O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Under renovation in March 2010

The O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB, formerly the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, is a research center operated by the UAB School of Medicine in the Wallace Tumor Institute at 1824 6th Avenue South in Birmingham's Medical District.

UAB's Cancer Program was established in 1970 with $5 million in seed funding from the Lurleen Wallace Courage Crusade. That campaign was launched by Governor Albert Brewer in memory of his predecessor, Lurleen Wallace, who died of cancer in 1968 following years of treatment for which she had to travel to Texas. Additional funds were provided by the National Cancer Institute and the university.

John Durant led efforts to plan and develop the program, which was recognized as one of eight original regional "Comprehensive Cancer Centers" under the National Cancer Act of 1971. The Wallace Tumor Institute building opened in 1976, followed by the Lurleen B. Wallace Tower, an 80-bed inpatient facility, in 1979. A capital campaign launched in 1985 provided funding for a DNA sequencer and a 600 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer to be acquired in 1987 and 1988 respectively.

The center's facilities were expanded in 1992, with ambulatory care facilities relocated to the newly-opened Kirklin Clinic. Among the new laboratories created was a Pathogen Free Rodent facility, partially funded by the NCI.

The Comprehensive Cancer Center was expanded again in 2010-2013. In 2018 O'Neal Industries donated $30 million to the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. It was officially renamed in honor of the company in February 2019.

The O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center currently houses around 400 clinicians and scientists and treats about 20,000 patients each year. In addition to research, diagnosis and treatment, the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center conducts community outreach with educational and prevention programs in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Georgia.



  • A Legacy of Love: The Story of the Lurleen B. Wallace Foundation and the Courage Crusade. Birmingham: UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • West, Ty (December 4, 2018) "UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center gets $30M gift from O'Neal Industries." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Thrailkill, Laurel (July 28, 2023) "Economic impact of O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center grows." Birmingham Business Journal

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