Einstein Celebrates Historic Gift and Academic Achievement
On April 15, 2013, during an “historic” evening at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, Dr. Allen M. Spiegel, the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein, publicly announced the College of Medicine’s largest fundraising effort—a capital campaign to raise at least $500 million, known as “The Campaign to Transform Einstein.” (See news release).
A bequest of more than $160 million from Muriel Block will, in part, support the research of 10 Harold and Muriel Block Scholars. These include (from left, rear): Drs. Michael Aschner, Robert Singer, Betsy Herold, (from left, seated): Meredith Hawkins and Mimi Kim, pictured here with Einstein Dean Dr. Allen M. Spiegel (far right, rear) and Chair of Einstein’s Board of Overseers, Dr. Ruth Gottesman (center, seated). To see photos of all the Block Scholars, please visit the photo gallery below.In a dramatic moment before more than 400 supporters, faculty, students and alumni, Dr. Spiegel revealed that a bequest of more than $160 million—the largest gift in the school’s 60-year history—had recently been received from longtime Einstein benefactor Muriel Block.
With that amazing gift, Dr. Spiegel announced that the College of Medicine has now raised over $420 million toward what he called a “working minimum goal” of half a billion dollars, and he noted that Einstein expects to reach and exceed that total in the months to come.
Mrs. Block, an ardent believer in the benefits of scientific research, passed away in 2010, leaving an indelible legacy. The magnitude of the gift left the Einstein community deeply moved, and excited about the impact such exemplary altruism could have on the future of Einstein.
"We have crafted a vision to move Einstein forward, and I am grateful for the remarkable generosity of Muriel Block and the thousands of donors who have responded so generously to our mission during this era, like never before," said Dr. Spiegel. "Biomedical research is more expensive than ever – but the payoffs it yields can be greater than ever."
(From left): Einstein Overseer Linda Altman, Earle Altman and Ruth Brause, executive board member, Einstein National Women’s Division"Einstein has accomplished so much in the six and a half years I have served as chair, and the future has never looked brighter or more filled with possibilities," Dr. Ruth L. Gottesman, chair of Einstein’s Board of Overseers, told the audience. "Thanks to the leadership and stewardship of this premier medical institution, as well as the enthusiastic support of thousands of donors, we begin an exciting new era in biomedical research and education."
During 2012, Einstein received $160 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, a 61 percent increase over 2000-2003, at a time when the NIH budget was flat – and the current state of the Federal budget is uncertain at best.
Yet even in the best of times, those grants come with costs that must be absorbed by Einstein, because NIH grants simply do not cover all of the expenses associated with the research being done. Philanthropy must make up the difference.
“The Campaign to Transform Einstein” is enabling the College of Medicine to meet its challenges and to focus on several key initiatives:
- A Center for Experimental Therapeutics, designed to accelerate the movement of potential drugs through the development pipeline and into the marketplace;
- A Genome Sequencing and Analysis Initiative, to answer genetic questions on a wide range of diseases and leverage the resources of the newly established New York Genome Center, of which Einstein is a founding member; and
- A state-of-the-art Education Center that will encourage interactive, small-group learning, employ the latest technology and feature more dedicated study space. It will also house a new simulation center to help students hone the development of anatomical skills.
Dr. Ruth L. Gottesman, chair, Einstein Board of Overseers (at center), with Einstein Emerging Leaders board members (from left): Troy Berman, Joanna Steinberg, Danielle Cohen Segal and Matt Makovsky
Celebrating the Einstein Community
With many medical and graduate students in the room, Dr. Spiegel took time to note “the unparalleled experience” they will have at Einstein, resulting in their becoming compassionate and knowledgeable physicians and superbly trained scientists.
Since Einstein students become Einstein alumni, the dean recognized the 9,000 graduates the College of Medicine has produced since 1959, who have “been caring for millions of patients in our communities, in our hospitals, in third-world nations, publishing papers, doing research of their own in labs and corporations, all benefiting from the education they received at Einstein – and using their talents and skills to improve millions of lives around the world.”
Dr. Spiegel praised Einstein’s thousands of alumni for all they have accomplished in their careers and thanked them for their generosity, especially singling out the latest group of alumni to reach new benchmark levels of giving.
In all, the evening offered those in attendance the opportunity to celebrate all that Einstein has achieved during a remarkable era, and a clear vision set forth by Einstein leadership for exciting growth at the College of Medicine in years to come.
Faculty Honored With New Appointments
Twenty-two of Einstein’s renowned physicians and scientists who were newly appointed to endowed professorships and/or center directorships were honored at the event:
- Judy Aschner, M.D., professor of pediatrics and physician-in-chief at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, was named the Michael I. Cohen, M.D., University Chair, Department of Pediatrics;
- Steven C. Almo, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and of physiology & biophysics, was named the Wollowick Family Foundation Chair;
- Michael Aschner, Ph.D., professor of molecular pharmacology and of pediatrics, was named the Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Molecular Pharmacology;
- Julia H. Arnsten, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine (general internal medicine), of epidemiology & population health and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and chief of general internal medicine, was appointed Director of the Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research;
- Aviv Bergman, Ph.D., professor and founding chair of systems & computational biology, and professor of pathology and in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, was named the Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Systems & Computational Biology;
- Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of microbiology & immunology, professor of medicine (infectious diseases) and the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Chair in Microbiology and Immunology, was appointed Director of the Center for Immunological Sciences;
- Pablo E. Castillo, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, was named a Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Neuroscience;
- Ana Maria Cuervo, M.D., Ph.D., professor of developmental & molecular biology, of anatomy and structural biology and of medicine (gastroenterology & liver diseases), was named the Robert and Renée Belfer Chair for the Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases;
- Teresa P. DiLorenzo, Ph.D., professor of microbiology & immunology and of medicine (endocrinology), was named the Diane Belfer, Cypres & Endelson Families Faculty Scholar in Diabetes Research.
- Winfried Edelmann, Ph.D., professor of cell biology and of genetics, and faculty supervisor of the Gene Targeting Facility, was named The Joseph and Gertrud Buchler Chair in Transgenic Medicine;
- Meredith A. Hawkins, M.D., professor of medicine (endocrinology), was named the Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Medicine and Director of Einstein’s Global Diabetes Institute;
- Betsy Herold, M.D., professor of pediatrics (infectious diseases) of microbiology & immunology and of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health, was named the Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Pediatrics and Director of the Translational Prevention Research Center;
- Robert C. Kaplan, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology & population health, was named the Dorothy and William Manealoff Foundation & Molly Rosen Chair in Social Medicine;
- Kamran Khodakhah, Ph.D., professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, was named a Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Neuroscience;
- Margaret Kielian, Ph.D., professor of cell biology, was named the Samuel H. Golding Chair in Microbiology;
- Mimi Kim, Sc.D., professor of, and division head of biostatistics in, epidemiology & population health, was named a Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Epidemiology & Population Health, Director, Quantitative Sciences in Biomedical Research Center;
- Thomas E. Rohan, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of epidemiology & population health, was named a Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Epidemiology & Population Health;
- Robert H. Singer, Ph.D., professor and co-chair of anatomy and structural biology, professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and of cell biology, and co-director of the Gruss Lipper Biophotonics Center, was named the Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Anatomy and Structural Biology;
- Howard D. Strickler, M.D., professor of epidemiology & population health, was named a Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Epidemiology & Population Health;
- Joe Verghese, M.B.B.S., professor in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology and of medicine (geriatrics), chief of geriatrics, director of cognitive & motor aging and the Murray D. Gross Memorial Faculty Scholar in Gerontology, was appointed Director of the Jack and Pearl Resnick Gerontology Center;
- Allan W. Wolkoff, M.D., professor of medicine (gastroenterology and liver diseases)and of anatomy and structural biology, chief of gastroenterology & liver diseases and associate chair for research in medicine, was named the Herman Lopata Chair in Liver Disease Research and Director of the Marion Bessin Liver Research Center; and
- Judith Wylie-Rosett, Ed.D., professor of epidemiology & population health (health promotion and nutrition research), professor of medicine (endocrinology) and division head of health promotion and nutrition research, was named the Atran Foundation Chair in Social Medicine;
In addition, in his remarks, Dr. Spiegel called attention to Drs. Kaplan and Khodakhah, along with Chaim Putterman, M.D. and Syun-Ru Yeh, Ph.D., faculty members who are newly tenured professors at Einstein.
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