In 1897, Dr. Roswell Park and Mr. Edward H. Butler, publisher of the Buffalo Evening News, ask the New York State Legislature to introduce a bill that would provide a $7,500 grant to establish a cancer research laboratory in the University of Buffalo School of Medicine. That bill was passed in 1898, and the New York State Pathological Laboratory of the University of Buffalo – the first facility in the world dedicated specifically to cancer research – was founded. The facility, which gave birth to what would later be known as Roswell Park Cancer Institute, has been cited as the earliest historical example of direct government interest in cancer research.
In 1904, the first scientific observations implicating immunological reactions with malignancy are reported by Drs. Harvey R. Gaylord, George H.A. Clowes and F.W. Baeslack.
From 1922 to 1931, Drs. Carl and Gerty Cori serve on the staff of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. In 1947, they are awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for work initiated during their tenure at RPCI.
In 1946, Dr. Joseph G. Hoffman, who had worked on the Manhattan Project, becomes one of the first in the world to study the effects of atomic radiation on humans.