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PORTLAND, Ore. Nike co-founder and Chairman Phil Knight, and his wife Penny, donated $125 million to Oregon Health & Science University Monday.

The gift is the largest in OHSU history and the Knights' second landmark gift to the hospital, following a 2008 pledge of $100 million for the Knight Cancer Institute.

This latest donation will be used to establish the OHSU Cardiovascular Institute. Organizers said the mission of the institute will be to accelerate new prevention, diagnostic and treatment strategies being developed in the laboratory and transition them into patient care clinics as rapidly as possible.

The institute will be co-directed by Oregon heart surgeon Dr. Albert Starr and cardiovascular imaging pioneer Dr. Sanjiv Kaul, who currently heads OHSU s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Penny and I are pleased to help upgrade cardiovascular health in Oregon and around the world. Drs. Starr and Kaul have built a great program in research, care and outreach, and we are excited about what it can contribute to the fight against these deadly diseases, Knight said.

The OHSU Cardiovascular Institute will also serve as an integrated center for research, clinical care, professional training and outreach in all aspects of heart and vascular disease, officials said.

Phil and Penny share our confidence that we can finally reduce the many, many preventable deaths each year due to cardiovascular disease by innovating, collaborating and educating, said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A.

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