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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Saudi Arabia funds new cancer biology professorship

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is funding a new professorship in the School of Medicine and Health Science, according to a University release Wednesday.

Edward Seto, the associate director for basic sciences at the GW Cancer Center, was installed as King Fahd Professor of Cancer Biology Monday according to the release. It is unclear exactly how much Saudi Arabia contributed for the professorship.

Seto, who is also a professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine, studies cancer epigenetics and histone deacetylase enzymes, or HDACs, in order to treat cancer. Seto is working to turn off genes and transform cancer cells to normal cells, according to the release.

“I’m honored today to be given this opportunity to contribute, no matter how small, to the GW Cancer Center, the medical school, the university and to the educational ambitions and goals of the late King Fahd,” Seto said in the release.

The newly installed professorship is named in honor of King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who was the country’s minister of education from 1954 to 1960 and ruled Saudi Arabia from 1982 until his death in 2005.

Abdullah Al-Saud, King Fahd’s grandson and Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, said in the release that his grandfather was committed to education and helped build Saudi Arabia’s national education system.

“I’m very happy to be here and very happy to be part of the celebration of something that somebody I knew was behind,” Al-Saud said in the release.

Provost Forrest Maltzman said Saudi Arabia and GW began working on education together under the late King Fahd in the 1990s, according to the release.

GW’s education school began partnering with a Saudi Arabian institution, Taibah University, for a doctoral program in educational leadership in 2015.

“We are grateful for King Fahd’s vision and generosity,” Maltzman said in the release. “The King Fahd Professorship of Cancer Biology will enhance the ability of Dr. Seto and support the GW Cancer Center’s research initiatives.”

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