Anonymous Donors of $10.5 Million Pledge to Boston University School of Medicine Step Forward

Contact: Tom Testa, 617/353-2240 |

(Boston) — In March of 2009, Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) received a $10.5-million pledge to create a Breast Cancer Research Center from a Boston University School of Medicine graduate who wished to remain anonymous. The pledge represented the largest individual gift received by the School of Medicine.

Now, more than a year later, University Overseer Shamim Dahod (CGS’76, CAS’78, MED’87) and her husband, Ashraf, have come forward to put their names on a contribution which will establish the Shamim and Ashraf Dahod Breast Cancer Research Center at the School of Medicine. The gift will also endow assistant professor and international scholar positions at the center and support the medical school’s new residence hall.

“Our connection with BU was factor number one,” said Shamim Dahod. “And number two is the patients that are served at BMC. If you look at Boston, you find that care and treatment can be very different depending on your social status. We could have made this gift elsewhere, but no other place in this city serves the same population that Boston Medical Center does.”

Shamim Dahod, now a primary care physician in Chelmsford, Mass., worked as a MED lab researcher for five years before earning her BU medical degree in 1987. Ashraf Dahod, a computer engineer turned entrepreneur whose most recent start-up, Starent Networks, was acquired by Cisco Systems last December, holds degrees from the University of Mumbai, the University of Michigan, Stanford University, Northeastern, and the Harvard Business School.

“The Dahods are modest and generous individuals who haven’t sought the spotlight,” said Karen Antman, M.D., provost of Boston University Medical Campus and dean of the School of Medicine. “But having their names tied to this important work lends both prestige and momentum to our breast cancer initiative. We at the School of Medicine are grateful that they have agreed to step forward and be associated with the Dahod Breast Cancer Research Center.”

The fulfillment of the pledge will also support the building of the new residence for medical students on the medical campus. The proposed nine-story building will house 208 first-year medical students and transform student life at the School of Medicine.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.