Analysis. Under the direction of Dr. Hochberg, this initiative is helping to improve the quality and size of this comprehensive database. As a result, researchers are able to more effectively leverage this repository of information to gather key insights into lymphoma and other cancers and develop increasingly targeted therapies.

Dr. Hochberg commented, “Mass General showed foresight in the beginning to gather data more than a century ago. Thanks to the Scullens, we’ll continue to build on that.”

Steve served as a member of the Cancer Center Leadership Council, a group that provided strategic advice to leadership during the hospital’s most recent campaign, and he continues to be a powerful voice and strong advocate for cancer patients and research.